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How do you define “accessible”?

Der Wilder Kermeter

On Sundays I publish contributions from fellow role-players. On this page Berte’s experience in Bitburg.

Meaning ‘accessible’ dixit Van Dale:
reachable.

I booked the accessible and dog-welcome hotel Eifelbrau in Bitburg via Booking.com with, in addition to these filters, the filter “bathroom adapted for wheelchair users”.

Apparently, the concept of “accessible” is different for everyone…

The hotel had a great step at the entrance! Good thing we brought our own ramp. There was an accessible entrance at the back of the hotel, only to be opened after logging in at the counter IN the hotel.

Eifelbrau entrance

What if I was alone? For me, access goes hand in hand with independence…

With the elevator to the room then. Room was fine, but the bathroom… oh-oh!
Small!!!
The door was even narrower than a normal door, the shower was a step-in shower and the sink was not movable! (not really necessary because you couldn’t use your wheelchair in the bathroom anyway)

small bathroom door

So my hubby went back downstairs, to express his discontent.

It seemted the adapted room was occupied and there was something wrong with the booking apparently.
We got another room, the bathroom door was wider, but I couldn’t get in yet. It’s a good thing that I can still do my own transfers with help. Once on the toilet, and then a little twisted, I could do a little wash and brush my teeth. I still couldn’t shower.

Eifelbrau shower

What does accessible mean to you?

Am I wrong if I also link the word independence to accessibility?
Basically I should have asked for my money back and left. But I was so looking forward to this! In the end, it’s a good thing we didn’t do this, we took beautiful walks.

The first one around a dam was the least, unfortunately there was a lot to do with the electric wheelchair. The wooden deckchairs at the lake, a ballroom of a toilet and a fresh Hugo were great!

The second hike was also very nice and without any obstacles, although we had to ignore a bit here as well. The buzzing of the many bees, the sun on my skin, the laughter of children, the pleasure of our dogs in the water and the cheesecake afterwards made up for a lot.

It was really ‘save the best for last’! The third and last hike, Der Wilder Kermeter, 45 km from Aachen, I came across by chance on the world wide web when I was searching for something.
Two wheelchair accessible hiking trails with special attention for the blind and visually disabled, for the deaf and hearing disabled! In a nature park, partly over a sturdy suspension bridge, partly through the forest. With spoken and written and in Braille explanations about what you need to see, hear, … . With a bench every 250 m, and picnic tables at the beginning and end of the walk. And a spacious and accessible toilet.

It’s a good thing that my principle did not win the upper hand! This was enjoyment on top!

Berte Gubbelmans

Berte got an acquires brain injury after her second pregnancy. We know each other through my work at Spierziekten Vlaanderen where I was a secretary for many years.
She also regularly writes for ‘Rolmodel‘ where she started as a ‘happiness coach’.

Thank you Berte for your contribution! πŸ™‚

My own golden advice – when booking via sites – is that you should always contact the hotel itself. And preferably by mail, so that you always have a ‘proof’ of their comments … πŸ™‚

Translated by Deepl.com.

Loving my life and surrounding myself with friends and positive people. My goal is trying to make the world more aware of accessibility for wheelchair users on holidays and other leisure activities.

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