Flowers and bubbles in France

I had forgotten how demanding this research is!

The best laid plans of mice and men… do not take into consideration French rail strikes.

The train I intended to get to Vernon-Giverny was cancelled and the first one was 12:20 – two hours later.

So I switched my day’s plan around and walked to the huge fancy stores – Galerie Lafayette and Printemps – first, instead of later in the day. The Art Nouveau stained glass dome at GF was stunning – so were the prices! Printemps has a lovely restaurant for us for lunch one day.

I got the train to Vernon and then bus to Giverny – a gorgeous place even in the pouring rain. Had lunch at my chosen hotel for September – which was delicious, with no theft attempts by a cat. Introduced myself and saw some rooms – all good. Then to Monet’s garden which was magical, even with rain flattened flowers from bulbs and pansies and wallflowers, which smelled delicious. No water lilies yet of course, but it will all be stunning when we get there in September.

The birdsong was amazing – I haven’t heard that since I was last in England – and the reflection of the trees in the large pond in his water garden, while not an unusual phenomenon, seemed especially beautiful in their forms.

I wandered the village in the rain finding beautiful things I’d like to buy for my home so must bring a shopping bag when I come back in September.

After exercising that discipline, along the street came some bubbles to meet me! They were floating down the street and then landing on the wet road and staying there, reflecting so many colours from all around them; coloured bubbles all over the road – it was exquisite. I wanted to take a picture to show you but found my camera battery needed recharging so that picture is only in my memory.

I took a nap on the train on my way back to Paris and then faced the Metro again. I thought the crowds in the morning were from rush hour but this was 8:00pm so that wasn’t the reason. We were crammed in like sardines in a can; there was no way anyone could fall over when the train jolted – we were packed in too tight to fall anywhere. Also, I’ve discovered there are almost no escalators so it’s stairs everywhere. I can manage this but a group with luggage on their way to Chartres wouldn’t have a hope. I must revise my plan and either use taxis to get to that train station or book a bus to take us to Chartres. This is why it’s important to do this research.

Chartres tomorrow, hopefully with no train problems…