We began by navigating the Metro to Gare Saint Lazare where we met our guide, Kit, and hopped on the bus for Vernon. We travelled out to Normandy and it was nice to leave the city and all those people who smoke constantly behind. Fresh air had never felt so good!
When we got to Vernon we got on our bikes and went into the village to buy supplies - bread, cheese, and fruit (oh, and some cider). It was such fun, I managed to buy my fruit without using any English. I wonder what they think of French in an Aussie/kiwi accent?
We ate our lunch by the banks of the Seine River. It was just so beautiful, the sky is pastel blue with fluffy white clouds. It is lovely and warm and a family of geese wandered past to see what we were doing. Jane and I toasted with wonder and our constant statement of "We're in France!"
We rode our bikes from Vernon to Giverny to visit Monet's garden. We had two hours wandering about admiring the place that inspired so much of Monet's work, and the place that he called home.
We learned all about the difference between impressionists and what came before them and after. We were told that Monet was born around the time that photography was invented. This made sense to me, if photography could capture realism then artists were free to interpret what they saw rather than capture it for posterity. Apparently Monet was about capturing the subject, rather than painting a narrative (well, that is what I learnt after an hour on the tour, I'm sure there is more to it than that).
We rode back to the train station and continued back to our apartment near Sentier Metro Station. We are getting quite good at being Kiwis/Aussies/ whatever I am in Paris. We plant our feet firmly, bend slightly at the knees, and when people push past us, we hold our ground - take that. It is a dog eat dog world here and we started out being polite but found that we needed to just get our hands dirty and get in the game or we would be at the back of the queue.
We ended the evening with a cocktail at a cafe around the corner. Could life be any better than this?