Europe Without Barriers: Day 12, 13 and 14 (Arrivederci and Goodbye)

We left the stunning Dolomite mountains with a cumulative fatigue. Despite the amazing places, people and memories on the trip; driving from Slovenia to the Italian mountains and two day later to Austria was tough. Below you can see the tranquil views we left behind on day 12.

AustriaAfter Kasia drove behind the blue team bus to hotel Viktor in Viktorsberg, the new location boosted our energy. Set literally at the top of a mountain we could see for miles and miles.

On day 13 (Wednesday) we drove from the hotel to Lake Constance. Having had bad weather during our last Italian stop, the sun returned for our accessible boatride. As a child with a disability you imagine these activities are impossible. So whenever I am skimming along the water feeling the wind on my face I feel huge gratitude for the moment!

At the beginning a silly company rule almost stopped us boarding but the manager (after long discussions) allowed us on. We stopped after 3 hours cruising for a couple of hours on the island of Mainau and wandered around the beautiful botanic gardens. The provided map of the island outlined the accessible paths and the ice cream was delicious too 😉

With a tired group running on empty, we enjoyed our last night together in the hotel and checked out on day 14. Unfortunately our last activity was a huge anticlimax and disappointment. The Neuschwanstein Castle (apparently the inspiration for the Disney castle) couldn’t transport electric wheelchairs up the mountain, and groups of wheelchairs had to be separated. We essentially were discriminated against and said our goodbyes earlier than expected.

As I write this final update from Poland (yes we then drove to Kasias parents), I’m very tired. So rather than rant over the castle issue I’m going to gather my thoughts and write a constructive piece another day. I’m planning to report on these 5 countries accessibility and my overall view of the project anyway.

Instead I want to say that the last day wasn’t actually so bad. It highlighted why we still need to work hard on disability issues. It was a drop of negativity amongst an amazingly positive trip. It shows that negative surprises pop-up to everyone everywhere.

Thanks for following our travels and reading my updates. I’ll be in touch soon with my overall summary and what the project has achieved for AISM and the European Commission regarding Accessible Tourism.

Bon voyage

Martyn

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