We continued this morning to our intended destination of Vernonnet, where all boats seem obliged to make a stop, in order to visit the nearby Monet garden at Giverny. The Base Nautique des Tourelles is a rowing, canoeing and sailing club, but they welcome visitors at their single pontoon, although the approach is encumbered by an underwater hazard and the depth is limited to about 1.5m. They made up for it with a shore party to take the lines, brand new water and electricity points (unmetered!), and a personal welcome from the officer on duty who arrived bearing les informations touristiques and the best English he could muster.

  • The old mill house was one of five which spanned the bridge at Vernon
  • Chateaux des Tourelles was part of the city defences
  • The artists' studio at the Hotel Baudy
  • ..the one that didn't get away!

He explained that they were hosting a rowing competition the next day and that we could stay where we were but they would need to lay out the race lanes which would involve penning us in with a complex network of lines and marker buoys. We were happy to settle down for the rest of the weekend, although we somewhat obscured the view of their event. Being Saturday night we took ourselves out to join the locals dining at the Paris Plage across the river in Vernon itself, a popular restaurant but with very little connection with the beach.

The next day we made the compulsory pilgrimage to Giverny, although as the queue for Monet's garden was even longer than we remembered it we opted for a visit instead to the American Art Museum. Giverny was a popular summer haunt for impressionist painters from the 1880s to the beginning of the first world war, and Daniel Terra established the museum in 1970 to bring together the work of the mainly American artists who lived or visited there. A popular hang-out was the Hotel Baudy, originally a village grocer's which developed into the centre of the social scene by adding accommodation, catering, entertainment and artists requisites to their range of services.

After the excitement of the rowing competition had died down, there was another outing for the fishing rod and although only a smaller specimen could be captured on film, apparently I 'should have seen the one that got away'!

Dutch Waterways

Inland Waterways of the Netherlands

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Journals of David A Broad

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