Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pardone'moi,Ou'est la Banque? ~ Giverny Part III

While moving about from town to town, one must be aware of one's financial situation and when an ATM comes into view, use it, or one might find themselves in a pickle.
When arriving in Giverny we knew that our B&B requested that we pay in Euros. We thought that there would be no problem in finding an ATM in the town, or a Bank. We were wrong!
After a leisurely afternoon in the gardens and wistfully gazing at the beauty of the reflection in the pond, we set out to find a store to buy some food for a picnic,and an ATM to get Euros to pay our bill. We walked in search of the central village, but as we walked we realised that we had walked through the central of the village and now were on the edge of the village. We had found no grocery,bank,ATM,nor bakery!!When we asked, we were directed to the next town down the road.

On and On and On we walked down the country road in search of a village where we could shop and get money. We passed several fields of cattle and cars sped past us as we walked along the road to what we thought would be the answer to our situation. It was now about 3:15 and we were getting hungry.

We passed a Mc Donald's billboard as we walked and thought that that was promising, even though we do not eat fast food. Finally at about an hour into the walk, we entered a residential area with homes and as we continued on, large gray stone buildings. It seemed that it was a farming community and these large stone buildings were barns and storehouses for grain. The streets were deserted, no one to be seen or a sound to be heard, when out of nowhere came a young boy on a bicycle. We greeted him and asked him politely, "Ou'est la Banque?"

He looked at us and couldn't believe that we were looking for a bank here in this village. Then we asked where the Mc Donald's was, he looked at us as if we were crazy, and told us that there was no Mc Donald's there either! We were baffled!
We didn't know what to think or which way to go! We then came across another bicyclist and I stopped him and asked if it were true that there was no store or bank or ATM in this village. He confirmed this, but pointed out a small bakery up the lane. We headed up towards the bakery to find that they were closed until 4:00!
I was exasperated by this point! There was nowhere to sit and rest except on the street and we had to wait now another half hour for it to open!
Steve appeased me by suggesting that we wander around and take pictures while waiting.

We busied ourselves. I took pictures and as I wandered I came across a large wooden gate that keep the private residences separated from the road. This gate was open. As I looked into the courtyard I saw a woman near the entrance to her home working on her gardening.I quickly snapped some pictures. When I caught up with Steve I told him about the great shot I got. As we approached the opened gate the woman was at the gate and we greeted her. She invited us into her courtyard, and as we spoke, she then invited us into her home. She told us that she and her husband were artists. She a painter, he a sculptor. She then invited us to view their art in their studio.
We walked up some stairs and as we approached the top, she removed a corrugated plastic barrier that kept the heat in the bottom part of their lovely French home.
Their art was beautiful and whimsical.

I was completely blown away that this woman invited us into her home and entertained us. It had lifted my spirits and changed my outlook completely at that very moment.
What a wonderful experience! This all happened in the town of Limetz.

Oh, yeh, and when we left the Madame's home, the bakery was opened and we bought lots of goodies and it was a great evening as we walked back on down the road, back to Monet's village and land of beauty, we ate a picnic dinner in our room making our map our tablecloth!

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