You also may read a French version of this blog post.

I’m here in Paris having started my fall semester in France! After an orientation course during our first week here (consisting of days that were very busy but also very fun and helpful), we had the opportunity to do “shopping” for our classes at the French universities for two weeks. So, since the school year has started a bit slowly for us, some other students and I decided to benefit from these first weeks and go on some excursions near Paris. At the top of our list was visiting Giverny to see Monet's house and gardens!

The adorable village of Giverny next to the Seine is quite picturesque.

So, some new friends and I woke up early one Saturday, and we took the train from Paris to a small town called Vernon, about 45 minutes northwest of Paris. Then we had a choice: take the bus or rent bikes to get to Giverny. Of course, we decided to take bikes there. And our wonderful adventure began…

We were ready to see the gardens!

We first went to Monet’s gardens. All of the flowers were in full bloom, and the gardens were even more incredible than I had imaged. Seeing the waterlilies was magnificent — that’s the least that I can say!

A first glimpse of the famous gardens.

We then went into Monet’s house. Visitors can enter all of the rooms, and the view from Monet’s bedroom window was breathtaking.

Monet's House
I was surprised that Monet’s house was so big!

After our visit, we were hungry, so we decided to have a picnic. We bought some baguettes and cheese from a bakery in the town. And with the fruits and nuts that we had brought with us, the picnic was perfect.

We’re happy that cheese and bread are in fact pretty inexpensive - and delicious - in France!

Opportunities like this wonderful excursion were a big part of my motivation to study abroad, and I am certainly happy that I am doing so! I’m excited to take the next day trip and to experience the French culture even more this semester in France.


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