Monday, July 20th ~ Uniworld River Cruise, Seine River, France
What a full, scenic, enjoyable, active, gluttonous, fantastic day! I can’t begin to tell you how much we are enjoying our Uniworld River Cruise. The service has been exemplary, the food wonderful, the excursions well-managed, and the ship itself spotless. The one and only downside, and I know this is a common problem on river cruises, is that the onboard internet is sometimes not as strong as I would like to see which makes writing my blog entries more challenging. Otherwise – we are off to a great start!
I will tell you more about the ship in a later post, but for now I will try to give a few highlights since we boarded the River Baroness yesterday in Paris.
Right off the bat we had a bon voyage party on the upper sun deck as we cruised under one of the many bridges on the Seine River. Our captain wanted us to get a better view of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty together. We had learned a couple of days ago that the two Statues (the one here in Paris, and the one in New York harbor) face each other.
We arrived in Vernon early this morning and took a short bus ride to the small town of Giverny where Claude Monet had his magnificent gardens and home. This is where many of his most famous paintings were done, including the water-lily paintings.
The gardens were much larger than I had realized. There are currently 12 full-time gardeners caring for the property. The variety of flowers was impressive. Monet leaned toward flowers in yellows and blue/purple shades.
He claimed to have two talents – painting and gardening. I would have to agree that he succeeded at both.
We also toured through his home. My favorite rooms were the bright yellow dining room and the kitchen.
After the tour we had time to walk the small town. We (of course) checked out the church at the end of town, and the cemetery right behind it where Monet is buried.
And a couple pictures to show you what a totally charming town Giverny is.
Back on board for lunch and our floating home moved on up the river while we ate a delicious meal. Arriving at 3:00 in our next port city, Les Andelys, we set off for a walking tour up the hill to the remains of Chateau Gaillard, the stronghold of Richard the Lionheart.
The hike up the hill was a little steep, but our guide kept a gentle pace as we listened to his detailed explanation of the history and lore of the castle.
The view from up on top was well worth the climb to get there.
And some random pictures of the castle remains:
We had only a few minutes at the end of our walking tour to explore the town of Les Andelys.
Our welcome Gala dinner was this evening and we are scheduled to arrive in Rouen around 10:00 pm. Tomorrow is another busy day, so I’m off to get some much needed sleep.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for comfortable walking shoes. I had to laugh when I witnessed a young lady who managed to walk all the way up to the top of the hill to see the Chateau in 4+ inch high heels. My feet hurt just looking at her…