|The ten trippers including our leader Jan left Paris in an enormous coach, rather than the small one we'd expected, heading to Giverny and Monet's garden. It was obvious that there would be big crowds with river cruises dockedatt Vernon and many buses in the car park but we entered without great queues going firstly to the water garden. It has changed a little since my last visit which would have been with Kyle and Louise and there are more floral plantings around the Lake than I recall. It still has a serenity about it despite the crowds.
In the garden in front of the house the roses are only just starting to come into bloom but the iris and peonies are definitely the feature flowers. The iris were in every shade of blue throughnto purple and the peonies in soft pinks and white were gorgeous. The shop is as was and doing a roaring trade and the house was once again interesting to go through especially to see all the Japanese prints and some of Monet's work.
We lunched at a nearby cafe and I think there are far more options for eating now.
On the road to Rouen with heavy traffic all the way. It seems that this area is important industrially and the River Seine which we followed is still used for transport, using barges, as well as for the tour ships.
Rouen has a preserved old city in the centre with the highlight being the cathedral which Monet painted in so many lights. Strolling through the old section we passed under the horological clock and on to a modern church built adjoining the ruins of a much earlier church and dedicated to Joan of Arc who was put to death here. The external shape is hard to describe but an information sheet states that the architect was wanting to represent the flames in which Joan was burnt but for some there was more of a representation of a part of armour.
The inside of the church however is absolutely modern with seats set in a part circle and a sense of welcome.
It was a long drive then to our next stopping place at Bayeux where we'll be for four nights and most of us after freshening up went to a small crepe cafe for a buckwheat crepe, mine filled with a local cheese, apples and black pudding, and washed down with a glass of cider. We are in Normandy.
Strolling back David and I noticed a building which would appear to be original fifteenth century, more of that at a later date but the streets were so quiet and light that I think evening is the time to really explore and photograph.
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