The final two days on our Paris and Normandy river cruise features two towns just outside Paris's western suburbs.
Catch up with our previous posts from out trip:
Monet was inspired by reflections
This morning was a relaxing one since we were serenely sailing on the Seine. By noon we were docked at Vernon. Right after lunch we took a quick hike around the small town seeing a 12th century castle and 13th century cathedral and town hall. Next we visited Monet's Gardens in nearby Giverny. One of us took an easy bicycle ride, the other took the bus.
This is all about Claude Monet's house and is a recreation of Monet's plantings during his lifetime. It's a very charming little village and easy to see why the artists of the day were so attractive to it. We had previously been here in April; the October blooms made the place look totally different. You could spend hours here admiring the colors, shapes and views. Pictured below are some examples of the flowers in full bloom.
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Conflans - the Paris suburbs
Famous portrait of Napoleon
Foyer at Malmaison
The next day, our last full day of the cruise, we docked at small town of Conflans (the confluence of the Sienne and Oise rivers). It's a typical Paris suburb but a convenient launching place for today's excursions. We choose to go to Malmaison - which was Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte's house for many years. We toured the house - really a mansion - and quickly realized the power and wealth Napoleon had already accumulated early in his career. Josephine purchased the house in 1797 and proceeded to do an extensive interior decorating project. The house has been completely restored and is a true window into the time period between the French Revolution and permanent establishment of the French Republic.
Here's a nice resource with additional information about Malmaison.
Napoleon's library at Malmison
End of the line
Conflans was the last day of our trip. As big as the city of Paris is, this part of the river is still quiet and feels like the countryside. At this point we're actually quite close to Versailles in the Paris suburbs. The evening is spent getting contact information from those we've met and saying our good-byes. The end of a cruise is sad in one respect but fun as we reflect back on the week's activities. We've been through much of Normandy from the big city to the beaches.
Our next blog post wraps up our journey on AmaWaterways Paris and Normandy river cruise.