Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Europe

So our wonderful trip through the locks of Belgium and France came to an end and 2014 has come to an end. Very poignant is a quote from William Penn - "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
We wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2015.
Bring it on!


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Europe

No visit to Paris is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Taken from our ship as we sailed up the Seine.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Europe

Then it was off to Paris (the city of endless traffic). Here is a view of the Arc de Triomphe, the most monumental of all triumphal arches which was built between 1806 and 1836. Even though there were many modifications from the original plans, reflecting political changes and power struggles, the Arch still retains the essence of the original concept which was a powerful, unified ensemble. And oh, so much traffic!
 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

Europe

Monet's Garden.

The water garden - In 1893, ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighbouring his property on the other side of the railway. It was crossed by a small brook, the Ru, which is a diversion of the Epte, a tributary of the Seine River. With the support of the prefecture, Monet had the first small pond dug; even though his peasant neighbours were opposed. They were afraid that his strange plants would poison the water.

Later on the pond would be enlarged to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected avidly.

In this water garden you will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous nympheas which bloom all summer long. The pond and the surrounding vegetation form an enclosure separated from the surrounding countryside. Never before had a painter so shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. And so he created his works twice. Monet would find his inspiration in this water garden for more than twenty years. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant decorations of the Orangerie.

Always looking for mist and transparencies, Monet would dedicate himself less to flowers than to reflections in water, a kind of inverted world transfigured by the liquid element.

The Japanese bridge - Monet had it built by a local craftsman. By the time the garden was restored the bridge was too damaged to be saved. It had to be rebuilt by a firm from Vernon. It is made of beech wood. The wisterias have been planted by Monet.