Earlier this year PosAbility Magazine was invited to Germany by the German National Tourist Office to take part in a ‘BarrierFree’ tour of the north-west of the country. With Hannover, Munster and East Friesland awaiting us, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from our visit, but we set off with high hopes of discovering locations that could inspire our readers of all abilities with ideas for their next holiday.
We set off from Edinburgh in the early hours and just a short flight later found ourselves at the start of our German adventure. The city of Bremen was our first stop but it was a fleeting visit as our tour group awaited us in the first destination on our tour, Hannover. When we arrived at the train station we were amazed by the sights and smells of all the food on offer. Almost like a shopping centre, major German train stations are lined with cafes and kiosks offering everything from traditional German fair to popular fast food outlets. Most impressive are the bakeries filled with delicious baked goods including breads, pastries, cakes and of course the traditional pretzels.
It was while in the taxi to our hotel, the Wyndham, that we were struck by just how green a city Hannover is, a characteristic we were to discover in each of the cities we visited. A total of 45% of Hannover is dedicated to recreational areas, such as parks, gardens, and even its very own forest, Eilenriede. Europe’s largest city forest, Eilenriede covers 642 hectares and is two times the size of New York’s Central Park. Popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists, there are even a number of cafes and restaurants to stop and relax in.
After checking in at the hotel, we met with the rest of the group who were taking part in the tour along with our guides. The group was made up of writers, bloggers and tour operators from around the world, four of whom were wheelchair users, all keen to see first hand what this region had to offer and how accessible the destinations are for visitors with disabilities.
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