Saturday, September 17, 2011

Come into the garden, Claude

Every weekend this spring I would think to myself "I really should go to Giverny this weekend", but somehow I never got around to it. Today I rectified that omission, and was there bright and early at the Gare St Lazare, ready to take the train to Vernon, and the bus on to Giverny. It was a nice little excursion, but I must confess to having been a little underwhelmed by the experience.

Monet's house was by far the best part -- I loved the kitchen and dining area, as well as his studio, and really liked all the Japanese prints, scattered unexpectedly throughout the house. (Unfortunately, taking photos inside the house was verboten). The gardens, on the other hand, were definitely not at their best, and had a decidedly ratty feel to them. It didn't help that the weather was overcast the entire time.

As a result, I was in and out of there in under three hours, including lunch, which would have been mediocre, had it not been for the sublime mango and blackcurrant sorbet. I wanted the profiteroles, naturally, but didn't feel that my saunter through the gardens had been sufficiently strenuous to justify them.

Nonetheless, it was a pleasant excursion, and I can now cross Giverny off my list. Maybe next weekend I can go to Fontainebleau and reimagine the first scene of "Don Carlos", where Carlos and Elisabeth meet in the forest outside Fontainebleau and fall in love at first sight, giving rise to some of the most glorious love music in the entire operatic repertoire. (Have I mentioned that "Don Carlos" is my favorite opera?)

I have posted photos from today's outing over on Facebook, though they are no great shakes:

Giverny photos

1 comment:

  1. The plain people of Ireland: Here, what's all this then? Shure clearly none of what yer man has written above can be true. It must be the work of an IMPOSTHER!

    Whipping Cats Management: Whatever do you mean?

    ppoI: Well shure, 'tis well known that yer man, gaelstat, or whatever he calls himself these days, is an Irishman.

    WCM: True enough. And your point is?

    ppoI: Well, no self-respecting Irishman would be gallivanting off to Giverny today of all days. Not when Ireland were playing Australia in the rugby World Cup at 10:30 am Paris time.

    WCM: But gaelstat hates rugby, and all other "team sports" as well.

    Fade, to the sound of the collective simultaneous explosion of thousands of peasant brains .....