A visit to Normandy - Monet's Garden at Giverny, and Honfleur
A long weekend break, principally to take Linda's mother out for a holiday.
We travelled under the Channel in the shuttle, and stopped off at Cap Gris Nez near Calais to eat a picnic lunch beside the wartime German blockhouses on the cliff-top with an excellent view of Dover just across the Channel.
We stopped off in the very pretty village of Gerberoy, one the most unspoiled villages in the whole of France. It really looks like it hasn't changed in a hundred years.
Travelling on into Normandy, we stayed at the delightfully-situated Les Bords de Seine hotel in the village of La Roche Guyon. As the name suggests, this Inntravel weekend break hotel is right on the bank of the Seine, about 60km downstream from Paris. An excellent place to stay, very popular with the locals - perhaps too popular, since it becomes packed at mealtimes and even though the hotel is in a cul de sac leading down to the river, there is a constant passage of traffic as cars and motor bikes arrive and leave. Good food, pleasant enough rooms, courteous staff.
Monet's Garden at Giverny is only a few km away downstream. The garden is sensational, with thousands of colourful plants, and very popular in summer. You can look around Monet's house as well as stand on the famous Japanese bridge over the water-lilies. Well worth a visit. For more information about Monet, and to view and download his paintings (some featuring the water-lilies and the Japanese bridge in his garden) visit Artsy's Claude Monet pages.
We also drove down to historic Honfleur on the Bay of Normandy - a delightful scenic old fishing port, birthplace of the composer Erik Satie. Lots of cobbled streets and ancient buildings crowding round the inner harbour. Also very popular on a sunny summer's day like the one when we were there.