Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

(Deutsch) Rolli-Exkursion Mallorca 2017

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

New savetysystem detected in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

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The traffic in Sri Lanka for us Europeans takes some time to get used to. As a training camp I recommend Frankfurt “Platz der Republic” during rush hour and a fair; driving through junctions, honking horns and squeezing through anything… and somewhere in between still fits a tuk-tuk or a moped.

This is called efficient road use – keeping a safety distance is wasted asphalt ;-) During the past 15 years a lot has happened with the infrastructure, but somehow pedestrian crosswalks are still perceived as decoration, and cows and elephants always have the right of way anyway … aahh … or so.

Using the horn is prohibited in front of temples, and this is really the ONLY traffic rule obeyed!!!

This moped rider shows some astounding creativity in developing a new innovative safety concept for two-wheelers, at the same time bio-airbag, side impact protection and spacer. For this purpose he uses renewable raw materials in form of jackfruits.

Other than the cushioning effect in accidents ripe jackfruits spread such a stench that no other vehicle dares to get closer than a few feet. However, the improvement of the aerodynamics is negatively offset by the increase of the total weight of 150 kg – from zero to 50 in 2 minutes. To read the complede “Sri Lanka- serial” ,

click here.

Translator BW

Helicopter flight above Sri Lanka

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

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Sri Lanka, all that green and no apple trees

We were suitably picked up by a driver named “Amigo”, sporting aviator mirror sunglasses, in a silver-colored Hummer (as labeled on the hood, yet with a Honda logo at the steering wheel) and brought to the military airport in Colombo.

We were greeted by a welcome committee ready with a wheelchair, in which Lieutenant Dan probably sat already. Fortunately, they let me use my own.

We were the only tourists at the entire airport. The security chief himself took care of us right away. Our tour guide did honor to his name when he was suddenly back in the security area before us, because the security chief happened to be an old classmate of his.

Meanwhile the four bored immigration attendants were waiting in their turquoise blue saris for the end of their work day.

A golf cart pulled up equipped with mountings for flags, so strictly speaking a diplomat’s car. I started to feel like celebrity ;-) After some negotiation I was allowed to make the 100 meters to the launch site in my chair. For that I was accompanied by one of the turquoise wrapped ladies as a personal umbrella holder and also by two of my very own security guards. In my entourage puttered the golf cart with the three other passengers, one more sari-lady and even more security. Did I have a sign “Follow Me” on my vest?!

Arriving at the helicopter we were greeted by the pilot while another three men came from the hangar. I guess, I was the highlight of the day, perhaps even month, and everybody wanted to be there when the crazy white wheelchair man boarded the helicopter.

Approx. twelve men stood around me and waited for a command, how to best get me up and in there (seat height was about 1.40 m). The well proven safety grip did not work in this case.

As a result my old dream of a palanquin wheelchair was almost met, when four men lifted my wheelchair up to entrance height, from where I could with the help of my slide board comfortably slide on to the seat. This way my slide board literally turned in to a flight board ;-) The ground troops were thrilled! For a short while I felt like sitting on a throne, since everybody else was still down on the ground. I was tempted to wave to my people like the Queen, but then rather decided on a shy thumbs-up. What an uplifting feeling! It is indeed very special for someone who sits in a wheelchair, to suddenly be the tallest person around ;-)

We were flying towards the middle of the island to Kandy, and the pilot managed nicely to stay ahead of the looming monsoon rains.

The view of the island was, particularly of the highlands, comparable with the landscapes that one knows from films like Platoon and Forrest Gump. Everything is green, tea plantations and more palm trees than I have ever seen in 1 1/2 hours (and no apple trees – no apple trees, just pineapples!)

Shortly before landing, the pilot radioed that he needed more time to get ground clearance, since he had a wheelchair on board. To us this seemed a little exaggerated, because there was certainly not any more traffic than at the airport Kassel-Calden at rush-hour, (one plane the day). But everything must have its order ;-)

Back on the ground we already saw two men, who pushed my wheelchair from the hangar. One of them examined my sliding board from all sides in sheer fascination. I suspect he started that evening to work the jigsaw ; -) He must have been quite disappointed when it wasn’t used again for the transfer back from the helicopter…

Instead, the classical safety grip/throwing technique came to use, so that after the roundtrip the departure happened by a wheelchair spot landing. The Pilot was obviously impressed, because he said: “I know my game”.

On the way back the same welcome committee was awaiting us including umbrella holder, security guards and golf cart. The weather god was also gracious and only changed his mind after I was safe in my wheelchair again. Then the sky opened and the monsoon season greeted us. My personal umbrella holder kept walking next to me, unmoved by the fact that she got drenched, but she probably was used to this kind of downpour – her only comment was “It’s just rain”.

I would have liked to show you more evidence, but since we are talking about a military airport and members of the military, we held back a little on the photo shooting. A checkup of the accessibility of the local military jail was not part of the itinerary…

To read the complede “Sri Lanka- serial” , click here.

Translator BW

Wheelchair expedition Sri Lanka Part IV

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Wheelchair expedition Sri Lanka Part III

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Wheelchair expedition Sri Lanka Part II

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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Next we needed to select the airline. Since Sri Lankan Airlines is the only one that offers direct flights from Frankfurt and also because our friend is a flight attendant with them (a few connections can’t hurt – see older Blog: food on wings), this was our choice. Various airlines from the Gulf States also offer flights to Sri Lanka, but of course not direct.

Sri Lankan Airlines allows 30 kg free baggage per person plus carry-on; my wheelchair plus a second one if needed, would also be free.

However, I had to make some phone calls (my “favorite activity” ), until I got the confirmation that both my bathroom chair “Artosy”, which can be folded to fit in a hard case, as well as other medical aids would be carried for free, even without prior notification.

(Up to then I only knew that all expedients must be declared in advance. This info is as always without guarantee.)

In addition Sri Lankan Airlines still wanted some a kind of a medical form signed by my family doctor. Always something new…

The “International Medical Information Form” was what felt like the eighth fax copy of a micro script in English, which was hard to decipher before translation.

For a readable PDF-version of the questionnaire of Air Berlin click here.

Medizinisches Informationsformular (deutsch): Teil I und Teil II

Medical Information Form (englisch): Part II and Part II

Since I needed some additional vaccinations for precaution, and also a certificate for my meds, my Doc got to see me quite often during the weeks before the vacation.

At the end our luggage pile equaled that of an emigration! Between the 4 of us we hauled 5 suitcases incl. bathroom chair, 3 carry-ons, 1 XL-Wheelchair Backpack and 2 oversized women’s purses. Had there been a film crew from VOX, it wouldn’t have surprised me. However, despite shower chair and other tools we still had 30 kg unused capacity. We only declared my Rolli as special baggage.

Yay, 30kg free luggage for Souvenirs on the return flight – … the creditcard might get hot!

To be continued…

Click here to go to older blogs on the subject of “flying with a wheelchair”

To read all parts of the “Sri Lanka-Series” click here.

Translator BL

Wheelchair expedition Sri Lanka Part I

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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For as long as I have been confined to a wheelchair I’ve been on air travel for vacation for more than 10 times, but to rather close destinations (Mediterranean or Canary Islands, see earlier articles).

Up to now I didn’t dare to go on a long-haul flight. My concerns were not even about being able to get to the lavatories throughout the entire flight (there are other solutions), but rather the question as to whether my bum and back will hold up.

However, friends of ours immigrated to Sri Lanka about 5 years ago. Sri Lanka? Tropical climate, hot, high humidity – a climatic challenge for someone who can’t sweat anymore. How accessible actually is the infrastructure? Do they know the word barrier-free at all? We were there about 15 years ago (when I was still a pedestrian), therefore my doubts.


Well, common friends have convinced us, to venture out on that trip together. Now began the search for a suitable hotel. My preferred travel agent Runa-Reisen who specializes in travel in a wheelchair, does not offer Sri Lanka in his program (why not?). However, they asked for a travel report after my trip ;-)

So off to the travel agency, to one of the “big” ones (the one with the three letters)! Of course, the travel agent had no experience with travel in a wheelchair, but he really did his best. They, too wanted a travel report after the trip.

Fortunately, we have local friends as mentioned before. The Blue Water Hotel Wadduwa, seemed reasonably suitable and is only a half hour drive from their house.

Therefore, I provided my friend with a checklist created by me for wheelchair accessible accommodations – bed, space in the bathroom, tub or shower, steps, etc. – and instructed him to look at the rooms and to take photos.

PDF download of the checklist: German version , English version

It turned out that the standard rooms would have been okay space wise, the bathrooms however unsuitable for me. They had tubs instead of showers and too little space for a wheelchair anyway. Nevertheless, there were two Club Suites with fully handicapped accessible bathrooms incl. floor-level showers! This was worth the extra cost; and since we travelled off-season, availability was not a problem.


The Shower-wheelchair “Artosy” fits into a suitcase and is my own.

The floor-leveled shower only caused medium-sized floods lol …

If the beds are pushed together, even a balcony visit is possible ;-)

To be continued..

To read the complede “Sri Lanka- serial”, click here.

Translator BW

 

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks LXII

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

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 Barrierefreier Kinderspielplatz in Malta.

Ein tolles Beispiel fĂĽr Inklusion, der Spielplatz wurde 2014 gebaut. Dort hatte ich am Tag zuvor auch ein Kind im Rolli gesehen.

Das mit dem Rolli befahrbare Kletter-SpielgerĂĽst fand ich super.

Die Rollifahrer-Schaukel

war der Knaller, die ich als bekennendes Spielkind natĂĽrlich gleich ausprobieren musste.

Man fährt über die Klappe auf die Schaukel, diese kommt hydraulisch hoch, dann  legt den Sicherheitsbügel um, und dann kann es losgehen / fahren.

Die Schaukel ist klasse und hat einen riesen SpaĂź gemacht, man sollte es aber nicht ĂĽbertreiben….

Bei meinem 360° Überschlag waren leider gerade die Akkus der Kamera leer ;-)

Eigude Shame Part XXVII

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Ghost Bathroom

Friday, October 31st, 2014

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In a designated wheelchair hotel it goes without saying that the bathrooms are accessible and have an accessible shower.

Bathtubs are only used rarely by us wheelers.
Here some Spanish mechanics really have bricked up the former bath tub and made a storage rack out of it. I like!

My wife as a pedestrian felt discriminated.

Taking a closer examination, it could also be a

Sacrophagus of a tomb

You better don’t ask the question if there is still anybody lying in it.

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks LIV Rehacare 2014

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Back from the German Alps

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Sorry, this entry is only available in Deutsch.

Ingenious: A cooling vest and Cap which only needs water!

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

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Due to the rather tropical outside temperatures I would like to call your attention like every year to two older blogposts!

One is about a

Cooling Vest

(click here)


and the other one about a

Cooling Cap

(click here)


Since the summer 2013 has found us as well I have the prototype of a cooling shirt, also from the company E-cooline in permanent test mode, and I am happy.

Read the comments to the blogposts, there are some tips of other readers!!!

Translator BL

Sport News V, Wheelchairgolf

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

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Trial lesson in Tenerife

I had already reported a year ago about an electric wheelchair with which you can play golf, (see older blogpost).

In Tenerife, you can rent such a golf wheelchair in the Hotel Mar y Sol in Los Cristianos, and also play a round with a coach on the golf course.

As I once played field hockey in my previous live and I would have liked to hit a ball again, my curiosity was even bigger.

This year I even had the possibility to meet the challenge of playing golf with my friend Christian Nachtwey, a former European champion and team captain of the German National Team in wheelchair golf.

Christian is not only an excellent golf player but also has a company which produces these golf wheelchairs. www.powerbasetec.de

In my former life I have driven many fork lifts, lifting platforms and similar vehicles with joystick, but such a delicate steering mechanism as it is in the golf wheelchair was new to me. Just driving around is really fun!

However, I was still in doubt how I should hold the golf club with my limited finger function and then even be able to hit the ball.
You have to take such “trifles” as a game, up to now we usually could think of a solution.

You are buckled up with knees and chest, similar to my Standing chair at home, and then you rise to the sky.

I have to admit, we were “just” on the Driving Range.

After we fixed the golf club with velcro straps and duct tape to my hand, the test series “Play Golf 1.0″ instead of “Drive Golf 12.1 years” could begin.

To my surprise you hardly need power, so that the ball even moves with me.

It seems to me that you can learn to play golf quicker as a “wheeler” than as a “footer” because you don’t twist the upper body during the shot due to the belts.

It is a lot of fun, I can recommend it to everybody to give it a try.

Wheelchair golf is also possible on Mallorca, this is there offered by “FUNDACIĂ“N HANDISPORT Mallorca”.

With them I was already sailing last year. It was a perfect day then, (see older blogpost).

A roll of duct tape is necessary per hole…

After I unpacked my “secret weapon”, the golf-ball from Eintracht Frankfurt which I brought along, Christian virtually didn’t have a chance any more ;-)

Translator BL

Technical Aids Tips and Tricks XXIX

Friday, March 1st, 2013

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Flying with a wheelchair!!!

It is actually no big secret, but I am asked again and again how I make it into the plane, because as is known I am neither able to walk, jump nor hop.

The answer is very easy, with a plane wheelchair and two strong guys!!

When the plane has docked at the gate I move with my own wheelchair to the plane door.

If you have an outside position you drive to the plane with a normal bus.
From there you move upwards to the height of the plane with a

plane lifting bus

If this “Beam me up Scotty Bus” is even working properly you should be the first at the upper door (the other passengers are coming from the other side of the plane).
I have already experienced this differently, (see older blogpost).

In this bus two kind airport employees help you with the transfer from your own wheelchair to the worldwide similar

plane wheelchair (model on the left)

On this piece of equipment you are pulled through the plane until you arrive at a special seat row where you can fold up the armrest to the aisle.

Then the famous “dwarf tossing” to the window seat can start…!!!

Don’t be afraid, the guys know what they are doing!!! ;-)

This time we have set a new record on the return flight, only 1 hour 40 minutes from landing until leaving the airport building. :-(

Click here on “Flying” to read stories all about “Flying with a wheelchair”.

Many years ago, I have worked at a beverage wholesaler, and the plane wheelchair always reminds me a bit of a sack truck with chair.

Translator BL