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Tour suggestions for mobile but not agile traveler

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Mar 31st, 2013, 01:19 PM
  #1
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Tour suggestions for mobile but not agile traveler

OK, I know that is asking a lot; however, age is slowing me down. I have 2 bad knees and a bad back. I get along OK in normal situations, but I am not able to walk long distances. I want to go to Europe, especially France, Italy, Belgium, Poland, etc, but I am afraid to venture out with my limited mobility. I love ancient ruins and, of course, they do not tend to be very accessible for those of us with our own personal claim on being an ancient ruin. I am looking for any suggestions of places which are not so hard to access, or even of tour companies, day trips, etc that specialize in getting you up as close as possible to the site, so your walking is focused on the site itself.

I have to travel on a budget, so no fancy solutions will work. In 2006 I went to Rome and Africa , and in 2009 I went to 6 countries in Europe and also England and Wales. I loved them all. I used Couchsurfing and it worked wonderfully well in some ways but also added to my logistical hassles. I would probably try to use it again but in a more limited way. I am also looking into Air B&B, hoping to find a place CLOSE to transportation.

I am hoping some of you who are also "mobile but not agile" have some suggestions to share. Thanks in advance.
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Mar 31st, 2013, 01:26 PM
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Your screen name says Two but you say "I", not we. Are you 1 person and (I promise it's pertinent) are you a man or a woman?
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Mar 31st, 2013, 01:30 PM
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I first traveled with my daughter to Africa; she is now married with children and unavailable. I will now be a female traveling alone unless I cam find a buddy. I traveled alone in 2009 and enjoyed it. Thanks for asking....
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Mar 31st, 2013, 01:42 PM
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Excellent. I'm going to make a recommendation that I've made before and one that has made all the difference to me in my own travels. I belong to an organization called 5W (Women Welcome Women World Wide). We are women mostly of a certain age who travel and/or, as the name implies, welcome each other into our homes for visits and showing each other around. There is a fee to join and annual dues but otherwise there is no cost to you, the visitor, whatever. If you can reciprocate you may but no member is under any obligation to provide others a place to stay. I've had the most wonderful visits with members in several countries who have picked me up at stations, shown me around the countryside, fed and housed me and, best of all, in many cases have become friends. I urge you to look at the website and encourage you to join. It will solve several of the logistical problems you mention and you won't be sorry.
http://www.womenwelcomewomen.org.uk/
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Mar 31st, 2013, 01:50 PM
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I'm getting on a bit, too, and hate stairs and long connecting walks. With that in mind, my favorite place is Paris, minus the Metro. The Metro has too many stairs, correspondences are too long and have their own stairs, and there is a paucity of working elevators and/or escalators. Our solution is the wonderful Parisian bus system. The buses take you almost literally everywhere. They run frequently, are easy to board, and you get to see the city as you travel.

If you choose Paris, my suggestions would be to concentrate on Airbnb properties in the flatter parts of the city; not Montmartre, or parts of the 19th or 20th. Try to match the location of bus lines (use RATP) with the apartment location. If in doubt, ask the owner about stairs, hills, and distance to the bus stops.

Hang in there and have a wonderful trip, wherever you go!
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Mar 31st, 2013, 02:28 PM
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I see Poland is one of your tags. I went to Poland about a year and a half ago and the cities I visited were mainly flat. My favorite is Krakow - very flat and small and you can easily walk most places. They also have a good tram system and the taxis are very inexpensive.

I recommend staying near the main square which gives you access to many sights and a park that rings the old town - again very flat - with lots of benches for sitting. They do have little trains with canned commentary that go around the city but these did not appeal to me. But perhaps for an overview they would be good.

Of the other cities I visited I would also recommend Wroclaw - again flat and easily walkable. Beautiful town square with lots of restaurants.

Warsaw is rather spread out but it has a good bus system. You can take the train from the airport right into the main train station and then either get a cab or take the bus to your hotel area.

There's lots written on this board on France and Italy so I wanted to share some Poland experiences. Additionally, Poland is very inexpensive, except for wine which I thought was priced high compared to food and lodging.

Here's a link to my trip report so you can read about some of the place I visited.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-report.cfm?58
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Mar 31st, 2013, 03:20 PM
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I second Krakow (haven't visited Wroclaw). And, have you thought about Budapest? It is one of my favorite places. Vilnius in Lithuania is delightful and a relatively small place also. All of these are fairly flat places, inexpensive compared to Western Europe, delightful, walkable, full of places of historic interest, and interesting. What you don't want to do is tackle places like Greece and Turkey where you are trying to scale ruins on uneven terrain or with lots of incline.
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Mar 31st, 2013, 04:46 PM
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Krakow and Wroclaw would work. I went to the salt mines, my wife did not knowing that it involved stairs and a lot of walking. You might want to take a look at my trip reports; click on my name to find them.
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Mar 31st, 2013, 05:30 PM
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Here is a wonderful trip report by a traveler with physical limitations but much determination: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...witzerland.cfm. Maybe it will give you some ideas -- and inspiration.
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Apr 2nd, 2013, 01:30 PM
  #10
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Thanks, Everybody, Mimar, I copied the trip reports you mentioned. MmePerdu, I will look into WWWW-it sounds a lot like couchsurfing. Also, thanks for the tips about Poland. I hope there will be more hints coming. I have 3 new grandbabies on their way, and then I hope to get a trip together.... One problem is less mobility means you have to pay for better more convenient service. I will probably be left stranded somewhere in Europe. I wouldn't mind except for all these people I love here....
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Apr 2nd, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Twoteachers, trust me, 5W is not much like couchsurfing except for the "free" part. I also use Hospitality Club on occasion and THAT is more like couchsurfing. I urge you to check out the 5W website and you should be able to see the differences. Or maybe you can't so much but take my word for it. You've got very little to lose and a great deal to gain by joining. For instance, wonderful "service" provided free by all your new friends.
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