Skye's European Road - Part 1.
Who would really take a Golden Retriever dog on a 6-week ROADTRIP around Europe?
The idea when announced to friends and family was very much down the lines of “ do you really think that’s a good idea?”.
Well 3 weeks on, Ruth my wife, Skye our 4-year-old dog, and I have finally arrived in Bad Hofgastein in the Austrian Alps.
Skye is now an experienced and international traveler proud that he’s now been to 5 countries (France, Germany, Austria, and ...er England & Wales).
It all began 3 weeks ago with Skye going through “Doggie check-in“ at Eurotunnel at Folkestone. With his dog passport (well Animal Health Certificate …a £264 expense!), Skye was certified to take his 1st real international trip!
Arriving in France, we had been led to believe that dogs are more welcome in both bars and restaurants than back in the UK. It’s true!
1st night in Arras, Skye, and his Hooman owners were shown to their table in the restaurant and immediately a bowl of water was brought for Skye. The French love dogs! Skye was particularly attentive at dinner when my steak arrived with the obligatory French fries and yes… I think Skye most probably consumed half of my steak… How you say no when he’s staring at you and I’m afraid dribbling in anticipation!
The following morning, we’re all off to Metz not too far away from the German border. Skye was happy to jump up into the boot of our SUV which had blankets and a selection of his favourite toys. What was now surprising us now was how Skye wasn’t settling down for his usual snooze (Skye sleeps and snores a lot!) but was sat up taking in the scenery as we passed Paris somewhere over to the right. Unlike the UK, the roads are relatively empty here: only slowing down for the toll gates.
Arriving mid-afternoon in Metz, we were looking forward to discovering this city. However little did we know that today of all days was a strike for all the public sector workers whose pensions date was being raised to 62 (it's 67 in the UK). So we spent the next 90 mins trying to avoid Police roadblocks and streets closed trying to find our hotel. Skye as ever was wonderful in the car despite the occasional bark at a protestor who came too close to the car. The hotel found time for Skye to jump out of the boot, find the nearest green area & do the obligatory wee!
The hotel bar/ lounge was heaving that night. Skye was receiving the now commonly heard “ Aaaaahs” from other guests: I think the French aren’t used to seeing dogs as big as Skye. Drinks were ordered for us, and the dog water bowl appears like magic...
Tomorrow the plan is to enter Germany.
I can’t wait to try out the auto Bahn then the following day we travel to Salzburg, which I’m sure will bring back all my childhood memories of “The Sound of music”. The adventure continues...
( BWS and Andrew Morgan are looking to publish a book “We’re NOT having a Dog!” which tells the hilarious journey of a family deciding to become dog owners for the 1st time. The final chapters will cover ROADTRIP 23 which Andrew, Ruth, and Skye are currently enjoying. BWS is now actively looking for a Publisher).