Hi, I’m Claude, and up until now, I’ve been the bear-behind-the-scenes, the mysterious Clickstay mascot who has finally been asked to put his skills to good use. For the last few years, I’ve been indulging in my hobbies of travelling, sharing marmalade sandwiches with a close friend (who shall remain anonymous to protect his identity) and pushing for more bear-friendly holidays.

Recently the Clickstay humans deemed this behaviour as ‘gallivanting’ and reminded me that as I was on the payroll I might quite like to hand in an article now and then. I made a strong case that I didn’t have fingers to type with, plus hibernation takes up quite a lot of my time. I was reminded that neither of those things had stopped posting on Instagram or being a keyboard warrior on Reddit, so it was time to shape up or ship out.

I considered my options. And with only one t-shirt saying ‘Clickstay’ on it to my name, my chances of employment elsewhere looked bleak. Besides, honey doesn’t come cheap.

So, never one to bear a grudge, here I am, writing about my travels from a bears’ perspective. And the first travel story I have is of France, a great place for bears, (especially us small ones).

The Place: Villa Geelong

Villa Geelong in France

Two weeks ago, the Clickstay humans shipped me off to Brittany, where I would be staying in a great little villa in Moëlan-sur-Mer and by claws was it a great start to my bear-blogging! It’s perfect for big groups (small bears and humans alike) and it’s got everything you might want. There’s an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a sauna meaning you’ve basically got your own spa plus there’s even a balcony to take in the lovely rural views (I do like a good view) and a large private garden to lounge in (lounging being a prime hobby I’ve mine). My all-time favourite room though was the games’ room which came complete with a snooker table! I mean yes, it was a little on the large side for someone of my stature, but wow did I make some clawfully good shots! It turns out if you push the balls towards the pockets they go right in, much easier than using that stick thing humans favour. Someone really should tell them...

Anyway, this great villa was one of the best I’ve stayed in, and with the capacity for 9 humans (and a thousand small bears give or take) it really is a great place for get-togethers and relaxing. Certainly, it’s the perfect hibernation spot and the surrounding area is just as brilliant. 

Bear with book on sun lounger

Getting stuck into my new Stephen King book in the garden

The Location 

Truth be told I could hardly bear to leave it, but when I did finally prize myself away I discovered that Villa Geelong sits in a great location. There’s wonderful coastal areas all along Moëlan-sur-Mer as well as pretty harbours and plenty of places for great food and drink. The countryside surrounding the villa is really pretty and I spent many an hour in-between eating and yet more snoozing simply wandering and being the fearsome creature I am. Until I ran into some cows. They didn't seem that impressed by my roar. Or my stories about how great I am at snooker. 

Anyway after leaving the cattle behind I decided to spend one of my days enjoying a wonderful boat trip along the Aven and Belon rivers. You get to sit on a lovely boat and take in all the idyllic sights as you slowly drift along. I highly recommend. On another of my outings, I visited the Parc du quinquis just outside of Moëlan- sur-Mer in Clohars-Carnoët. This park is great for children especially and lets you get up close and personal with donkeys, goats, deer, peacocks, rabbit and even some little monkeys if you're lucky!

The only drawback was it took some time explaining that I was there on official Clickstay business and not an escapee. 

Paws For Thoughts

small bear and dog

When my friend Indie came for a visit. 

France is a great place I’ve decided. As I mentioned, I’m very keen on better holidays for bears, (a market which is shockingly underrepresented), so when I first arrived I had a few priorities. First, was it bear friendly? Were there plenty of snooze zones? Adequate access to honey? Good food? A general appreciation that small bears are at constant risk of being stepped on? Thankfully all bear criteria were met, but as it turns out, the humans have it pretty good too.

Generally, France is a good all-rounder for holidays. there are lovely beaches and wonderful countryside as well as idyllic little villages and bustling towns. It’s pawfect for families especially, but groups of friends and lovey-dovey couples will also find it to be charming and will no doubt want to return.  If I had thumbs I'd be giving it a thumbs up from now until forever, but as I don't I'll just have to spread the word about how excellent it is instead.

And now it's time for a nap and to end my first bear-blog. Do share and like and all that other stuff you humans do. Oh and make lots of comments about how great and hardworking I am. And how I deserve free honey as part of my contract. Thanks.

 ps don't forget to follow me on Instagram at @claude_goes_abroad)


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