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Daytrip from Paris, to Giverny or Fontainebleau?

Daytrip from Paris, to Giverny or Fontainebleau?

May 1st, 2001, 08:33 AM
  #1  
lisa
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Daytrip from Paris, to Giverny or Fontainebleau?

I'll be in Paris at the end of May for 5 days & nights. I'm already planning on taking one daytrip to Chartres and am considering taking one other. I've already been to Versailles (twice) and to several chateaux in the Loire Valley. If you had to choose between a daytrip to Giverny or Fontainebleau (neither of which I've visited before), which would you choose and why? I'll be doing this on my own, taking the train, and am flexible on dates and times so that part is not a consideration. Also, I know that the Carte de Musee et Monuments covers Fontainebleau, but does anyone know if Monet's home and gardens at Giverny are also covered? Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have -- it's so much fun planning this trip, but hard to choose among so many wonderful sights!
 
May 1st, 2001, 09:41 AM
  #2  
Christina
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I would definitely go to Giverny because of my personal interests and tastes; I like Money (although not obsessed with him), but I am particularly interested in seeing restored homes of famous figures (writers, artists, musicians). Giverny is very different from large chateaux/palaces, also, so that would be another reason. I did like Fontainebleau very much, though, perhaps more than Versailles. There is a little Napoleon museum there, as I recall, but I don't remember much about it, if you were particularly interested in him I suppose that would be a reason to go there. Since you've been to Versailles twice, it sounds like you might have a particular leaning towards those things and Fontainebleau might be a better choice. Neither is a direct route (ie, you must use bus or something from train station), but Fontainebleau was an easier trip with all the connections/timing factors(Giverny's opening hours, train and buses do not have times coordinated very well). The Carte Musees does not cover Giverny, it does cover Chantilly Chateau, however, which would be another possibility for you.
 
May 1st, 2001, 09:52 AM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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Having seen both Giverny and Fontainebleau, I would opt for Fontainbleau. It has so much history associated with it that I found it fascinating.
Last year we took a commercial tour that went to Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau. I was dazzled by Vaux le Vicomte because it is such a well integrated combination of architecture, construction, decorating and landscaping. The three men responsible for the design and construction are the same three that were requested by Louis XIV to build Versailles. Vaux le Vicomte is a beautiful creation that has been reconstructed by wealth private businessmen. I think trying to see both in one day is a bit much, because after 5 hours or so I get saturated.
I know I am going to catch a little flack for this statement, but unless you are a dedicated Monet lover, I don't think visiting Giverny is a high priority. Beautiful garden are to be found elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are an art lover, and Monet has a special appeal to you, then that changes the equation totally.
 
May 1st, 2001, 10:13 AM
  #4  
x
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Fontainebleau is much more important and convenient to visit, but I prefer Giverny. But in my opinion the very best day trip from Paris is Chartres.
 
May 1st, 2001, 10:23 AM
  #5  
Diane
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We went to Giverny in May 1998 and found it fabulous. If you like beautiful gardens, this one is truly special. Especially after a visit to the Musee D'Orsay where you've seen some of Monet's work showing the iris blooming away madly. They will be blooming for you too. I also found his home very interesting. A country house you can actually imagine a family living in. You can't take photos indoors, but notice how the furniture (bookcases, desks, etc.) along the walls are painted to match the walls. I'm guessing the focus in this house was clearly on the people in it, on his work in the studio studio, and the views of an ever-changing garden through the windows. I also enjoyed the town of Vernon.
 
May 1st, 2001, 10:25 AM
  #6  
Diane
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Almost forgot -- Giverny has a lovely website, but the pictures do not do justice to the gardens in May. I think it is the ideal time to visit!
 
May 1st, 2001, 10:32 AM
  #7  
kam
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I would choose Giverny. Either is wonderful, but since you've been to Versailles twice and Fontainebleau is similar (someone will probably violently object to that statement!), I would opt for Monet's home. I was last there in pouring rain but still it was lovely. You might try to find the website to see what will be blooming at the time of your visit. We were there in early October and the gardens were not as spectacular as they can be earlier in the summer.
 
May 2nd, 2001, 08:03 AM
  #8  
lisa
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Thanks for all the advice -- I'm still undecided & increasingly want to do both, but appreciate everyone's comments!
 

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