Monet Bike Tour
4 Apr 2012
|Getting to the train station.
Train C (Pont de L'Alma) to Metro line 13 to (Invalides) to Gare St. Lazare train station. Platform 22 was a little challenging to find. First found bus line 22; then found across the road, the train station with the Platform we needed. Met up with Kiwi Karl/Bro our guide for the day. With 16 others, we boarded the train for Vernon. Quaint town; walked to small garage to get the bikes. Sarah had Goldilocks; Gabby had Carla Brunie; Colby had Marmot; PopPop had
Soar; Mema had Strawberry Blond.
Fat Tire Bikes
No accidents in the driveway, headed out to the village market. Spent 40 minutes shopping for salami, cheeses, fruits, bread, wine, soda and of course chocolate. Headed to our picnic spot along the Seine. Very charming. Couple of little incidents leaving the picnic...PopPop got his buggy cord wrapped around his bicycle chain (even after Karl had warned everyone); Gabby ran into a pole; and Sarah ran into the back of someone going across the bridge.
Then into the serious riding. 3.5 kilometers along the former railroad bed that runs along the Seine into Giverny, where Monet settled for most of his painting career. Only incident was Mema trying to spilt the metal speed bumps, caught an edge and fortunately crashed into the dirt...minor abrasions and bruising.
Monet's garden: magnificent; colorful and it is only April. Planted his flowers by colors not by species. Water lilies just emerging. Japanese bridge looked just like the paintings. House: kitchen: french country yellow; dining room: french county blue; rest of house very colorful: green, purple, blue or yellow.
Factoid: American painters who had come to Paris to study with the masters learned that Monet had moved to Giverny. Eventually, Monet had to distance himself from them as they were intruding on his privacy.
Back to the bikes early so girls put on an epic failure acrobatics and gymnastics show in a grassy field in front of the famous Hotel Baudy. Gabby should stick with her gymnastics, Colby should stick with swimming and Sarah should stick with soccer.
Rode back into town in rush hour traffic. Had to use Karl's "domination spell"..hard to break through a horde of bikers! Stowed the bikes, grabbed some refreshing drinks at a local market, and headed to the train station to catch the 5:53 pm train back to Paris. Arrived at 6:40, re-traced our train, metro, train steps arriving back at Pont de L'Alma at 8:00--only a couple of wrong turns in the metro. Stopped at one of the half-a-dozen bistros along our street for a dinner of salmon, escargot, onion soup, cheeseburger, penne pasta and caesar salad--and of course a crepe and two "Manga" sorbets. Into the apartment at 9:45 and girls down by 10:30. Long, fun day with plenty of adventure.