My Photo
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dempsey is a Golden Retriever puppy who is in training to become a Helping Paws service dog for an individual with a physical disability. He lives with his parents Doreen and Paul, and Bailey the cat. None has ever trained a puppy before. These are their adventures. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the blog author. The contents of this blog have not been reviewed or approved by Helping Paws, Inc.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Impressionist Tour

Our first trip in our new car was the long-awaited “Impressionist tour” – code name for Giverny and Rouen. Afterwards, we planned to tackle the beaches of Normandie – code names Omaha, Gold and Juno – because we arrived last time after dark.

Giverny was once Claude Monet’s home, and it is now a major tourist destination. There were busloads of tourists, but the gardens still retain their charm. The area outside the house is lined with formal gardens and includes a spectacular display of tulips, hyacinths, lilacs, and pansies. There were blossoming apple trees trained to form a topiary-like fencing. The informal gardens around the pond were our favorites. This is where Monet painted his famous series of water lilies. A series of arches with clematis, wisteria and roses lined the path to the house. Although the tour directed guests to a room with reproductions of Monet’s paintings, we were surprised to find many pieces of original Japanese art. In fact, the only non-Japanese works of art in Monet’s house were his own paintings. I thought it was pretty interesting. You can see the influence of Japanese design in Edgar Degas’ work, but I never suspected Monet was also such a big fan.

After Giverny, we headed to Rouen to see the cathedral that Monet painted. We discovered that, like the clock towers in Bern, there are many cathedrals and cathedral-like buildings (i.e. churches and abbeys) in Rouen. We wandered around the timbered buildings in the old medieval center of Rouen, snapping pictures of every cathedral-like building we saw, until we finally found the cathedral. It doesn’t look the way Monet painted it, but I guess that’s why he was derisively called an impressionist.