By Author Sheron Long
We love our trips to Provence because we go with a traveling dog, our 11-year-old Sheltie, Chula, whose name means “pretty” in Spanish. Last fall, we made our third trip together and savored the treasures produced in the fields of Provence.
The Rhone River, one of the major rivers in Europe, flows from Switzerland to Arles, where it breaks into two branches on its route to the Mediterranean Sea. One of the great ways to spend a day is to tour wineries in the Rhone River valley, and dogs are generally welcome.
Chula doesn’t do any tasting with us, but she does take in the experience. Our favorite tour is of the wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, about an hour to the north of our village, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Continue reading
Chula Wula D’Augue, Sheltie by birth and Frenchie by choice, is one of those happy traveling dogs. On three occasions, she has trotted the globe with us from California to Paris, an 11-hour trip followed by a 3-hour train ride. Still, she arrives at our home in Saint-Rémy-de Provence with a smile on her face and ready for adventure.
While the possibilities for adventure in Provence are endless, Chula, Bob, and I think some of the most special days are those we spend right in our village.
The Wednesday Market
In Provence, a bustling market happens in a different village each day of the week. Wednesday is Saint-Rémy’s turn, and Chula wouldn’t miss a visit even for a chance to chase a cat out of her backyard. Continue reading
On each trip to France, our family devotes the first few days to getting over jet lag, and that includes Chula, our 11-year-old Sheltie. Though scientists say that dogs are not as subject to jet lag as humans, we wonder why Chula, an experienced traveling dog, sleeps so much the first couple of days and why she is always there staring at us when we awake at 4 am!
At some point, thankfully, the whole family is rested and ready to venture beyond our village, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. That’s when we head to the Luberon Valley where some of the prettiest villages in Provence grace the hilltops.
First Stop: Quiet Saignon
Heading up the south side of the valley, we pass through Maubec, Ménerbes, La Coste, Bonnieux, and end up in Saignon, a secret jewel at the east end of the Luberon. Continue reading
Sheron Long has generously provided Animal Cafe readers with a four-part series on her gypsy-at-heart traveling dog Chula’s escapades and explorations during trips through France. Over the next few cold, wintry weeks we’ll get to enjoy a little of the sunny climes of the South of France, imagining the scent of lavender in the air!
Four Paws in Provence
Chula, a traveling dog and the author of Dog Trots Globe – To Paris & Provence, packed light with only a fur coat and four white socks (no shoes). Then she set off with Bob and me for a 2-month adventure through the south of France, in the area known as Provence. After a 3-hour trip on the bullet train, Chula settled into Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, her hometown.
The trips to France with Chula began three years ago when Bob and I were first able to spend two months at a time there. The thought of being without Chula, our 9-year-old Sheltie, for so long was unthinkable, and that’s when she made her first trip to France and turned right into a traveling dog.