My dad came to visit. He traveled all the way to Europe and was bound and determined to see things. Unfortunately, dad’s knee is bone on bone. He can walk, but needs knee surgery soon and can’t spend much time on his feet or move too quickly. The only way to get him around museums was renting a folding wheelchair (chaise roulette). Museums often have ones you can borrow for free. It was lightweight and made it possible for him to see a lot. The highlight of being in a wheelchair was a front row seat to the Mona Lisa at Paris’Louvre Museum.
Unfortunately, the Louvre museum was once a palace and is not as handicapped friendly as we’d hoped. Wheelchair ramps were sorely lacking. It was pretty obvious that it is hard to retrofit museums with elevators/lifts at convenient spots. The Musée d’Orsay (a bit of a nightmare) and the Hôtel National des Invalides Army Museum weren’t easy to navigate either. Fortunately, they had some pretty cool stuff to make any the frustration well worth it.
Check out all the in the stairs in these pictures. While the retrofit of an old train station is pretty cool and well done, all the stairs make some corners virtually inaccessible.
Even when they had a wheelchair lift, we had to go in search of personnel to operate the lift. This often took 20 minutes or so. While all of this was a bit of an inconvenience, it (more or less) worked and my dad was blown away by what he saw. So were we.
Here, people take their dogs everywhere: into restaurants (you’ll see them sitting under the table), on buses/trains, etc. They go everywhere, but there are rules. Dogs must be registered, chipped and in some cantons, you pay taxed on them.
I have heard that you can make it a condition of your work contract to be allowed to keep dogs in your office! It is not unusual to see dogs quietly resting under a desk at offices or shops. They are welcome on the tram. Usually they are extremely well-behaved. Once, a friend did see two dogs scuffle on the tram. Naughty puppies.
I guess it’s cooler to have your dog in the back of your 4-wheeler than carrying it because it can’t walk anymore. We see this embarrassing sight frequently on the streets of Geneva.
As I said, there are rules. Many places, dogs must be leashed. There are places where dogs are prohibited from doing their business. If your dog poops, you are supposed to pick it up. Too many people in Geneva have problems with this last one. If you visit, watch your step. Someone let their dog do this right by the exit from baggage claim in the airport. You cannot be serious!