First Impressions of Normandy

We arrived in Giverny to see Monet’s jardins and maison. Although skies were cloudy, the great volume of flowers was bright and colorful. I loved how Monet arranged the flowers based on how he wanted to paint them, not by how exotic or impressive they were. The water lillies presented a beautiful canvas, but I found that what I saw in real life did not resemble his Nymphéas (Water Lillies). I think Monet painted the shapes he saw, but he was more imaginative with the layering and depth of color.

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The next day we drove to Omaha Beach and then Arromanches. We visited the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach, and in person they’re a different experience than what you would see in museums. There are endless fields of white cross grave markers in the cemetery. At Omaha Beach, you stand exactly where the ships landed 71 years ago.

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Besides visiting Monet’s gardens and memorials, we’ve gotten a lot of sleep on the bus rides. There’s something about that bus that makes us all drowsy… I’m looking forward to sleeping on the long bus ride tomorrow to Sarlat!

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