Europe Without Barriers: Day 9, 10 and 11

I hope you all enjoyed the video from Ljubljana and Postojna caves (day 8). It was a team collaboration between myself, Stefano Massoli (Italian media guru) and Kasia (a true up and coming photographer). I think it really highlighted how we are travelling ‘Europe Without Barriers’ despite the potential issues while having a great time.

DSC_0399Following that wonderful day, we continued to enjoy the spa hotel in Slovenia and had one final day trip there.

This was to Zagreb in Croatia. We rocked up mid morning, faced an attitudinal barrier from the tour guide (who was just very off about not knowing we were disabled), but we smoothed him out quickly enough (I find the business and social case work well together in these moments). Marco Pizzio, our project coordinator from the Italian Multiple Sclerosis organisation (AISM), has excelled in these tricky moments. Then we wandered around the beautiful places, heard historical stories of culture, snapped the architecture, and went up the accessible funicular. A very hot, but satisfying visit. The lunch was so delicious too 🙂

DSC_0456Yesterday (Sunday/day 10) we drove from morning to late afternoon – from Catez to our next destination in Auronzo Di Cadore (northern Italian Dolomite mountains). Our accommodation is a 5 story renovated house with 9 individual apartments. All have full access via the lift and are very well adapted.

I immediately Skyped home for my step brother Jamie and niece Darcey’s birthdays. Definitely one downside of travelling so much is missing these events, but with technology I was with them for a short while. The group agreed to sing happy birthday via a whatsapp video! Then we spent the evening with pizza, wine and amazing conversation.

DSC_0425Finally day 11 saw the first rain I’ve had in weeks. It stopped briefly for a morning walk to the tourist information office, but otherwise it has been relentless. So after our breakfast and morning stroll we took the bus further into the mountains. We stopped at a beautiful spot by lake Misurina, had lunch, and raced our wheelchairs around the edge of the water.

The rest of the day was a chilled affair. The first down time we’ve had since starting the project. This was important to recuperate before driving another 6 hours to Austria the day after.

As the trip approaches towards the end I’m feeling happy and philosophical. Happy to have travelled so far, met such great people, and added another spark of change to the world on disability matters. Philosophical because I still see so many barriers that actually disable people. Barriers that are so unnecessary. So easy to remove. So cheap to remove. I wonder, when will the barriers disappear? What can I do next to knock the buggers down? 😉

Thank you for your support while I’m on the road. Do let me know your thoughts about this trip, and ask me any questions about my experiences. I sincerely hope you’re enjoying the blogs anyway.

Martyn

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  • Antonella Correra

    Hello Martyn
    Thank you for this great update. Seeing all of you having a great time is so encouraging and refreshing! let’s bring down all these unnecessary barriers!