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Boarding a gondola after hip replacement

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Sep 29th, 2011, 08:08 PM
  #1
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Boarding a gondola after hip replacement

Unusual topic I'm sure--and I'm asking for my sister--really. She had her hip replaced last year and is wondering how difficult it will be for her to get in and out of a gondola. Can anyone offer advice? It's been 25 years since I was on a gondola so I was young and able bodied. Thanks for your advice.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 02:21 AM
  #2
 
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I've been in a gondola but, like you, I was younger and fit. Usually you get a hand getting in and out, they don't want tourists falling in the water or damaging the boat! If your sister can walk and climb stairs, both essential for Venice, then I don't think she should have a problem. As long as someone is already in the gondola who can hold out their hand to her and she is careful. The boat will bob in the water a bit so if she is too worried, then skip it. She can still go on a vaporetto. I actually thought the gondola ride was over-rated. Venice is a wonderful place and the gondola ride is not essential to having a good trip.

Kay
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Sep 30th, 2011, 03:59 AM
  #3
 
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folks in wheelchairs/paralysis do this all the time

gondoliers are skilled trained in boarding

folks with disabilities so no worries

eurocheapo.com/venice good tips...

Happy Travels!
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Sep 30th, 2011, 04:16 AM
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Most points where the gondolas work from, have steps down to boat level. However, she will have to stretch across to put her leading foot onto the boat and then swing across.

Disembarking in reverse obviously, so if she is OK to stand up/sit down then she should be OK for a gondola.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 05:45 AM
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KayF hits the nail on the head with "If your sister can walk and climb stairs, both essential for Venice, then I don't think she should have a problem". I've only seen people embarking/disembarking gondolas via steps so I can't imagine how a truly disabled or wheelchair-bound person could do it- I'm very doubtful about that claim. Is she disabled enough for Venice to be difficult generally ? It's difficult to go far - more than a small block or two - without climbing over bridges. If you are *very* familar with Venice you'd be able to work out routes which could be done with a combination of non-bridge walking & vaporetti, but it would be really difficult otherwise. (It is *usually* but not always possible to use vaporetti - there can be a very steep step of up to a couple of feet to get off if the water is very low.) So if the hip is still a problem, maybe Venice isn't the best destination ? (As an aside my MIL is quite disabled with MS, we are hoping to go & live in Venice next year but are assuming she just won't be able to viusit us at all.)
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Sep 30th, 2011, 06:52 AM
  #6
 
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I had my hip replaced in December 09. I spent a month in Italy (including Sicily) and Malta last fall. Our excursion included Venice. I had no problems whatsoever getting in and out of the gondola nor doing a walking tour of the back alleys.

The only 'difficulty' I had was climbing the uphill grades and cobble-stone streets especially in Sienna. However, I simply paced myself and walked slowly so ask not to trip.
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Sep 30th, 2011, 09:22 PM
  #7
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions and especially DaveJJ for your first hand experience. It's greatly appreciated.
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