Méricourt – Giverny (by car)
Plan A, B and C
We had visited Monet’s Garden briefly by car in 2010 – we could only stay a short while and only had time to walk through the gardens. After purchasing Catharina Elisabeth and considering where we might travel we became aware that is was possible to moor a boat at the nearby town of Vernon on the Seine which is just 5 km away from Monet’s Garden.
By 2017, we had accumulated advice that mooring at Vernon was problematic because of the large river cruisers who used the quay and that access to the small marina on the other side was would be difficult for Catharina because it is shallow.
Following advice from Bob Marsland, one of the experienced DBA members who, with his wife Bobbie, used to run cruises on their barge, La Chouette, for visitors to explore to Giverny – we decided instead to moor at the lock at Méricourt and travel by bike to Monet’s Garden.
Our third plan developed the evening after Gill and Graham arrived when we considered the logistics of the four of us cycling to Giverny given we had only two electric bikes, one person not a confident cyclist and some steep, narrow roads to negotiate. We phoned the taxi driver who had bought Gill and Graham from the train station and we negotiated what we thought was a very good deal of €100 (AUD$37.50 per person) return fare for all four of us together.
Judging by the trip we took, this was very much the correct call – it would have been a challenging ride even for those on electric bikes.
We spent the full day in Giverny, in the gardens, inside Monet’s house (which we had missed last time), in his gallery which is now a souvenir shop and then, after a very nice late lunch, also in a nearby gallery featuring art by a Japanese artist, Hiramatsu, who was influenced by Monet’s Garden. It’s a photographer’s feast and a fascinating exposition on the life, influences and art of Monet. An absolute highlight. There are far too many photos we like to put even a representative selection here but just a few to represent the day we had in the garden and surrounds.
After a truly memorable visit and having now crossed off one of the longest standing and highest priority items on our barging bucket list, we settled back to a relaxing evening on Catharina
and made plans for her voyage back up the Seine to Paris and beyond.