Friday, May 11, 2018

France – Day 9 – 4/6/2018 – Continued


After a nice drive through the countryside, our GPS led us to Giverny.

We followed the directions to Les Rouge Gorge. While we were planning the trip, a friend of Bob’s told him he and his wife had spent a night in Giverny. He suggested we plan on a couple of days. While there, they had stayed in this place.

I had contacted them and made reservations online. One option was the “cottage.” The website said it would sleep up to five. Since I was booking for two couples, it seemed like a good choice.

As we entered town, we decided to find a restaurant. I used Google Maps to locate the local restaurants. We found one just as we entered town. It was located in a lovely hotel, Le Jardin des Plumes. We decided to stop there for lunch.

We went in and were seated. Then we looked at the menu… The three-course lunch was 52. As I looked through the selections, I couldn’t find a thing I would eat. This was “inventive” and “creative” cuisine. The others agreed that the prices were more than we wanted to spend, and the menu was bizarre. We apologized to the hostess and told her we weren’t hungry enough for a large meal. We left.

We decided to check in and then find somewhere else to eat. We had the address for our B&B programmed into the GPS. We had the street name. We followed the directions but could not find the street itself. So, we turned around and retraced our route slowly. No sign of the street name. We drove around several blocks. Still, no sign of the street. Then we returned to the edge of town where we had arrived. As we crept along this time, we spotted the street name in small letters on a wall, but we couldn’t believe it was actually a road.

The van we rented had sensors all around. Larry started down the road. All the sensors beeped. The walls were only about six inches or less away from the car. We crept from the far end until we reached the grassy area you can see on the left. At the time, a small white van sat in the street against the near left-hand wall.

We got out and looked for the address: 6 rue aux Juifs. We saw 4, but not 6. As we were discussing what to do, a lady came out. I showed her the email with our reservation. She nodded and led us through a gate. (No number was in evidence.) She clearly spoke no English and understood little. Our combined knowledge of French was woefully lacking.

We discovered the cottage was a six-hundred-year-old building with two bedrooms, a bath, kitchen, and sitting room. The photos on the website must have been of the rooms in the main house because they looked pretty nice. The cottage, however, just looked shabby.

We’re quite fond of funky, old places. This should have been one of them. However, it desperately needed maintenance. The linens were worn. The dishes in the kitchen were odds and ends. If there had been five of us, we wouldn’t have had sufficient cups or glasses.

In a town famous for its illustrious artist, the paintings here were TERRIBLE. The one in our room was enough to give you nightmares. The four-by-six-foot canvas showed a scary-looking guy peeling potatoes with a food truck in the background. It hung above the head of the bed, so it reflected in the mirror at the foot of the bed. Imagine waking to the sight of this creepy image.

We got the key and then decided to walk to the museum and eat somewhere along the way.

But first, Larry had to back the van out of the street. Bob stood behind to give him directions. Once again, the beeps surrounded us as Larry carefully crept backwards. He finally cleared the street, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

The landlady pointed up the “main” street to show us how to reach the museum. She also indicated we could park the van on the street on the way toward the church.

We locked up and walked to the Impressionist Museum, where we bought our tickets. However, before looking at the artwork, we decided to eat in Le Brasserie Des Artists The place was nice, and the choices were far more appealing than the earlier restaurant. So were the prices.

The current show was about how the Japanese had influenced the French impressionists. It was an interesting show, but we had hoped to see more Monet paintings. However, we enjoyed the collection.

We had tickets for the Monet home and gardens for the next day, so we went back to our place to rest after the long drive.

In the early evening, we set out to get something for dinner. We decided to walk all the way to the end of town (not terribly far) to check to see what restaurants were available. Just beyond the Monet compound, we spotted a lovely hotel. The sign said it had a restaurant. The specialties were crepes and salads. What a great find.

La Mustardiere’s restaurant was charming with a terrific wait staff. We decided to try to buckwheat crepes. Bernie and I had the ones with cheese and an egg. Larry had a dessert crepe, and Bob had a different savory crepe.

The buckwheat crepes were a revelation. They were crispy and lacy—and delicious.
This was a perfect finish to the day.

Next time: Monet’s house and garden


  1. Oh, my the accommodations sound a bit on the dreadful side. Food sounds wonderful.

    1. We really like old, funky, quaint places This was a miss.

  2. Each day is another adventure. Some we don't need to re-live. I also went to Monet's garden and home the last time I was in France, and I'm looking forward to your next chapter.

    1. Unfortunately, it rained the day we were there. And the flowers weren't blooming.