imageTuesday, Le Pecq ~ Our longship on the Seine River docked at Le Pecq last Sunday. On the hill above Le Pecq is the small village/town of St. Germain-en-Laye, with a chateau and park, and a grand view of a grape vineyard and central Paris beyond.image

The large chateau of Saint Germain-en-Laye on the right through the trees in the park. To the left of the chateau are mansions.

In this photo the large chateau of Saint Germain-en-Laye is on the right behind the trees in the park. To the left of the chateau are mansions.

A most beautiful feature of the park is the arrangement of white horse chestnut trees clipped into rectangular cubes.

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It happens that King Louis XIV and composer Claude Debussy both were born here.

The way to Louis XIV's humble birthplace. He was the Sun King who built Versailles.

The way to Louis XIV’s humble birthplace. He was the Sun King who built Versailles.

The house that French composer Claude Debussy was born in is now the tourist office in Saint Germain-en-Laye.

The house that French composer Claude Debussy was born in is now the tourist office in Saint Germain-en-Laye.

Homes on the hill of St. Germain-en-Laye are large, four- to five-million-dollar properties.

The Western suburbs of Paris, our guide explains, are for the wealthy. There is more space for larger families. The area is greener and wetter because of the river. This attractive scenery was part of the reason it is the birthplace of Impressionism, for these places are on the way to Normandy where artists painted portraits of the wealthy.
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We are on our way to Normandy now.

Tonight the Viking Rinda leaves Le Pecq for Vernon, from where we will walk to Giverny, the flower gardens and water garden of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. (Think water lilies, weeping willow trees, and green Japanese wooden bridge.)

(Copyright 2015 Rebekah Luke)

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