The bus ride was only 20 minutes or so and there we were, along with however many thousand other people. It was a long, long, hot walk from where you get off the bus to get to the house and gardens passing all sorts of places open for money - many restaurants, small hotels, artist's studios, etc. All in the old buildings that I guess made up the tiny village of Giverny, but all really spoiling any possibility of getting even a glimmer of what it would have been like years ago. And I just don't think whatever organization it is that runs the whole shebang is equipped to deal with such crowds and I don't think they should. A reservation system might help - when they reach a certain number of reservations for the day, that would be it. Michelin star restaurants do it - I've read you have to make reservations at some of them 3 - 6 months in advance.
There just was no way at all to enjoy the house which I especially wanted to see. It's a nice sized house but lots of small rooms and they were all jammed with people trying to get in, trying to get out, trying to figure out what they were looking at cause there was not a sign anywhere telling you anything. I had asked when I paid for my ticket if there was a guide in English and was told "no". Period. As I walked away from that very pleasant woman, there was another woman herding people out and I said to her "is there some guide to where the house is" and was told "no". So then I got a little snotty, I confess, and said "so I just wander around until I find it" and that time I got a "yes". Rude, rude, rude. As was anyone else I had any contact with out there. Except for other visitors who were all sort of in the same pickle so would tell you as best they could where they thought things might be. It was just really unpleasant. I got out of the house very quickly but first, of course, had to be told "no, no madam, no photos!" when I got ready to take a second one. There had been no signage for that either because I looked when I came in and also, of course, throughout the house people were taking pictures everywhere you looked.
The gardens certainly had lots of beautiful flowers and even though there were hundreds of people milling around in them also, it was a much bigger space to mill around in. I'm kind of wondering if people who stay in the hotels that are there are allowed to wander around after they close for the day (which they do at 6:00 p.m.). That's what they do at the Biltmore and that's why Chris loves staying in that hotel. And it IS really nice having the grounds all to yourself in the evening. But I will never go back to find out, so write it down! I really wished I had just stayed a while longer in Vernon cause there were several interesting shops that for some reason were all closed when I was doing my walking around there, and were open as I was walking back to the train station.
Anyway, bitter disappointment or not, I did take some pictures and it would be a beautiful place to spend time if it just wasn't completely jammed with people, had a courteous staff, and had a map with a guide (Vernon managed one!) to help you navigate. So, that was the bad, here's the pretty. I tried to have my photos include as few people as possible and did pretty well with that. And a lot of them are probably similar, but then Monet himself painted the pond for 30 years so probably a lot of his pictures were similar also. :)
My insanely successful trip back to the apartment helped my mood some although entering into the oven didn't do much for it. But now I'm sitting out in the park area typing this and will probably go get the baguette I bought along with a Boursin cheese I've really been enjoying, put my wine in a Coke can and come back out to eat and read for a bit. And I may just put my sweater on to do it! Oh, because that's another thing - last night when I finally got to bed, I began to think I was maybe getting a cold and sure enough, this morning I felt pretty awful. I never know anymore if what I get are colds or just allergies but they make my throat hurt and make me feel puny.