EEDR: Day 1 – The ferry and Amsterdam

Day one of my Epic European Disability Roadtrip (#EEDR) is off to a flying start.

We woke up very early on Stena’s North Sea ferry from Harwich to the Netherlands. Soon after a rocky night and a lovely breakfast (a bit of my well promoted yin and yang); we received a tour of the boat. The views on the video are beautiful (thanks to Filipes camera, music and editing work!).

Afterwards we headed to Amsterdam. I have not been here before. Writing now from my hotel room 12km from the city centre I am so tired but so happy. Despite the cold wind (and resulting useless hands), the tram issues (a step on and off), the awkward access to restaurants and public toilets; it honestly was great.

I guess I am just so used to waiting longer for transport, eating in the most accessible (not necessarily preferable) cafes and having access difficulties; I am good at making the best of situations. This must not put anyone off of coming to Amsterdam either! You can see what a great trip it has been by my face, despite the tiredness and tricky bits.

In terms of itinerary; I am not into anything stronger than alcohol, so I left the weed alone. Also I prefer meeting girls in everyday life, so I didn’t venture to the red light area. I know, boring or maybe sensible… However the buildings, canals, people, culture and general feel did me well. I also randomly bumped into a girl I knew from living in Spain earlier this year…

Hotel wise; we found a bargain £50 for us both to stay in, with accessible/roll-in showers and enough room to swing a Storm 3 wheelchair.

I want to get an early one tonight too as we are driving over 400 miles tomorrow to Leipzig to stay with my friend Rico. Then Monday I am meeting 2 disability groups there, before going to Poland on Tuesday. After the stress levels of making this trip happen and the journey; a night out tonight would finish me! As much as you know I like a party, a probable chest infection or exhaustion just isn’t worth it.

I am sure to find some party time, but this project is too important to me. I want to share the practical experiences of disability travel; celebrate cities, criticize them when necessary and show the world what disabled people can do.

Please share this blog with a friend and support my projects aims.

Also if you can help with accommodation, introductions to disability groups or with the media on my route; get in touch – martyn@martynsibley.com. The info is here http://martynsibley.com/european-disability-roadtrip

Many thanks.

M

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