normandy | giverny gardens & rouen

By August 19, 2013 , ,

Good morning!

I woke up this morning to this gorgeous view outside my window.

Miles and miles of grassy fields and fresh air. The peace and quiet here is amazing, it feels entirely different from Paris just two hours away and life is just so simple here. I never thought I would enjoy living in a place so calm and secluded, but as I get older I find myself drawn towards simpler things and a quieter life. 

But some things never change, and our mornings pretty much felt like this.

We picked up a car from Paris early yesterday morning and made the drive over to BnB we are currently staying at. It's on the cutest little farm where they DIY everything from their own eggs, to corn and even a large apple cider manufacturing plant!

Because we drove by Monet's Giverny Gardens on our way here, we decided to stop and take a stretch. The weather was wonderful yesterday; the perfect balance between hot and cold, with a little breeze.

According to our tour guide, Monet lived here with his wife and eight children. He spent much of his time developing the gardens surrounding the house and drew inspiration for his paintings from here. 

His house alone is quite impressive. The few rooms that were opened were filled with Japanese paintings, which were apparently one of many things that Monet collected. His studio was large and airy with scattered lounge chairs surrounding desks, and from his bedroom window, all you can see are rows and rows of unending flowers.

The sheer amount of time and effort it must have taken to create this little escape is absolutely astounding. How amazing would it have been to actually live here and be able to wake up every morning to a sea of flowers and a lily pond right behind.

The bridge which Monet's "Water Lily Pond" is inspired from.

The timing of the weather was perfect as the moment we finished viewing the estate in it's entirety, the rain started to fall.

So we headed over to Rouen to visit the place where Joan of Arc was executed.

But instead, we stumbled into this overwhelmingly intricate Cathedral called Notre Dame de Rouen, which also reminds me somewhat of Chinese carved ivory.

Unfortunately, because it had been through a war, some of the finer details were rubbed or chipped off. They are currently doing restorations to both the exterior and interior of the Cathedral, and even brought the statues down for viewing before they are taken off to be repaired.

The architecture in all these gothic Cathedrals are amazing. I can't even wrap my head around how they designed and built these places.

It was time to check in at our BnB though and when we arrived we were greeted with a bottle of freshly made apple cider from their cellar! I personally don't particularly enjoy the taste of alcohol, so I ended up drinking more of the apple juice than I did of the cider, but both where good nonetheless. If Canadian border laws weren't so strict I might even try to sneak a few bottles back.

We stopped by a local restaurant for dinner and the streets were so quiet and empty. Apparently in France, most people take August off for vacation, so most places close and it almost becomes a ghost town.

 Pork Terrine

Grilled Honey Ham

Salmon with Paella

Beef Stew


We are staying in this place called Village Brocade and it reminds me alot of Kingston. Everything is so picturesque at night and because there's literally no one on the streets, and it almost feels  like you are living in a replica museum.

I couldn't have asked for a better way to end the night. Good food, great company and an absolutely memorable day.


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4 Lovely Replies

  1. woww I really wanna visit France now.. thanks for blogging about your trip!! everything looks so nice, and the food looks yummy!

  2. beautiful photos from your trip and Monet's garden!

  3. What you ate made me so hungry ! It looks delicious !

  4. This looks amazing!! I love your photos
    Meg xx