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I Shouldn't Be Alive: Spain & Italy...in August...in a wheelchair!

I Shouldn't Be Alive: Spain & Italy...in August...in a wheelchair!

Old Nov 5th, 2011, 07:20 AM
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Good grief!
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Old Nov 5th, 2011, 07:29 AM
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Annhig- thanks for the link! I must say that it would have been nice if the representatives had referenced such a list when I contacted them. Although, I still don't think I would plan another trip involving trains - you really never know. Like you, I was also very surprised that there was a lift down, but nothing else! I think that is why we were so confused for the longest time - why on earth would they put a sign up like that, only to lead someone to a dead end?!

Thanks Maryanne1!

TDudette- I concur.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I am loving your trip report, can't wait to hear the rest! Reading about the Aussie at the B&B made me thankful for all of our rental apartments in Italy. What an a-hole! You handled him well.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Adoc,

if my italian is not deceiving me, they also offer free travel to someone accompanying a wheelchair user, so long as the wheelchair is being used for bona fide health reasons.

i don't dare contemplate what other reasons for using a wheelchair might be...would anyone be so devious as to use a wheelchair for non bona fide health reasons?

there must be come desperate italians out there!
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 04:11 PM
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You two are amazing; I can't think of anything the two of you together couldn't handle. And talk about recovering from an unbelieveably stressful situation and ending up with a great day...what an inspiration you are!
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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annhig,

Unfortunately, some folks are really that devious. I had (emphasis on the "had") a friend who proudly told me she routinely called the airport for wheelchair service because she "-- just hated those long walks". She also mentioned that the ploy "got her on board faster".

Perfectly healthy older lady; only thing wrong with her is a total lack of moral fiber.

My wife still is a bit angry at me for the way I told the lady what I thought of her scheme -- not the fact that I told her, but that it was at the top of my voice at a party. I must admit, as a former Marine drill instructor, the top of my voice can blister paint when I get worked up, so she has a point.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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<i>.would anyone be so devious as to use a wheelchair for non bona fide health reasons? </i>

That is the beginning of <u>Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis</u>

Philippe Abrams is the manager of the postal service (La Poste) in Salon-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, in southern France. He is married to Julie, whose depressive character makes his life miserable. Philippe does everything to get a job at an office on the Mediterranean seaside to make her happy. As this favourable position will be granted to somebody who is disabled, Abrams decides to pretend that he is. However, the management finds out. As punishment, he is banished for two years to Bergues, a town near Dunkirk in northern France
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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thank you, Michael for that.

i think it would be going a bit far to attempt what the OP had to endure for fun though, wouldn't it? and how do they prove it? take the wheelchair away and see what happens?
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 07:24 PM
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Thanks everyone!

It doesn't surprise me that some people would pretend to need a wheelchair for the "benefits" of it - you see this at theme parks all the time since it gets you to the front of the line. However traipsing around Europe (unless you're going to London or Stockholm) would be a crazy scheme to undertake - it would be more troublesome than what a free ticket is worth! Nonetheless it must happen, because I had read that the Vatican now requires proof of disability before allowing one to enter via the priority entrance. I wasn't asked for this, but I have heard that even those with obvious disabilities/wheelchairs are now regularly asked for this documentation. But really, if someone is low enough to pretend to need a wheelchair, I don't think forging a doctor's note would be beneath them. From what I understand though US handicap parking signs are accepted as proof as well. Really though, you must desperately want to avoid the line if you're willing to push around Rome in a chair when you don't need it!

When I was outside of the Vatican in 2005 I was rolling along and an old man happened to see my "good leg" moving. He pointed at me and yelled at the top of his lungs, "Fraud! you are the devil! The devil! Your legs are moving, you are a fraud! The devil!" EVERYONE turned and stared, some gasping as if they actually believed him! It was especially scandalous since I, the devil, was making an appearance at one of the holiest places on earth. Maybe the Vatican put their disability documentation requirement in place because word of my devilish, fraudulent act spread around - can you imagine? Hah.

Annhig - yes, most of the time "wheelchair companions" are free for trains in Europe. This was the first time we were ever asked to pay full price for both of our tickets.
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Old Nov 8th, 2011, 09:27 PM
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Still enjoying this report and so glad you made it out of the Orvieto train station!

Just a PSA: We cannot tell by looking at people who needs a wheelchair and for what reasons. CP, MS and other diseases may make it difficult for many to walk at all, to walk for extended periods of time, to tackle hills, etc. Let's try not to judge strangers because they appear to our eyes to be "able bodied."
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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ust a PSA: We cannot tell by looking at people who needs a wheelchair and for what reasons. CP, MS and other diseases may make it difficult for many to walk at all, to walk for extended periods of time, to tackle hills, etc. Let's try not to judge strangers because they appear to our eyes to be "able bodied.">>

I don't think that anyone here was, [judging, i mean] Leely.

Certainly not me!
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Old Nov 10th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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I know, Ann, just putting on my grandma hat. It was as much a reminder to myself as anyone else. Sometimes I'll see someone parking in a designated handicap space and I'll think suspiciously, "Hmm.." Then I have remember that I don't know what I don't know.
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Old Nov 13th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Hoping Alexandra has time to let us read a little more about her wonderful trip!
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Sorry its been a while guys, we've been busy house hunting! I will try and get a few more entries out before the weekend is up.
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 01:22 AM
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Hi Adoc86!
I enjoyed reading about your trip, you have an amazing spirit and I applaud you for living your life to the fullest!

Nukesafe, well done! We once needed a wheelchair at an airport, all were booked out. Imagine your friend being on on of them... We travelled the English countryside last year and saw people driving around in scooter wheelchairs (shopriders), park it as close as they can to a shop, just to get up and walk into the shop. I asked one woman who was getting of a normal electric wheelchar where she lives (believe me, there was nothing wrong with her except being overweight), and she actually pointed out her house accross the street, saying "just there". I had to stop myself from puncturing one of her wheels...

Leely, I have a son that is a Quadriplegic. If you just look at him sitting in his wheelchair, no one can imagine that he is indeed disabled. We drive around in a combi/bus with the back seats removed to fit the electric wheelchair. The vehicle is marked with disability lisence & stickers and we will NEVER park in a disability parking if he is not with us. Yet we still get the looks when we park with him in a disabled parking.
You know why we get the looks? We first started talking about paralyzed parking, but soon realised it is actually PARADISE parking! Always on the right spot, close to everything, well away from other cars and most of the time available. The perfect parking spot!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2011, 05:27 AM
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Good luck with house hunting. Waiting patiently for more trip!
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Old Apr 14th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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Thank you for this report! Very informative and inspire me to take my husband (left side paralysis) to places in Europe.

Have fun exploring the WORLD!
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Old Apr 15th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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Pro10s thanks for pulling this trip report up its been a wonderful read..
Adoc come back,,, need more! you did such an amazing job!
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Old Apr 15th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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wonderful report. Thank You.
Several years ago on another forum I
was friendly with a woman in a wheelchair in
Paris and she cited how things were bad for her.
not much to help her.
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Old Apr 15th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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sited
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