catch up here with part 1.
our 2nd day in france was probably my favorite. we were docked in conflans, a small town outside of paris.
sean and i woke up and went for a quick run before breakfast. run? yes a run. no, i don’t run at home. but i almost always run on vacation. weird, i know. but i finally think i figured out why: at home i have to make sure 3 little people are taken care of, fed, dressed, chores done, etc before i can leave. and on vacation, i get to run whenever i want to, without making sure someone can watch the kids. and the best part: i get to run with sean. i still hate the physical side of running, but i love spending time with sean and doing something he loves (any form of exercise), and running is also a great way to explore new areas.
while i was running up a hill, i was quickly heating up and struggled to take off my layers. sean thought it was hilarious to just take pictures rather than to help. me vs. the running shirt = i won!
as with all the towns we stayed in, we immediately found cathedrals and palaces. we get to see the town waking up, or sleeping in, as it seems most do in the suburbs of france.
after our always yummy breakfast, we took a short bus ride to auvers-sur-oise, the small town where van gogh lived his last few months and died. the tour was amazing! our guide was awesome and had great details i have never learned. and so many of van gogh’s famous paintings were painted in auvers-sur-oise. van gogh rented a room over this restaurant, which has remained the same.
i loved being able to stand in the exact location where he set his easel and see the same view he did, virtually unchanged. the town has set an ordinance to stay as it was in van gogh’s time and to not become touristy.
van gogh was supported most of his life financially by his brother, theodore. theodore died after vincent and was buried elsewhere. his wife found letters between the brothers and realized how dearly they loved each other, so she moved theodore’s body to be next to vincent’s. at one point someone tried to make the gravesite fancier, but it was quickly changed back to just ivy since van gogh lived a modest life.
some of the tombstones were amazing in the cemetery! we learned that in this cemetery, if the grave site isn’t maintained by a family member, after a certain amount of time the city will exhume the body and re-rent out the space for the next “tenant” – crazy!
according to our guide, van gogh couldn’t afford the expensive pigment for the bright yellow paint, which was made partially of cow urine. so he made his own with his own urine – gross! he said his yellows would stay vibrant years after he was gone.
this was just outside of the room that he rented.
after our tour we had a little bit of time to wander around the town and grab a crepe for the day!
once we got back to the boat we set out for our next stop, vernon. the areas surrounding the seine were so beautiful, full of history and amazing architecture. look at this huge estate with a castle above and fortresses built into the hillside! this was a common site on our route.
and so many cathedrals! i love the tiles roof on this one.
our boat had a great roof deck, and most days it was nice enough (still pretty cool) to sit on top and watch the areas we were passing through.
or to just stare at one of God’s most amazing creations ;)
how about this little villa to spend your summers at?
we passed a lot of our time playing cards. we’re both pretty competitive!
and naps happened almost daily! this day the temperature was so mild i was able to have our door open while we were cruising!
day 3, coming soon!