Van Gogh Tour
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Video Cabin View
This morning we disembarked for an excursion through Van Gogh country. The Seine, the Epte and the Oise - three French Rivers referred to as the Rivers of Light are in this area. With the Impressionists’ love of painting water, it is no wonder that many came to this area to paint.
We met our local guide who led us through the charming village, Auvers-sur-Oise. It’s the village where Van Gogh went to recover after being released from an asylum. He spent the last days of his life, painting prolifically. We saw the boarding house where he had lived, the field where he committed suicide and his grave. Our guide was very knowledgeable about Van Gogh and art. She interpreted some of his paintings for including what his mood may have been at the time and told wonderful stories of incidents in his life.
Returning to Conflans known as the City of Barges (They have a hospital barge, a theater barge, a church barge, etc.), we stopped by a boat church. We knew it was a shelter for refugees but expected to see Middle Eastern people. Practically all were Asian, many from Tibet. They had walked 1,000 miles from Tibetan Himalayas to India and were transported to France. Things must be pretty terrible in Tibet to make that trek. The refugees receive food, clothing,are taught French, and assisted in finding jobs.
Back on board, the Bizet left for Rouen. That afternoon, after Isabelle’s lecture on Impressionism, we had a tour of the galley. Many passengers had remarked how tiny it was. We thought it was very well laid out, spotless, and very functional.
Before dinner, the Bizet stopped so that we could see La Roche Guyon, a 12th century palace that had been Rommel’s headquarters and fortress against the Allies in WWII. It was raining.
After dinner we listened to Mrs. Nelson, a salty French lady in her 90’s who had been a child in France during WWII. She married an American serviceman and moved to the U.S. She told wonderful stories of her childhood and her early life in the USA. She had driven herself to the ship and was looking forward on a shot of Jack Daniels when she got home.
What Vincent did.
What Vincent did.
French Cemetery: Vincent and his brother Theo rest here.