Italy and France are losing to Spain in terms of accessibility. (I'm already spoilt with European standards, therefore I can be picky to little details). Increasingly there were facing steps on the entrance or high doorsteps. In both countries, sometimes you are see broken asphalt or pit on the sidewalk. The other day did not notice one of these holes, the wheel got into it and I dropped the phone. Broke the protective glass and scratched the cover.
Found the best example of accessibility for Kyiv.
Genoa lies on the edge of the Apennines. Despite the mountains, the city was built so that it is convenient to move on a wheelchair. The same goes for the local subway: they did everything for the general convenience. And in the city I saw a traffic light for pedestrians with a yellow light. I don't remember anything like this in Ukraine. (By the way, as well as in Switzerland and Austria).
We went to McDonald's. At the entrance there is a step. There is a call button for the staff, it works. But I was very surprised by the fact. "Why did not make a comfortable ramp? They could do that. "But inside there is an elevator to get you to the second floor, accessible a toilet. And even the cool trash bins that react to the movement: lift your hand, they open and close by themselves.
The Swiss city Chur is a local wilderness. Looks a lot like Yaremche to me though. Far from Berne, Zurich and Geneva. We are used to expect the worst from the middle of nowhere. Swiss wilderness takes them to a new level. Because it is accessible wilderness. On our way we drove to one of the restaurants to drink coffee-tea with Marcis and Kristine. We were immediately warned: the toilet is downstairs, but there is another one. Just tell us, we will open it right away. The rest of the restaurant is comfortable and barrier-free.
In the whole city, the lavatory if not disabled, then just convenient for everyone. The same applies to the bus station. And there are stairs! And they are duplicated by ramps and elevators.
We bought tickets to get to the center of Venice. There are three steps up.
— Can you help? — We turned to two station staff, assistants for people with disabilities who were identified by special vests:
— No, we won't help.
— Why? Here are just three steps.
— Only if you have requested the help beforehand.
Well, there is help. I wonder what caused such a persistent refusal to help people who did not request it in advance. How would it be in Ukraine? Well, God be with you. We asked the passerby who helped.
After to get to the center we needed to take a water bus. It is convenient: just pull a ramp and staff knows how to help a person on a wheelchair. In the city center I wanted to visit a public toilet. But it was locked. They called the duty manager. I thought it would take a long time. In half a minute a woman came out and opened the toilet. Everything is easy and simple.
In the city we met with Martha Bilas. Venice is a very difficult city for traveling on a wheelchair. But it's worth visiting at least once. I think one day is enough for a walk. We were lucky that Martha was already in the city before our arrival and told us where to get off.
Got out from the station, everything is equipped, convenient, normally got to the boat. We saw even taxis (here they are boats) with a mark of accessibility for disabled. However, the first impression was: what a crappy place, why everyone is coming here? No wonder people were wondering how I would manage there in Venice and if I can see something.
I was happy with a thought about the water bus, I will go and see the city from the water. But when we reached San Marco Square, which, in fact, is the most interesting place in the city, the situation has changed somewhat. I saw the ramps next to the steps. They are not ideal, but I can independently get on them, though I wouldn't refuse some help.
Together with Marta, we put forward the theory that it was more likely for local workers to carry carriages. And then, even noticed special signs next to those ramps, which indicated that they were for carriage of goods on trolleys.
In Vienna, the guiding tactile tile is even on the sidewalks. Good quality and comfortable. The city's infrastructure is man-centered. No matter with or without a disability, a person will be comfortable in the city. But the situation with food is much worse. Many of restaurants are not accessible because of their stairs at the entrance. And those steps everywhere. Why are we trying to find out. But McDonald's found an accessible entrance - with a right-angle ramp.
Vienna subway metro supported the pleasant tradition of barrier free cities #DostupnoEurotrip. Tactile tile, convenient train access, lifts at each station. There are lifts that open on two sides.
Although at one of the stations I felt like in Ukraine because the elevator did not work. I went to the escalator. It was fine to use. Nobody blocked the way with the requirement to wait for the escort. Went outside and checked. No, the world did not collapse, everyone is alive, nothing special happened from the fact that I myself used an escalator. At the entrance from the yard to the metro in front of the elevator there is a canopy specially installed that protects you from the rain while you wait for it.
In experimental way I found out that in Austria public toilets free for people with disabilities. Twice had the same situation with them: the cashier sits at the entrance, and when I came in no one stopped me, not a single. Of course, with European charm.
In the afternoon the rain started and we went to sit nearby pizzeria. I drank tea and went to the bathroom. Faced the stairs. Friendly staff explained everything: you have to go outside, go through the kitchen, and there is an elevator. Again, I was allowed without any problems to use the service elevator, as in Barcelona. The toilet is not disabled, the door did not close when I went in, but it was ok for me. From the outside, the waitress was patiently waiting for me. Again, I was not rushed, staff smiled and behaved as everything is normal. And this is normal. Is not it?
During my travel in Europe, I got used to the fact that I can just go to the toilet when there is such a need. What I do not have to worry too much about these issues.
In general, I thought that in terms of my views on comfortable space and solutions, this trip will not change anything.
And it turned my world upside-down.
The whole Europe is far from ideal. But there are a lot of perfect examples that are worth and possible to implement in Ukraine.
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