Europe Without Barriers: Day 5, 6 & 7

One of the ‘problems’ of seeing a LOT of Europe in one go is finding time to blog about it. So here is a quick update from the Europe Without Barriers trip. Of course a bigger summary article will happen afterwards.

On Tuesday, 9th June (day 5) we had another accessible minibus ride with the Austrian driving machine, Manfred, to Perugia and Assisi. Perugia included a whistle stop visit to the iconic fountain and beautiful vista looking out to the mountains. Asissi was surprisingly accessible for an electric wheelchair user and very interesting. The pavements were less bumpy than in our other city visits and there were dropped curbs. We used a brand new lift in the church to see the tomb of Saint Frances. Very cool stuff.

Breakfast in SloveniaFollowing our last night in I Girasoli hotel, with it’s beautiful food/people/facilities, we woke up at 6.30 on Wednesday morning (day 6). After 5 nights in Tuscany our next destination was Catez in Slovenia. After 7 hours driving, plus breaks, we arrived at the hotel Terme. With the usual relief of knowing I could shower and sleep (accessibility = basic needs) we slept like babies.

Thai massage
Photo Credits: Kasia Miszczak

Upon writing this update on Thursday evening – it’s day 7 of the tour. Today we spent the morning measuring the distances from the hotel to key amenities. Then I enjoyed a Thai massage!

The first moment was awkward getting my wheelchair positioned in the room, reclining and rearranging the furniture. Then Kasia left me alone and went for her massage. I closed my eyes wondering if this would be ok. Wow! The sensations. The smells. Everything was so peaceful and relaxing. I floated out of the room afterwards 🙂

dancing in the poolFinally the lifeguard and Kasia bumped me in my shower chair down the swimming pool steps. The warm water and bubbles were lovely. Then I was pushed inside the sauna and steamroom. The naked shower-goers nearby provided yet another new experience…

All of these things are not regular occurrences for me. Of course. Nor should they happen every week. I think these moments show how travel opens our horizons and takes us from our comfort zone – in a great way. To experience new – sometimes scary – things is vital for our growth. I love the places, people, cuisine and surprises. Especially the different cultures, languages and music. I’m already singing Italian opera with my new friend Stefano – “Figaro”.

Tomorrow we are going inside some caves! I’m planning to do a video blog there too. Until then, warm wishes from Slovenia!

Martyn

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