Day 23: Bruges and the Eurotunnel home

Waking up knowing we were on our way home was a little disheartening but we see off to Bruges beforehand so that definitely lessened the blow. I had an email that morning to confirm the Eurotrunnel booking only to find it has for a car not a van, and I was able to change it without any problems.

Bruges was about a 2hr drive and of course if starts to rain. We managed of park pretty centrally which helped our tight schedule, and we spent 4 hours walking around the beautiful streets. The side roads are all cobbled but well kept so it wasn't too bumpy at all, and there were plenty of dropped curbs for crossing the roads. It felt a lot more accessible than Brussels which I was quite surprised over. However, the small roads and bridges were busy with tour groups and it's still off season, so you might want to consider this as they do block the roads. It was lovely to hear the horse drawn carriages which are all over the city, and because it's so small you really don't need to worry about taking public transport as an electric wheelchair can absolutely cope here. We also visited the Historium which is in the central square, a 4D experience to discover the History of Bruges- we really enjoyed it and carers get in for free! It's linked to the Duval brewery too which is even better!




The next stop after a delicious Belgian hot chocolate was the supermarket in Callais, to stock up on French cheese and wine before returning to the UK. And woah, what a haul, we filled the van with all of our favourite things! 

The Eurotunnel was a few minutes away and so easy to use, the registration recognition signed us in automatically and passport control was quick an easy. We didn't have to wait long until boarding the train, where the loaders gave us plenty of room behind the van incase I needed to exit the vehicle in an emergency. I should mention that although I could exit the vehicle, a wheelchair wouldn't be able to pass by the vehicles as the walk ways are narrow, but would be able to enter the next carriage in a fire. Half an hour later we were back in the UK, which was actually brighter than France for a change. Although the journey was quick, I felt a little tight chested and my ears kept popping. I'm not sure if it was the pressure difference causing it or the slight claustrophobic feeling of being inside the van, inside a train carriage, but it was a new experience all the same. There's also a changing places disabled toilet with hoist at the departure terminal in England, which is fantastic news for disabled travellers!

Can you believe that the least accessible "accessible" hotel room was the one in England, on our final stop? The Premier Inn in Croydon has far from accessible rooms, just a few grab rails in odd places and soft turn taps. I couldn't use the hoist with the bed as it was a solid block, there was a built in bath and there was only one electricity plug directly opposite the bed. Even the bed in the PA room was more accessible than the "accessible" room, but I couldn't get in the room in my chair so we didn't swap. We complained and received a refund, but I think I'll stick to Travelodge in the future as their access is normally pretty good for a basic hotel.

One more sleep until back in our own bed, really feeling mixed emotions about it all coming to an end. Love Tori xx


2 comments:

  1. I can totally agree with what you are saying about the premier Inn rooms I use travelodge regularly now as I had trouble with other hotels and I hope I have just as much fun when I take my wav vehicle down to the southern trip of Spain via Portsmouth Madrid staying just outside murcia in a rented villa

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  2. Brought back great memories of when I went there. And yes totally agree about Premier Inns! Michael, would be really interested to hear about your experience of travelling to Spain (by ferry I presume?) as it's something I've also thought about trying. Thanks.

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