Jardin du Luxembourg

France4Bryan and I had traveled to Europe twice before our trip to France, and both trips were during December.  I thoroughly enjoyed our December trips to Germany; however, it seemed to me that Paris would be perfect during spring, so we chose to visit France during May.

Prior to the trip, I researched parks and gardens in Paris and knew that I wanted to make time to visit Luxembourg Garden.  We went to Luxembourg Garden on our second day in Paris — the same day that we visited Musee d’Orsay and St. Chapelle.  Luxembourg Garden did not disappoint!  It was full of people, statues, flowers, and life!  We even got to watch a few rounds of pétanque (which I regret not taking any photos of), a game we read about before our trip.

Marie de’ Medici, a native of Florence and the wife of King Louis XIII, began creating Luxembourg Garden in 1612.  She wanted something to remind her of Florence.  Today the park is owned by the French Senate and occupies 60 acres.  It is home to 106 statues, of which I photographed a mere 17.  We spent a couple of hours at the park and didn’t even come close to seeing everything.

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Statue of Marie de’ Medici

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Les Jardins de Claude Monet

During May 2015 we took a trip to France.  After spending three full days in Paris, we rented a car to head out to Normandy and then on to the Loire valley.  We stopped at Claude Monet’s gardens in Giverny on our way from Paris to Bayeux.  I’m not sure if the gardens of today are still true to how Monet planned them, but they were lovely nonetheless.  I was particularly excited to get to see the ponds and water lilies and a slightly-modernized version of his Japanese bridge — both made famous by his impressionist paintings.  I was truly amazed at the huge variety of plants and colors that were present in Monet’s gardens.  I like to think that Monet put a lot of thought into designing the gardens and that maybe what is there today still looks like what he envisioned in his head…like a living work of art. We got a little bit turned around after we left the parking lot.  There weren’t really any signs indicating where the entrance to Monet’s Gardens was, so we walked the wrong direction for a bit.  We eventually gave up and turned around, and I took this photograph on our way to the entrance, not knowing that it was actually the back of Monet’s house.  I thought that the shutters, vines, and colors were charming.

Shutters on the back of Monet’s house

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