Super Important Rules You Should Know About Dogs In Switzerland – By Foreign Correspondent Luna!
I want to thank Luna Griffis for signing up as a Montecristo Travels Foreign Correspondent! We are SO excited to have her on board. This is the first (of we hope many) of her special reports for this blog and we could not be happier. Luna walks the talk and speaks from first paw experience. She is already a fantastic addition to the team!
We are certain that her thoroughly researched reviews and unique perspective, will quickly become a favourite with our Readers. Welcome Luna!
Hi there, Montecristo fans!
My name is Luna and I, too, am a small world-traveling pooch. Also, I have a huge secret crush on Monte (though I guess the dog’s out of the bag now if I’m telling all you on his blog). Which is why when he asked me to write a little something about my time in Switzerland, I got all twitterpated and excited and, of course, had to say yes.
Super Important Rules You Should Know About Dogs In Switzerland
Sooo, the first thing you should know about Switzerland is that it’s really, really organized and efficient, which my mom Gigi, loves. You pretty much always know exactly what is and isn’t allowed, and when it comes to traveling with a dog, that can be really handy.
Here are some of the Swiss rules that apply to me (and you if you have four legs):
- Dogs can ride on Swiss trains for free as long as we ride inside a bag (and they’re pretty relaxed about what kind of bag; in Italy, which has the same rule mostly, we saw a cat riding in a book bag once with just her fluffy head sticking out).
- If dogs want to have more room to stretch on the trains, we can ride with just a leash and no bag for ½ fare. The Swiss ticket machines even have a ticket + dog option on them, so you don’t have to go to the main ticket counter.
- On the small regional trains in the Bernese Oberland, small dogs can ride in their owners’ laps for free without a bag. You should check with the ticket people, but no one even blinked at me in mom’s lap as long as we stayed in the valley area. (Mom says this is really good because we were mostly riding the trains down after hiking and she didn’t want to hike with my travel bag.)
- Scoop your poop, even on the trails (the Swiss are really nice and they provide poop bags all along the main trails, so in case you forget your own bags, they are available).
- Do not approach or bark at the cows. This goes for humans, too. People think cows are nice, but they are really scary. Especially if they are momma cows and think that maybe you’re going to nip at their baby (not that I ever would).
- Do not bark at the llamas. This isn’t a Swiss rule, really, but I did it once and mom yelled at me, so I think it’s probably a life rule or something.
- Dogs are allowed in restaurants and cafes most of the time, but the rule is you have to look at the door and see if there is a no-dogs sign. They are unusual, but sometimes we see them, especially at Asian restaurants.
Okay, so you probably are bored with the rules (I think they’re boring, but mom makes me put them in. Silly mom). So now comes the fun part where I get to tell you all the things I did in Switzerland!
Places We Stayed & Things We Did In the Lauterbrunnen Valley
We were there in September and October 2013 and September 2012 too. Mom went once before I was born, but I’m sure it wasn’t as fun without me. I mean, she doesn’t even notice cool stuff like goat poop unless I show her.
This fall, mostly we did a lot of hiking in the Alps, in a place mom calls the Bernese Oberland. We lived in a town called Lauterbrunnen, which is in a valley known for its 72 waterfalls and some guy who wrote Lord of the Rings who got all inspired by it. We stayed in three different places, including a tent at Camping Jungfrau Holiday Park, which was really fun, especially when it rained inside the tent that one night and I got to lick up the puddles.
(Mom says that leaky tents are not fun, but she doesn’t think sniffing trees is fun either, so I’m not sure she can be trusted.)
We also lived in a place called Hotel Horner, which is a bunch of rooms with shared bathrooms above a pub. In the summer, we heard it gets loud in some rooms because of the pub below, but in late September and early October on the top floor we didn’t have any trouble with noise.
I like the Hotel Horner because they serve some of the best people food in the valley and sometimes I try to convince people to give me some (mom is tricksy and usually catches them before they succeed, though) and also because they don’t mind having dogs in the pub and sometimes other dogs came and play with me there.
The year before, we lived at the Schutzen Hotel, which is nicer, but also more expensive and less social, mom says.
My other favorite place in town is called Airtime Café. Mom goes there to use the internet sometimes; I go there to be adored by the tourists.
But Back To Hiking…
Switzerland has the best hikes for dogs. I already told you that they have poop bags for free on the main trails, but they also have lots of trash cans for the used poop bags and they have water fountains everywhere. Most of the fountains are a single stream of water going into a trough that is full of water. So if it’s hot in the summer, mom says you can help your pooch cool off by scooping water out of the trough.
(I’m not sure I can sanction this, as I hate being wet…but she’s right that it does make you less hot after you’ve been hiking in the sun a lot.)
Of course, the troughs are really good for staying hydrated while you’re hiking—for both dogs and humans.
The other reason I love Switzerland’s hiking trails is because mom usually lets me go off leash unless we are really close to a town. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a leash sign and we always see the Swiss dogs unleashed, so I think this is okay with the Swiss Rules Makers.
Mom says I have to also tell you that the trails are very well marked, but not too crowded and there are trails for easy hikes (like the one along the valley floor, which passes by dog-friendly Trummelbach Falls) and trails for really hard hikes (like the one from Lauterbrunnen to Mannlichen, which goes to the tippy top of a mountain where there is sometimes snow there even if it’s still fall).
The Swiss Alps are my favoritest place in the world. I love hiking or even just sitting on the Horner Pub patio with all the extreme sports boys, who are all big softies that secretly love tiny dogs and try to feed me French fries under the table until mom yells at them.
If you have the chance to take your human to Switzerland, I highly recommend it. Especially if you like walking a lot. Or hanging out in pubs with other dogs.
Thanks again to Monte for asking me to write something about the Swiss Alps. Phew, this was a long post. I think I’ll go push all the blankets off mom’s bed and take a nap in them.
About Our Foreign Correspondent: Luna Griffis is a full-time world-traveling pooch with a special love for big adventures (of course, when you’re 14 pounds, everything is kind of a big adventure). In 2012, Luna and her mom (Gigi Griffis) sold their stuff and took off around the world. You can follow their adventures at gigigriffis.com.