TGA Whill in Germany

You have to be pretty organised to set off on a 2000mile road trip through the heart of Germany! Four passengers plus the luggage, one Whill power wheelchair, ramps and camera equipment is a tall order for any trip. However, as The Whill Personal Electric Vehicle (PEV) is a very compact chair it fitted neatly into the boot along with the rest of our gear.

The aim of our trip with Access The Outdoor Guide was to produce film material for German Tourism to promote Barrier Free Germany.

What better way to start the road trip than by DFDS Seaways from Newcastle to Amsterdam, a full 322miles across the sea. For a wheelchair user, travel by ferry could not be easier. I was able to get the Whill out of the car once we had boarded the ship and the whole ship was wheelchair accessible, with lifts to all decks. The wheelchair accessible cabin meant we had a good sleep during the overnight crossing. We arrived in Amsterdam early morning and drove through the Netherlands to our first overnight stop in Würzburg; 350 miles of our journey by road covered so far!

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Würzburg is a busy, easy to access city and is a vibrant place with lots of people, lovely buildings and lots to see. The buildings around the market place are beautiful. There are lots of churches to explore churches – many of them are wheelchair friendly.

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The following day had a wine theme running through it! We visited the winery at Weingut am Stein Ludwig Knoll for wine tasting followed by a walk through the vineyards. The track we took was quite a bumpy off road trail, but the Whill travelled over the ground with ease, enabling me to get up close to see the grapes growing on the vines and take in the views over the city.

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Our next destination – Bad Wiessee, 230 miles away.

We stayed at Ferienwohnungen Concordia. The Concordia offers self-catering, wheelchair accessible accommodation. It was brilliant. Everything that you could wish for, including profiling beds, height adjustable worktops in the kitchen area and plenty of space to move around. Hildegard will arrange for any specialist equipment that may be required during your visit to ensure a first class stay – including hoists if necessary.

After a few days in Bavaria it was back on the road… this time to Koblenz – 360 miles away.

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Here we were met by the very entertaining Johannes for a city tour. We took the cable car across the Rhine River up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The barrier free city tour was so accessible and my Whill was easy to steer over the cobbled paths around the fortress.

Our next stop on our whistle stop tour of Germany was Aachen, a fleeting 173 miles away.

Aachen is a vibrant student city and our evening tour began at the Elisenbrunnen, where the warm, sulphur-smelling water bubbles up. After a good night’s sleep at the Innside Hotel, Aachen we drove through Belgium and France to the seaport just 217 miles away.

Our return to England was on the Calais to Dover Ferry.

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“My first experience of Barrier Free Germany was a positive one. German Tourism have worked hard to develop accessible tourism and the whole experience has given me confidence to go abroad and explore more of this beautiful country. Travelling with the Whill was so comfortable and reliable. The days were long but the battery life on the chair was longer. I lost count of the number of times the chair was put on and off the car, but is so easy to handle up and down the ramps that it really was no hassle at all.”