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  • Writer's picturemichaelapollard

Adventures of Winston - France

Hi Everyone! My name is Winston and I have comendered my mummy’s blog to give you the low down on our travels around Europe from a pup's point of view, with a little help from mummy of course.

Mummy told me that I need to start at the very beginning so here we go…. Back in 2018, I flew into this world the eldest of 7 pug puppies….. Oh mummy is telling me she didn't mean that far back!

I'll start again. A whole week ago mummy packed our suitcases, filled up the car and we headed off down to a lovely town called Folkestone. When we arrived we checked into a friendly little guest house, mummy was a bit worried as I had never stayed in a hotel before. I like to bark a lot at home, you know to protect our house and make sure my humans are always safe so she was worried i’d bark at people in the other rooms but I was a star (or so she keeps telling me) I didn't bark once and mummy loved all of our cuddles through the night, I had to stay close to make sure she was safe!

We went for a lovely morning walk along the promenade and mummy was telling me we were going to go under the water to another country, how exciting! I jumped in the car and we headed off on our new adventure. We checked in at Le Shuttle, where I had my paperwork and microchip checked, we played in the doggie play pen for a bit then back in the car. Once we drove into this big metal thingy mummy turned off the engine and climbed in the back with me, I was a little confused to start with but we put the laptop on and snuggled up for 35 mins, we were moving without mummy driving, how crazy / scary is that, luckily cuddles always make everything seem less scary!

Once mummy was back in the driver's seat we drove onto new lands, a place mummy keeps telling me is France! We had a quick pit stop then headed towards Reims. It was just under a 3hr drive but the excitement completely wore me out so I just slept the whole way without needing any stops. We pulled up at a traditional french building and headed into our apartment which we were to call home for the next 2 nights. The apartment was lovely with a little balcony we could people watch from but the stairs were nasty and my little legs couldn't handle them. Mum to the rescue, she carried me up and down them stairs for the next 2 days. Her arms are getting strong, I'm not a light pug apparently.

On the first evening we went for a walk around the city, we saw a beautiful big building (Mum says it was the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Reims, it was huge!) A lot of the streets were cobbled, my little feet were playing stepping stones trying not to fall in the gaps. We stopped for dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Cathedral, people kept coming up to me wanting to give me a pat on the head, I didn't really understand what they were talking about, mummy says they speaking French here, I had never heard that sound before but everyone was so friendly I just sat and looked pretty, getting lots of strokes and smiles!

After a lovely sleep me and mummy headed out early to see the sights before it got too warm, we were walking along admiring the view then all of a sudden *ouchie ouchie* I jumped into the air in panic, mummy jumped round and saw my foot stuck upwards, she quickly rubbed it and a wasp fell to the ground, i had been stung!! I couldn't put my foot back on the floor, mummy checked it and sprayed some doggie first aid magic spray on it (always carry a first aid kit pups) but I still couldn't walk, in no time mummy whisked me up, ran me back to the car and we rushed to the emergency vets. I was seen by a lovely nurse and vet who explained the sting was no longer in my foot (apparently I had extremely clean feet… I am a princess) and they were not worried about anything so we headed back to our apartment for a nap. We were woken a few hours later by Uncle Fartface calling to check on mummy (I miss my uncle and auntie), whilst on the phone she noticed I was walking round like nothing had happened, naps help everything! We said our bye-byes and headed back into the city. We walked and walked and walked. We saw the Cathedral again. This cathedral is from the 13th Century. It's a gothic cathedral with twin towers and stained glass windows, incredible each time we saw it. We went through a little garden with a wooden footbridge up in the sky, passed through the Place Royale, a landmark city square with a monument of Louis XV in the middle and went to a park called Square de la Patte d’Oie where lots of families were playing, walking around and sitting chatting to each other. What started as a scary day turned out so much fun!

Once our time in Reims was over, we were moving onto Strasbourg. As this was another long drive mummy planned to stop in Metz for a look around to stretch our legs. We had a nice walk around, we saw the Metz Cathedral (I think mum likes these buildings) this one was from the 5th Century! We looked at the German’s Gate, a medieval bridge castle from the 13th century (everything is so old!) saw the New Temple, which is actually a church and walked round the Jardin De L’esplanade de Metz all before walking along the river. Wow it was a busy day and made me nice and sleepy for our drive onto Strasbourg!

Strasbourg! What a beautiful place! We spent hours walking around the cobblestone streets of La Petite France, along the canal and inbetween the half-timbered homes, everything was so colourful and smelt lovely, there were flowers everywhere! We visited the historical, cultural landmarks, Palais Rohan, Place Kleber and of course Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg. We went to the top of Barrage Vauban, a 17th century bridge where we could overlook Ponts Couverts de Strasbourg and even rode on a mini train around the German imperial district of Neustadt, where we saw one of the main squares of the city, Place de la République. I was a bit scared on the train, it made a lot of noise when driving over the bumpy roads but it was still fun and mummy kept hold of me tight so I didn't fall off. We stayed in a lovely hotel in the centre of the city which was handy so we could keep popping back for naps to rest my little legs.

Next stop, Colmar. On our way here we stopped off at Riquewihr and Eguisheim. These were like places from a fairy tale! More cobbled streets (the French seem to like these) lined with little colourful buildings. Mummy kept saying we had stepped into Beauty and the Beast, nanny said I was beauty but I didn't tell mummy what that made her! Both medieval, Riquewihr is classed as a town and Eguisheim a village and known as one of the most beautiful villages in France. You don't need a lot of time at these places, we spent a couple of hours at each but most definitely worth stopping off for a sneaky peak!

Our last stop in France, Colmar! Another old town with cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early renaissance buildings. We walked from our apartment into a little place called La Petite Venise, a beautiful area with a canal running through where we boarded a wooden boat and rode through the colourful buildings, ducking under bridges and watching the fish swim alongside us, this was my first time on a boat and the captain let me sit up front! We walked round the Fishmonger District and sat and had breakfast in a cafe. We have found during our whole trip to France I have been allowed in each restaurant we have tried, we have always sat outside as the weather has been nice and I like to watch the world go by. I haven't been allowed in food shops but I have been in a few bakeries whilst mum picked up pain au chocolat’s (she likes them) and other non food shops, like the Christmas shop, that smelt like Christmas… in August!! To end the day we visited Parc du Champ de Mars, a tree filled park with fountains and statues, it was so much fun!

Tomorrow mum says we are off to another country, Switzerland! And she says she has a big surprise for me when we get there, I'm so excited to see what it is! Watch out for my next blog to see our adventures through another breathtaking country and to find out what the surprise was.

1 Comment

Sep 01, 2023

Well done Winston very well written, I'm glad your paw is ok now and you are both having a fab time xxx

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