Ibis Cardiff Central
The Ibis hotel is situated on Churchill Way, a short walk from Cardiff Central railway station, and opposite the Motorpoint Arena venue. It is part of the Accor group of hotels. It is probably best to plan your route to the hotel beforehand as locals don’t seem to know where it is, on a very wet Friday evening I was directed here there and everywhere before finally finding it!
Once again I find myself having lunch at Burger King in Liverpool John Lennon Airport at the start of a weekend break. This time I am flying to the Island of Jersey, just off the coast of northern France, for a stay based at the Premier Inn in St Helier. The flight went well and I am soon on the bus to St Helier, the capital of Jersey. This bus is a double decker and I entered at the middle doors like wheelchairs do on London buses so was unable to pay my fare. I later enquired about this in the bus terminal and was told that wheelchair users are supposed to pay the fare but if it is a bus where wheelchair users enter at the middle doors (used only on some journeys that go to the airport) it is at the discretion of the driver whether he comes to collect your fare on not; if he is busy he may not.
Premier Inn St. Helier 21-28 Charing Cross Jersey JE2 3RP
The Premier Inn St. Helier is located on Charing Cross and is just a short walk from the main bus station if you have arrived at the airport, and a short walk further from the ferry port. Right next to it is a Co-op supermarket which is handy for getting snacks and supplies, I visited several times during my two day stay. This is a new Premier Inn which only opened earlier this summer.
Today I travelled to Douglas in the Isle of Man for a short break, the previous time I have been there was for a day trip only. From first thing in the morning things began to go wrong, though in the end the trip was very enjoyable. Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I go to Wrexham Maelor Hospital for dialysis and today being Monday had to go before travelling, but today of all days the ambulance that picks me up arrived two hours late and then I was ill during the dialysis. Because of this delay I could not get the train to Liverpool airport in time for my flight on EasyJet so got a bus to Chester where I then got a taxi, costing £57, to the airport. Things went smoothly at the airport and my flight arrived on time. I had a 3 day ‘Go Explore’ travelcard for all transports in the Isle of Man so on arrival got the bus in to Douglas, but before getting to my stop we had to change to another bus because it was about to run out of diesel!
COMIS Hotel and Golf Resort Mount Murray Road Santon Isle of Man
The COMIS Hotel and Golf Resort is a 4**** hotel located just off the A5 road that runs from Ronaldsway airport to Douglas and is about 3 miles from Douglas. If arriving at the airport or ferry port there is a bus stop located on the A5 road just a few minutes walk from the hotel. The hotel does not look much from the outside but I was told it is probably the best on the island. There was level access to the reception desk but no lowered section to easily sign in from a wheelchair, I had to go to a table. Everywhere I went in the hotel was on the ground floor.
Sefton Hotel Harris Promenade Douglas Isle of Man IM1 2RW
The Sefton Hotel is a 4**** hotel located on the promenade in Douglas, Isle Of Man, next door to the Gaiety Theatre. If you are arriving from the airport or ferry port there are buses that stop right outside at the Gaiety Theatre bus stop; from the ferry port it is even close enough to walk if you don’t have lots of luggage with you. There are steps up to the front entrance but there is a ramp to the left of them at a good angle, not too steep as I managed it with ease with my heavy backpack on my wheelchair. The reception desk is immediately in front of you when you enter and to the right it has a low section so you can easily sign in from wheelchair height, and pay your account when you leave.
The Welsh Highland Railway that runs from Caernarfon meets up with the Ffestiniog Railway in Porthmadog where they share a station and by crossing the platform and changing trains it is possible to do a 40 mile run from Caernarfon to Blaenau Ffestiniog or vice versa.
Below you can find the wheelchair access information for each of these lines, I will add a detailed blog of each of the railways in the coming months as I visit (in some cases re-visit) each of them.
Back in 2002 I did my first long haul trip. It was to scuba dive in Vietnam. This blog will be slightly different to my previous blogs as it will mainly feature excerpts from my dive logbook. I flew from Manchester to Paris where I transferred to an Air France flight to Bangkok. On arrival at Don Muang airport all the other passengers got off the plane for an hour but the assistance team took so long coming to get me off that it was time to get back onboard when they arrived. With a new crew we then flew onwards to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon.)
Today I am at Manchester Airport awaiting my flight on Lufthansa to Venice via Munich. I have never been to Italy before and until recently would have considered Venice to be a difficult place to visit for a wheelchair user, but research on the internet seemed to suggest otherwise. In the map on the right those areas marked in green are supposed to be fairly easily accessible, those in khaki less accessible, and those in red not accessible. During the next two days I will find out.
Venice has a system of waterbus (Vaporetto) routes that get you around all the islands and they are very wheelchair friendly. The biggest boats, like the one in the photo to the left, run on routes  and  and display the blue wheelchair symbol. There are smaller boats on other routes which I did not see the symbol on but I managed to use every one that I tried and the crews on them were very helpful.