Boarding a Train in Europe

There’s nothing easy about trying to make mass public transportation accessible in older European countries. There’s no American Disability Act that ensures all vehicles of public transport be made accessible, which leaves a wheelchair-using tourist like myself feeling a little lost. That split-second feeling of entitlement (“What do you mean you didn’t make this train car specifically for someone like me?”) that comes from only ever knowing the accessibility laws of the United States was soon to be hushed from one encounter after another of inaccessible transportation (I’m looking at you, Italy). But what was so surprising and so reassuring was how the people of every country, every public transportation worker in each city, went to extreme lengths for me and my party so we could get to our destination. Old lifts were dug out of hidden corners of train stations, strangers carried my wheelchair up flights of stairs while Dusty carried me and workers continually took time to escort us through alternate routes when an aufzug (German word for elevator) was broken. Thank you, people throughout Europe, for affirming a belief in humanity that people will help.

Here is a short example video of how to exit an older train in Germany:

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5 Comments

  1. I found the folks of Scandinavia to be most helpful with getting somewhere I wanted/needed to be as well as being friendly. I did not feel ignored or a bother the way I frequently do in the US.

  2. Just wondering is everything is fine. It’s bee a few weeks since I have gotten a blog from you. Hoping the best for yourself, hubby, ad of cause Ethel. Or am I off your mailing list if so.please add me again. Really love your stories.

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