We will have to develop the report on the Normandy Beaches to do that day (June 8) justice. History, emotion, sunshine and fog at the coast made for an extraordinary day.
But, to bring you up-to-date on our trip…we are safely in Paris after a long bus experience from Rouen to Vernon and Vernon to Paris. The crescent moon is outside our window, wishing us a night of peaceful sleep.
The little town of Vernon was a real treat.
There’s not much more than a main square with the City Hall squared off against the old church.
The church is a beauty inside and out.
We had some free time there before the Monet Gardens tour and found a little high-class hotel with an open terrace…lunch with wine.
The Monet gardens were amazing and amazingly crowded…they had been closed by floods for almost a week, so there was this pent-up tourist demand, but the school kid’s outings had been backed up, too.
Our guide, Clarise, had a great sense of the history of Monet and his multi-wife/multi-generational story which enriched our visit. There are people working on the gardens everywhere to keep them as perfect as he did as he worked here many days – just gardening and painting.
One mention of our Cruise Director, Jean Loup, who has worked above and beyond his normal “call of duty” to make this trip work around the flooding issues they all faced. He and his staff did a great job…here he is, flanked on the left by on of our guides, Clarise, and by a bus driver – Alvaro – who are also magician’s at maneuvering these giant machines into the tightest places and around impossible corners.
Hat’s off to him…he is still here in the hotel tonight, worrying about people’s luggage getting to their rooms and arranging meals and tours for tomorrow’s last day – Friday.
We leave Saturday early to fly back to Philadelphia. One more day. And we will get the blog back to Normandy, too.