If you haven’t read “Up the River Seine onto the River Oise” (just posted) then you might want to return to it to get the full story related to Stewart’s experience at Giverny, below.
We’d long been looking forward to visiting the home of famous Impressionist Claude Monet in the town of Giverny, to visit the wonderful garden and lily ponds he’d t captured so wonderfully in the series of paintings at the Orangerie in Paris.
I’m sorry to have to report it was one of the few very disappointing excursions we have done over here.
But what’s important in the telling of this, is that the town and the house could easily be made accessible to all.
Go there today and you will find steps outside just about very shop and restaurant as well as the area outside the tourist office. I couldn’t even get in to the bookings office to buy our tickets. Lesley had to go in and arrange for a guide to escort us across the busy road as the tunnel everyone else used was not built with wheelchair in mind.
Once we got in yes, the ponds were superb as were the flower beds in front of the artist’s house. But nothing has been done to make it possible for people like me to enter his house – even to the ground floor.
All that’s needed is a standard platform lift just like the one we used when we went for lunch in the little hotel, Le Jardin des Plumes, on the outskirts of town.
It appeared at the Monet house no doors or walls would need to be altered. So if Le Jardin des Plumes could do it, surely the Monet Foundation which gets hundreds if not thousands of visitors each day during the season, each paying €9.00 can. The attitudes of the person at the Tourist Office said it all.
“I’m not a magician” she haughtily and unsympathetically replied when I complained.
Go to the bottom of the class I say.