|Subject: Re: London and Giverny|
I had a wonderful time in Monet's Garden back in May 2001. Many things may have changed since then, but on my visit, I took the train to Vernon and then the bus.
I would highly recommend researching the train departure times from Paris before you go using a web site such as Deutsche Bahn http://bahn.hafas.de/bin/query.exe/en
Doing that I found that there was a big break between some departure times, so it was worth planning to get up early to make the earliest train to Vernon. When I bought my ticket at the train office they also gave me a photocopied piece of paper with times for the bus that would take me from Vernon to near Giverny/Monet's home. From memory, Paris to Vernon by train was less than 1 hour. Transport options on web page http://giverny.org/transpor/index.htm
I find this web site to be absolutely wonderful for researching your visit http://giverny.org/monet/welcome.htm
If your friend might not like too much walking I would suggest you hire a taxi at the train station as the walk from the bus drop-off spot to Monet's home may be too tiring for them - depends on the heat too? Arriving as early as I did meant that there was only a short queue to buy my ticket entry into Monet's garden. That being said, I went straight through and under to the lily and bridge garden area and there was already a number of people in there.
I next decided to join the queue to enter Monet's home. The queue to walk through Monet's house itself was lengthy but moved fairly well.
I next went to the shop and it was very crowded.
Something else I found out the hard way - I couldn't buy my single entry ticket using VISA - they had a minimum spend (two entry tickets would probably have been OK) so was fortunate to have the cash on me. I also found a similar thing in the shop - there was a minimum purchase to accept VISA for purchases.
There was a little row of shops outside Monet's home/garden, next to the car park, that sold lunches (cafe style, some stands) and little shops. There were very few park benches.
I have heard many people recommend to walk back up the road to the American Museum where you can have a lovely lunch.
I would probably recommend a taxi back to the train station again, however arranging the pick-up may be awkward. If you do take lunch at the American Museum however you are very close to the bus pickup so it may be OK afterall.
I didn't spend all day there. After arriving nice and early to beat the crowds, spending lovely quiet times strolling the gardens, then a considerable time browsing in the shop, then a short lunch, I caught the first bus after lunch back to the train station and returned to Paris probably early to mid afternoon. Then I took the metro to go and visit the Musee Marmottan to view Monet's wonderful works! (It is a walk again from the nearest metro stop to the museum so it depends on how much walking your friend is comfortable with as to whether you might take a taxi then as well...)
You'll have a wonderful time! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia