I know that I have not posted for a few days and I suppose that you think that I am off on my travels again. Sorry you are wrong! I have been making the most of the mild weather, that we have been having, to get on with the Autumn jobs in the garden. By the time that I came in, late yesterday afternoon, our outside lights were on. We are making progress with our garden but we have along way to go before we reach the holy grail of a garden that we visited whilst in France earlier this month. It was a garden that I had never expected to see. It was cloudy most of the drive from Trouville to Giverny but as we approached Giverny the clouds disappeared and the sun shone out of a clear blue sky.
Monet's garden at Giverny is stunning, but at two weeks before it was due to close for the end of the season, it was past its' best. The garden has been restored to its' original planting scheme, using the notebooks of Monet's gardeners and the gardens do look like a Monet painting.
All the plants were big and tall. Far bigger than we manage to grow in the UK. In Monet's day the house garden was separated from the Water Lily Pond by a railway line and a path. Today an underground passage links the garden to the Water Lily Pond with its Japanese Bridge. Autumn is not the season for wisteria and water lilies but the pond and the bridge are just like the painting - perfect.
Giverny is a hamlet. There is more to it than I expected and I suppose that we should not be surprised that the whole area has been commercialised. We only had time to look at the garden. So the church, the museum, the art gallery, the restaurant and the hotel were all wasted on us with our whistle stop tour.
The previous day after walking around Trouville then Deauville in the morning we drove to the picturesque old harbour town of Honfleur in the afternoon. Here we bought a bottle of Calvados - a liqueur made from locally grown apples and wrote postcards while having a coffee at one of the harbour side cafes.
The following morning, on our way to the ferry, we managed to squeeze in a visit to the Bayeux tapestry. Bayeaux is a very old town with a lot of history to it, but we only had time to see the tapestry. Cameras are not allowed in the tapestry visitor centre. The tapestry which is 70metres long and 50 cm wide is stored behind glass in a darkened room with the tapestry illuminated for viewing.
It is not actually a tapestry - it is brown, green, khaki and black wool stitched on linen and is composed of 50 scenes depicting the story of the Norman invasion of England in 1066. It is thought to have been stitched by English nuns from 1070 to 1080. Entry to see the tapestry included a personal audio commentary in a variety of languages from a small hand held machine similar to a mobile phone. It was a very impressive experience.
Then in the afternoon we made our way to the ferry terminal, at Caen, making sure that we had time to stop off at the wine warehouse, so that we could stock up on our favourite French wines.