Category Archives: Normandie

Is It Possible to Visit the Mont Saint Michel as a Day Trip from Paris? Episode 186

Is It Possible to Visit the Mont Saint Michel as a Day Trip from Paris?


The question of today is how to visit the Mont Saint Michel by train from Paris? Lots of people want to know about this because if visiting the Mont Saint Michel is on your bucket list, it’s a priority for you!

The whole idea of this episode is how to visit the Mont Saint Michel from Paris on your own, so I won’t go into booking a tour, but there are lots of companies that offer such day-trips between Paris and the Mont Saint Michel.

The Mont Saint Michel isn’t that far from Paris, but it’s far enough that doing it as a day trip with a rental car can be tricky. We explore that option and I bring up all the things a visitor may not consider that are important.

What other options do you have? Are there good train options? Yes, indeed! That’s my favorite option. But there are good trains and bad trains. I tell you about both so you don’t waste your time.

Overall, getting to the Mont Saint Michel from Paris isn’t so hard to do, but you definitely need to plan this out so it is a long wonderful day instead of a long painful day!

 

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view of the Mont saint michel from a distance; is it possible to visit the mont saint michel as a day trip from paris

What You Will Learn About in this Episode

 

This is Join Us in France Episode 186. Bonjour, I’m Annie and Join Us in France is the podcast where we talk about France, its many quirks, its history, its language, and of course, destinations in France you want to learn about because, hopefully, you’ll be visiting soon and you need all the best tips from a local!

In today’s episode, I answer this question: is it possible to visit the mont saint michel as a day trip from paris, on your own, without joining a tour? Lots of people wonder about this, but is it possible or even advisable? Let’s talk about it in today’s episode.

Join Us in France is brought to you by Patreon supporters and Addicted to France, the small group tour company for people who want to enjoy France to the fullest with zero stress. Check out our upcoming tours on AddictedtoFrance.com

Today’s episode is going to be short, I think, because I am simply answering one question: is it possible to visit the mont saint michel as a day trip from Paris, on your own, without joining a tour? Well, of course, we’ll also talk about how to go about that, and we’ll end on Is it a good idea?

Lots of people wonder about this because onces you’re in Paris, you’re thinking the Mont Saint Michel isn’t that far, is it? And visiting the Mont Saint Michel is a lot of people’s bucket list, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this plan.

Can I Visit the Mont Saint Michel as a Day Trip from Paris in a Car Rental?

There are 360 kilometers (that’s 224 miles) between Paris and the Mont Saint Michel by car, average drive time is around 4 hours each way. This is the kind of distance where it’s far enough that doing it as a day trip with a car may be a bit much.

I don’t know about you, but when I drive for 4 hours and then walk around a Medieval City for 6 hours (which is about how long it’ll take you to do the Mont Saint Michel Justice), I wouldn’t be up to driving back for 4 hours again. But some people wouldn’t mind doing that, so of course it’s an option.

Renting a Car for One Day in Paris

Car rental agencies are not open around the clock in France, not even at major train stations in Paris. So, you’re on the clock, you want to drive off early to avoid commuter traffic jams. You’d like to drive off at 6 AM. You have two choices:

1. You could go get your car at the Charles de Gaulle Airport (that’s open longer hours although not around the clock). But that means leave your hotel in central Paris at 5 AM.

2. Or you could pickup your car the night before and park it in Paris overnight. This can be done, but it introduces complications and extra expense.

If you’re going to go the early morning route, you really need to leave Paris by 6 AM because that puts you at the Mont Saint Michel by 10 AM, visit for 6 hours, and drive off again t 4 PM to drop off your car at 8 PM at CDG and get to your hotel by 9 PM. Long day, but I suppose doable.

This also means that you’re going to be at the Mont Saint Michel exactly at the least desirable time because that’s also when everybody else is there!

If you want better timing for your visit, this is what I believe: pickup your car at noon, get to the Mont by 4 PM (that’s when the masses of visitors start leaving), go directly to the top and the Abbey so you can see it before they close (check on opening times, they change throughout the year.)

Stay as late as the last shuttle back to your car, because you’ll have to park a few miles from the Mont Saint Michel as we’ve mentioned in episode 175 which was an episode on the history of the Mont Saint Michel and episode 176 a trip report on the Mont. The shuttles end service at midnight. Then drive back to Paris in the night. This is a pretty good plan if you are a nocturnal bird or if your jet-lag works in that direction, and that will depend on where you are coming from, so I won’t even try to guess!

We’ve mentioned driving in France on many episodes, but the two main ones you should listen to if you are considering doing this are Episode 16, titled Driving in France, and Episode 138 Tips for Driving in France.

So, these are your driving options. Honestly, if I were driving, I’d either do the late departure from Paris or book at hotel near the Mont. For a hotel for the one night I recommend the Mercure Mont Saint Michel because it’s well situated and not that expensive. It’s near the Mont but not on it.

How About Taking a Train to Visit the Mont Saint Michel as a Day Trip from Paris?

There is no train station at the Mont Saint Michel, so the train cannot take you all the way there. But, since the Mont Saint Michel is such a popular place for visitors, there are really good options on getting there by train. Why isn’t there a train station right at the Mont Saint Michel? Because there are 33 full-time inhabitants there right now, so setting up a train station isn’t high on the list of priorities!

On the other hand, there are so many visitors that there is a regional bus line that takes you the rest of the way between when you get off the train and straight to the Mont. This is not one of those silly buses that stops constantly, it’s a direct bus. So, total between Paris Gare Montparnasse and the Mont Saint Michel is 90 minutes on the bullet train and 45 minutes on the bus. So, this combo fast train + bus will take you 2 hours and 15 minutes. That’s almost half the time it would take driving! That sounds good to me!

train in france; is it possible to visit the mont saint michel as a day trip from paris
Photo Annie Sargent

Let’s Talk About Some Bad Train Options That You Need To Know About Before I get to the Good Stuff

The closest train station to the Mont Saint Michel is called Pontorson–Mont Saint Michel, but that’s 10 kilometers from the Mont, and it’s not the most efficient way to go. Should you book your train ticket to Pontorson–Mont Saint Michel, you’d have to change trains in Rennes, get on another train to Pontorson–Mont Saint Michel, then get on a bus that will drive you 10 kilometers to the Mont (there are 4 of those a day, timing may be an issue), and then take the free shuttle. That’s too convoluted, you can do simpler than that!

The other bad train option would be to get on a slow train, and by slow train I mean any train that is not a TGV. Slower trains are a little cheaper than the TGV train, but they take a lot longer, they are as slow as a car. So, don’t take the slow train!

Some people can’t resist cramming in more than they really should do in a day and so they have the not so brilliant idea to take the train to Saint Malo or Bayeux, and then take a bus to the Mont Saint Michel. That’s a bad idea because there aren’t that many buses between the two and the schedules will not work out well. You can do better than that!

Kim Henry, on Episode 106 told us that she took the train to Bayeux, and then joined a tour to Mont Saint Michel, and if the schedule works out, why not? But that seems waaayyy too much for me. I’m French, I believe in taking things slow if at all possible.

The Right Way to Do Your Day Trip Between Paris and the Mont Saint Michel by Train

The right way to do this is to take the TGV train and get on a bus line that’s dedicated to taking you the rest of the way to the Mont Saint Michel. This bus is timed to allow TGV passengers to get off the train and get on the bus just outside of the train station. And if the train is delayed, the bus will wait for the TGV to arrive. And if the TGV is delayed so much that the bus can’t wait that long (because they are also taking people back from the Mont Saint Michel back to the train), they’ll add an extra bus to serve the passengers who are arriving late. So it’s not just any bus service, it’s made to serve visitors who choose to take the TGV then the bus to the Mont Saint Michel. Their website is in English and they explain really well how to find the train too. Please check their site because this is all true as of February 2018 as I record this, and things can change!

I mentioned the TGV train, but maybe some of you aren’t familiar with that acronym. TGV stands for Train à Grand Vitesse. It’s the French bullet train. Between Paris and Brittany it can go at a maximum speed of 320 kilometers per hour (that’s 200 miles per hour). So yeah, it’s a fun ride! And you’ll only spend 90 minutes on the train. And there is WiFi on the train, but it’s made for people who have a data plan, either from a French carrier or from a company that has agreements from a French carrier. If you bought a data plan for you trip, it will work on the train. If you didn’t buy a data plan, bring a book!

You will have to choose between two destinations for your TGV ride: either one will work, they both depart from Gare Montparnasse in Paris, but at different times. Your TGV destination should be either Rennes or Dol-de-Bretagne. If you go to Rennes, you leave Paris at 7:40 and arrive at the Mont at 10:55. If you choose to go through Dol-de-Bretagne, you’ll leave at 8:14 and arrive at the Mont by 11:20. Either way, there will be a special bus waiting for you right outside of the train station. There are also other departure times, but those two seem the most sensible to me.

You have to buy your TGV ticket in advance, the earlier you buy it, the less you will pay. Pay attention to this: last minute TGV tickets are expensive! For the bus ticket, that’s cheap and the price stays the same: you pay 12€ to the driver, bring exact change or as close to exact change as you can.

Bottom line: this TGV train + dedicated bus service is a great way to go. I don’t know if it’s the best way for YOU, but it seems to me totally doable and enjoyable.

Least Busy Times at the Mont Saint Michel

I won’t lie to you: because the Mont Saint Michel is such a touristy place, it’s best to be there outside of the hours of 11 AM until 5 PM, but depending on the time of year you go, this may not be such a big deal. When I look at the site that predicts waiting times for major museums and attractions in France, it’s called jaimeattendre and you’ll find a link to it on joinusinfrance.com/links, they say that July isn’t as busy as August, other than July 14th week-end, and that the last week of July is relatively calm. Last week of August is bad, the week of the Marathon is bad (around May 13th), 3 day week-ends are bad, spectacular tide days are bad. September is relatively low attendance and the weather tends to be pretty good. This is Normandy, no promises, but those are the trends.

I didn’t talk about companies that will drive you there on a bus from Paris, but there are many of them. Use your google fingers to find them!
***

Thank you Barbara Livieri, Shelah Miner, Anne St George, Cas McIntyre, and Sarah Root for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week and thank you to all the other patrons who support the show month after month, it’s really gratifying to have new people find so much value in the show that they want to give back. To support the show on Patreon, go to PATREON.COM/JOINUS and thank you!

Short show update: I am so excited to announce that the Amazon Echo Skill dedicated to Join Us in France is going to be available soon. It’s not ready yet, but things have made great progress. This will make Join Us in France one of the earliest podcasts to get its own skill, which is a big deal because I know those Echos are really popular. Nobody I know has one in France, we’re probably 5 years behind the trend as alway.

For a personal update, well, it’s been cold in Toulouse and all over France. I was hoping for signs of spring, but nope. The daffodils got fooled and bloomed early and last night they got frost bite because it froze hard. It snowed in Corsica and in Provence and pretty much all over France today. So, for those of you coming soon, please check the weather forecast and remember this is France, not southern California, it gets cold and wet!

And, I am getting new glasses. Why am I mentioning that at all? Well, because since getting lasik surgery in 2003 I haven’t needed glasses. At that was so nice! But it’s back to the point where the myopia is back, not too bad, but I can tell, especially when driving somewhere new where I actually need to look at the road signs! I’ve needed glasses for up-close for a while now, but I’ve been in denial about that too. Ah well, at least my vision is easily corrected with glasses.

And that brings me to another thing that’s been on my mind: should I get a new dog or not? My old lady Luna dog died a few weeks ago, and I am faced with a choice. Get my own dog or take care of guide dog puppies?

It’s really hard to do both because when you have a guide dog puppy, you’re supposed to take them lots of places. The guide dog in training goes to all the stores with me and takes special trips on the bus and on the metro, goes to the movie’s and concerts and everything. My own dog doesn’t get to do those things. And dogs have a keen sense of fairness and unfairness.

My Luna was already 11 when I started volunteering with guide dogs, so as long as she got her long walk every day and plenty of attention, she was OK. But I don’t want to do that to a young dog because they won’t understand. So for me it’s either go with my own dog or volunteer with guide dogs.

On the other hand, when you raise a guide dog puppy, you have ZERO say as to what happens with that dog. So long as things go well, it’s fine. But what if there are problems and you completely disagree with what the dog school intends to do with the dog? It’s their dog, their decision. That’s hard to take. I’ve seen some examples of that lately, and it’s not good

So, I don’t know what I’ll do. I am leaning just taking my own dog because that’s a lot less work than a guide dog puppy, and it’s not like I am not too busy as it is. But that will feel a tad selfish. At the same time, I’m hardly the only person that volunteers at the Toulouse Guide Dog school! So I don’t know. The breeder I want to buy from won’t have puppies for several months, so in the meantime I’ll help out at the guide dog school and see how that goes.

All right, that’s going to do it for today’s show. Elyse and I are supposed to be recording an episode in a couple of days that will be a rundown of Paris Museums and what you can expect to see there, the big ones, the minor ones. So I think that’ll what you’ll get to hear about next week.

Thank you for listening and welcome to all the new listeners who found the show recently, it’s good to see new people! The best way to connect with me is via email annie@joinusinfrance.com or if you have a question you’d like answered on the show, leave a message on 1-801-806-1015. Au revoir!

view of the month saint michel; is it possible to visit the mont saint michel as a day trip from paris

Mont Saint Michel History, Episode 175

Mont Saint Michel History


If you’re wondering some of the things you might need to know about Mont Saint Michel history before visiting Normandy, you’ve come to the right place!

Licensed Tour Guide Elyse shares with us some of the highlights that will help it all make sense. And they will also help you look around with a different eye. Did you know that the Monastery on top of Mont Saint Michel was a prison for 200 years? Did you know that the Mont wasn’t always an island? It’s all in today’s episode!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Other Episodes About Mont Saint-Michel

Red half-timbered house on the Mont Saint-Michel; Mont Saint Michel History
Photo Phil Roberson

Episode Highlights with time stamps

[02:00] Phil Roberson visited the Mont Saint Michel in September 2017. He took the train between Paris and Rennes and then rented a car to get to the Mont Saint Michel.

The Mont Saint-Michel Gest 2.5 Million Visitors Per Year

[02:45] Elyse will be answering the question “Why go to the Mont Saint Michel?” One reason is that it is the 3rd most visited cultural site in France after the Eiffel Tower and Versailles. It is extremely popular. The first tourists started going there in the 19th century. It became a historical monument in 1874.

Where Is the Mont Saint-Michel?

[04:00] It is in the southern part of Normandy and right at the border between Normandy and Brittany. There has been a historical debate as to which region it belongs to. It’s about 1.5 hours from Bayeux.

The Mont Saint Michel Was Not Always an Island

[05:45] The top of the rock is 92 meters high. We think there used to be a pagan site on the Mont. They used holes in the rock to place religious artifacts. It used to be called Mont Tombe which means elevated mound (and not “grave” as one might think).

High Places Used as Religious Sanctuaries

[08:00] We know from several places in France that high places were often used as pre-Christians religious sanctuaries. When Normandy became Christianized they also setup the area as a religious sacred site. It is not a burial site because it is solid granite, but they placed objects there.

Hermits Lived on Mont Saint Michel Long Before the Monastery

[0940] Places like that were also used by hermits as a refuge from the world. One of these hermits created a shrine to Saint Etienne (Saint Stephen) half-way up the rock. And another one of these hermit shrines was placed at the base of the rock. The area was surrounded by forest at the time. By the 6th Century, Christianity and the Francs had taken over and that’s when it first became a monastery. Vikings were next, arriving from the Seine River.

Norsemen Became Normans

[14:10] In the 700s King Rollon promised to protect the rock which allowed the monks to start building the precursor to the Monastery. Saint Michael is a popular Saint at the time and Charlemagne wants to dedicate the rock to him. That’s when it becomes called Mont Saint-Michel. The early name was “Mont Saint-Michel in the Peril of the Sea”.

Legend About When Mont Saint Michel Became an Island in the Year 709

[18:30] Elyse tells the story of the natural disaster that turned Mont Saint Michel into an island supposedly over-night, but it most likely happened over a long time. It’s more likely that the land eroded slowly. They built the first church on the Mont late 8th century under the Bishop of Avranches. That is why Normandy has more of a claim on the Mont Saint-Michel than Brittany does.

The Mont Saint Michel as a Major Center of Learning

[22:15] The Monks at Mont Saint-Michel became the center of intellectual development in Western Europe and are the first to translate Aristotle from Greek into Latin. Between the 11th and 14th Century Mont Saint Michel is a major center of learning.

The Benedictines Take Over

[24:00] The Brothers fell away from austere religious life and Benedictines came to take over. On the site where the Monastery stands today there used to be a pre-Romanesque church. What we see today is late Romanesque / early Gothic.

Because of the work of the Benedictines, the Mont became an important pilgrimage site. When you visit you’ll see two Saint Michel statues, one from late 1500s and the other from the end of the 19th century when they did some renovations.

The Abbey Is Turned into a Prison

[27:40] By the 17th century, most of the brothers have left because of wars between England and France as well as the wars of religion. The brothers leave starting in the 16th century and eventually it gets turned into a prison. It was a Royal Prison.

Before the French Revolution it had turned into a prison for men, women and even children. They were turned into indentured servants. This lasted over 200 years. They called it “Bastille de la mer” because it was such a horrible prison.

[30:00] In 1810 there were over 1000 prisoners there. Victor Hugo wrote about it. Over time there were 14,000 prisoners at this jail.  The jail closed in 1863.

The Mont Saint Michel Becomes a Historical Monument in 1874

An elderly Violet-le-Duc starts the renovation of the Mont Saint Michel with the help of two students. What we see today is neo Romanesque because of the way Violet-le-Duc renovated things. He liked pointy roofs.

Modern Tourism Started at the Mont Saint Michel in 1880

[31:40] Mont Saint Michel was famous because of the pilgrimage and the outrage of the prison and 100,000 come see it that year. It was a great way to rebuild a fresh image for this ancient site. Pilgrims start coming back too at that time also. The big boom of tourism in the area started after WWII.

What Attracts the Pilgrims to the Mont Saint Michel

[32:30] What do pilgrims go to see there?  They have a relic of a rock that contains a footprint from Saint Michael and and some cloth. It’s hard to believe The Monks there now are from the Order of Jerusalem. But the biggest draw for people to this day is that it’s so spectacular. It is beautiful both from a distance and from inside.

To Be Continued in Episode 176 Next Week

[37:00] To prevent this episode from going too long, you’ll get the rest of our conversation next week!

Annie’s Personal Update

[38:15] Thank You Patreon supporters!

Questions for this week: what can I do to make the show better in 2018? What do you think about the video teasers?

French Tip of the Week

[44:50] Est-ce qu’il va pleuvoir demain ?

Support the show on Patreon.


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Mont Saint Michel history, medieval door to enter the city
Photo Phil Roberson

Conclusion

Now that you know a few important things about Mont Saint Michel history you’ll probably get a lot more out of the time you spend there.  But no matter how much you learn about history, the real reason why people go is that it’s so beautiful both up-close and at a distance. It’s a photographer’s paradise!

Claude Monet and a Visit to Giverny, Episode 167

Claude Monet and a Visit to Giverny


Giverny and Claude Monet, photo of Monet and his long white beard

In today’s episode we take you into the beautiful world of Claude Monet and Giverny. You’ll need to put some effort into getting to Giverny from Paris, but it’s so worth it! And, as we explain in today’s episode, you have several options to get there and all are pretty simple. Giverny is a place of contemplation and that will blow you mind away with an array of colors and shapes that contributed so much to Monet’s art.

Recommendation

You can join us for a tour with Annie and Elyse and Addicted to France. If you can’t, please get your tickets in advance on-line so you can enjoy the day without the line! Whatever you do, do not miss the entrance for those who can skip the line, as we discuss in the episode, it’s too easily done. (See photo at the end of this article.)

Places Mentioned in this Episode

Giverny, Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, Gare Saint-Lazare , Orangerie Museum in Paris, Marmottan Museum in Paris, Vernon-Giverny Train Station

Episode Highlights with Time-Stamps

Giverny Tour with Addicted to France

[02:18] Next time Elyse and Annie will offer a tour of Giverny is going to be on May 26, 2018, you can read about it on Addicted to France and we’re only opening it to the first 6 people who book.

Claude Monet, Prolific and Long-Lived

[03:10] Claude Monet was both a prolific and long-lived painter. He didn’t paint the waterlilies exclusively, but he painted them a lot over his many years!

Giverny Is in Normandy

[04:12] Monet was born in 1840 and he bought the property that became known as Giverny at age 43. Giverny is technically in Normandy.

How Long Does it Take to Go to Giverny from Paris?

[04:56] By car, it takes an hour to an hour and a half from the center of Paris depending on traffi. By train you get on at Gare Saint Lazare to Vernon-Giverny and then you take a shuttle bus that runs every half hour. Or you could take a little tourist train between the Vernon-Giverny train station and Monet’s house. Some websites suggest you could walk it, and probably you could, but why? It’s neither short or pretty. When you take the train, you go along the Seine, which is pretty.

Why Monet Settled at Giverny

[08:33] Monet wanted to get out of the city, he was at an age where he was getting to be well-known, but he wasn’t super famous yet. He wanted to create a space that he designed (with a gardener) so that anywhere he looked he would have something to paint. Everything is organized by color combination.

Flowers Year-Round, Almost

[12:00] They have 12 or more gardeners these days, there are a LOT of flowers and unless you go in the dead of the winter, you will get a feast for the eyes. The part with the lily pads and the willows and the pond are amazing. It’s hard to get a photo of the little green bridge without anybody on it because there are always so many people. Don’t go on a Saturday or Sunday if you can. Monday has fewer visitors typically. Overcast days are even better for artists and photographers, so don’t worry too much about not having perfect weather on the day you visit.

Where to Go if You Bought Your Tickets Ahead of Time

[15:10] When you get to the parking area you have a 10 minute walk through the village (with nice houses, restaurants, etc.) there is a ticket office on your right. There is a sign off to the right for people who have already bought their tickets on-line, you need to turn to the right before you get to the ticket office.

Giverny Is a Full Day Trip from Paris

[17:50] You can spend a whole leisurely day at Giverny. If you rush, you could do it in 2 hours, 4 hours seems like an ideal amount of time to spend there. If you’re into botany, you’ll need more time because you’ll want to pay closer attention to specific plants.

Giverny Was “Une Ferme de Paysan”

[20:00] When Monet rented Giverny, it was 20 hectares and it was a “ferme de paysan” so a farm. Monet quickly started to transform the farm into a flower garden. Giverny became his life’s work, he worked there along with the gardners his whole life.

What You Will Inside the House at Giverny

[21:19] When you go into the house, at first you see the studio room that he used when he was older because he could see into the garden. You see the original furniture in the house, and on the walls you see reproductions of Monet’s work by amateur painters. They don’t look near as good as the original and anybody can tell! Then you see the bedroom, the blue and white kitchen and the very yellow dining room.

Monet Lived a Charmed Life

[23:34] Monet lived a charmed life other than a couple of tragedies (the untimely death of his first wife and the death of one of his children). When he wasn’t painting he entertained his friends. He was a well-centered person. He was very close to all the impressionist painters, close to Alfred SisleyCamille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot who he took under his wing. He was also very close to French Prime Minister Georges Clémenceau.

Giverny as a Place of Pilgrimage

[25:09] Giverny has now become a place of pilgrimage. In part because Monet’s art is so well represented all over the world, but also because he personifies that time period. His legacy has been preserved in part thanks to a lot of American money.

Claude Monet and Georges Clémenceau

[26:29] Claude Monet had the privilege of being best friends with Georges Clémenceau (Président du Conseil) and that’s how he was given the space at the Orangerie to do the lily pads. That’s also how he got a State Funeral. Sadly, Money died before the Orangerie opened with the lily pads. In many ways Monet was an “official” French artist.

Claude Monet, the Conventional Artist

[28:33] Claude Monet was also a conventional Frenchman. He was grounded, not a thrill seeker. He had his wife and his kids and his work and that fulfilled him. Walking through the gardens and sitting on a bench near the ponds at Giverny can be a meditative experience. It became important for other artists to come visit him and he made people come to him at Giverny.

Also Consider Visiting the Marmottan

[31:00] The Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris has a lot of wonderful pieces by Monet, and also well-worth a visit. But Giverny continues to be the place of pilgrimage where people flock to in order to get a feel for his work and legacy.

Should You Stop at the Musée des Impressionismes at Giverny?

[32:00] The Musée des impressionismes in Giverny is located near the gardens is now open and features impressionist and post-impressionist artists. The space itself is lovely, not very big, it is dedicated to other artists who worked at the same time as Monet or were influenced by him. It will take an hour or so to visit and is recommended if you have the time.

How to Schedule Your Day at Giverny

[33:50] Elyse and her sisters took the 8:30 AM train out of Gare Saint-Lazare and took the 5:30 PM train back to Paris. This means they got to Giverny by 10 AM which is about when it opens. There are nice places where you can get some breakfast and lunch as you walk to the entrance.

The Gift Shop at Giverny

[35:40] The gift show at Giverny is pretty big, they have a little of everything, but also garden books and seeds. It’s a great place to bring little souvenirs.

Giverny as a Photographer’s Paradise

[38:00] Giverny is not a place that needs a lot of talking or explaining. It is a place of contemplation. If you want more details on the plants there are books and their website is also very good at giving the names of the plants. It’s a photographer’s paradise and a place that appeals to the senses.

Addicted to France Tour to Giverny

[39:38] The Addicted to France May Tour is going to be happening May 27th thru June 3rd. Before the tour there are two add-ons you can purchase:

  • On May 25th we’ll go to Versailles and will visit the King’s Private Apartments. Then Elyse will guide through the rest of the Château.
  • On May 26th we’ll be going to Giverny.
  • May 27th thru June 3rd is going to be the full Paris Tour that we’ve talked about on the show before.
  • June 4th thru June 7th we’ll be going to Normandy, including the commemoration of D-Day, Mont Saint-Michel and Bayeux

The Extra this Week

[45:54] The Extra this week is the Circular Paris Metro Map

French Tip of the Week

[47:00] French Tip of the Week: “Quel temps de merde !”

Conclusion

Giverny is conducive to reflection and introspection even when it is filled with visitors. We recommend you take your time and make a it a day. You don’t need to be a botanist or a photographer to enjoy it, but if you are, you will totally fall in love with the gorgeous colors and beautiful setting.

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Giverny and Claude Monet where to go once your have your skip the line tickets

 

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