Monthly Archives: May 2017
WALKS and SIGHTS in FRANCE
Visit: September 2013
Carcassonne, the city with two UNESCO World Heritage sites was the perfect spot for me and my humans during our journey from Spain to the Netherlands. First of all, try to avoid the middle of the day if you fancy visiting the Medieval City ‘La Cité’ and the Castle of Counts for example. During midday it can get extremely crowded, so if you can, come early in the morning or even better arrive late in the afternoon. We arrived by the end of the day, to enjoy ‘La Cité’ by night and we still had time to visit the Castle early the next morning.
What to know about Carcassonne except from being a touristic hotspot? Well, it’s a city imbued with the spirit of the past, boasts 2500 years of history which is privileged to have two extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Canal du Midi and the Medieval City.
I (Tibor) loved strolling around at the Medieval City, which is situated on the right bank of the Aude and unlike any other fortified city in Europe on account of its size and its state of preservation. La Cité is still inhabited, has 52 towers and two concentric walls with a total length of 3 km. Open at night as well as during daytime, via the Porte Narbonnaise and the Porte d’Aude, a large part of the Medieval City can be visited.
It was magical. The smell is different than elsewhere, people seemed pleased to be there and it was actually easy to find a place to have dinner for my humans, with me taking a nap under the table. It wasn’t that there were “dogs allowed” signs, but asking friendly for permission, it was easy to be accepted.
Finding accommodation was another story, though. Or very expensive (OK, it was Friday, so maybe therefore quite over-priced) or dogs weren’t allowed. Finally we got an IBIS Budget hotel a bit outside of the city. Nothing to rave about, but good enough for a night. Private parking and a bit of green to do my thing though.
The next morning we visited the Castle of the Counts. Other interesting sights and parts of the Medieval city are the St. Nazaire Basilica, Porte Narbonnaise, Porte d’Aude overlooking the river of the same name and located close to the Castle of the Counts as well as the Grand Théâtre de la Cité.
I met quite some fellow dogs from everywhere around the world. A great trip, I tell you!
WALKS and SIGHTS in FRANCE
Visit: June 2016
Saintes is a historic town in the south west of France. Nowadays a town of art and history, the prestigious remains of the ancient capital, the jewels of Roman art, the elegance of the classic facades and contemporary audacity come together in simplicity and harmony. The atmosphere is serene and charming.
We visited Saintes on a one-night stop during our journey from Spain to the Netherlands. My humans chose this city because of its history and patrimony reminding us of Roman times. The river Charente, the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, reconstructed over the 12th century with its magnificent sculptured arching door at the entrance as well as other interesting sights.
We stayed in a nice Hotel de France near the train station only a short walk away from the city centre. The people at the Tourist office were very helpful and dogs were welcome too. We played a bit along the river with other dogs before exploring the town. Saintes is cosy and was absolutely worth a visit.
Tessa and I (Tibor) were didn’t have any troubles to accompany our humans in bars neither it was to find a restaurant.
WALKS and SIGHTS in SPAIN
Tourist office Duque de Medinaceli
Duque de Medinaceli 2; ES-28014 Madrid, Spain
Phone: (+34)902 100 007 / (+34)914294951
Visit: February 2017
Madrid (city) is not only the capital city of Spain, it’s also an amazing city to accompany your humans. Besides the usual highlights, squares (La Plaza Mayor) and other sights you’ll be happy to explore the parks and the more green side of this city.
As Madrid is a dynamic city I recommend your humans to check the website of the tourist office to make sure they’ve got the latest updates about dog friendly parks, restaurants, accommodations, the use of public transport and go so on. Among others, there’s also a guidebook about the best dog friendly places to visit published by SrPerro.
Below a list with the official tourist offices of Madrid city:
Madrid Barajas Airport– Arrivals T1 Tel.: (+34)913058656
– Arrivals T4 (Two offices) Hall 10- Tel. (+34)913338052 Sala 11- Tel.: (+34)913338247
Puerta de Atocha Train StationPza. Emperador Carlos V, s/n – AVE Hall. 28012 Madrid. Tel.: (+34) 91 528 46 30
Chamartín Train StationC/ Agustín de Foxá, s/n – Central Hall, gate 16. 28036 Madrid Tel.: (+34)91 315 99 76
Duque de MedinaceliDuque de Medinaceli 2.28014 Madrid. Tel.: (+34)902 100 007 / (+34)914294951
IFEMA (central corridor). Avda. del Partenón, s/n. 28042 Madrid Tel.: (+34) 91 721 05 99/ (+34) 91 721 06 04
Tourist Office Alcalá 31C/ Alcalá, 31.28014 Madrid Tel.: (+34) 91 276 71 87
One of my favourite areas in Madrid are ‘Madrid Río’ an enormous area with all kinds of entertainment for the elderly, families with kids but also for us dogs. Along the river, about 12 km or so, you’ll stroll along playgrounds, monuments, parks etc. You’ve got access to ‘la Casa del Campo’ (check out the off-the leash timetable and areas online) as well and in no time you enter in different parts of the city. My daughter Tessa and I (Tibor) had a ball together with Murphy who was our personal guide dog!
We also enjoyed the ‘Monte del Pardo’. This is a huge area where we walked off-leash almost all the time. To make sure you’re not bothering anyone check out the rules. The day we went for a walk we saw quite some cyclist and family with children. I was lucky as some of them wanted to play with me, so they were throwing me some sticks for a while. Tessa was still too shy, but did get her amount of attention anyway.
About the city itself. You’ve got to be on the leash at all times. This means in all common public and private areas. There are quite some parks and garden where we’re aloud to be off-the leash but make sure you’ve checked out the schedule. Only a few parks are completely prohibited for dogs.
Madrid offers plenty of dog friendly restaurants and bars, so your humans won’t have any trouble to discover and taste all the delicious Spanish delights. Tapas, pinchos, set-menus, whatever they’re up too. Also for us there’s a wide range of special dog’s treats bars. In 2017 the area of Malasaña was totally hot for dog lovers. But here again, check the website of the tourist office for the latest updates.
Shopping wasn’t a big problem either. There were several shops were they invited us to come in. Some of them even with an inviting welcome sign on their door. I definitely recommend you to visit Madrid!
** Thinks are getting more dog friendly in Madrid nowadays. Check the latest updates (access public transport, restaurants etc) online.