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Our accessible Mediterranean cruise vacation (Part 2)

November 25, 2018

This multi-part post describes a recent trip my husband, Charles, and I took earlier this year to celebrate our first wedding anniversary — a week-long Mediterranean cruise that included stops in three Italian ports. I have posted this information because I hope other people who have been diagnosed with MS — or who have a close connection to MS — will read it, and it will help make their life journey easier.

After my MS diagnosis, I began having problems with balance and foot drop, so my doctor recommended that I use a cane. I cannot walk long distances, even with a cane, so  when we travel, I use a mobility scooter. Because I use the scooter, we plan accessible vacations.

When we plan trips to Europe, we work with Sage Traveling. For this trip, the company provided accessible transportation to and from airports, hotels and our cruise ship, as well as  knowledgable guides for tours along the way.

On our first day on the cruise ship, we found our handicapped-accessible cabin without a problem. We stood on our balcony and watched as Spain receded in the distance and the ship headed across the Mediterranean Sea toward Italy.

The next morning we stopped for our first tour in Italy — the picturesque Amalfi Coast and the famous Roman ruins of Pompeii. At the port in Naples, we met two gentlemen from Sage Traveling — our tour guide and driver. They loaded my scooter in their roomy van, and Charles and I climbed into the back seat.

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More than 2 million tourists a year travel this serpentine road along the Amalfi Coast.

Because the road along the Amalfi Coast road is so narrow, drivers cannot use their rearview mirrors, which have to be pressed against the sides of the vehicles so a passing vehicle doesn’t tear off the mirrors. When a tour bus comes down the road, the traffic heading in the opposite director has to stop so the bus can get by.

But even with the steep terrain, our tour guide made sure I could get around on my scooter and see many sights.

As we traveled down the coast road, we saw lemon trees growing in terraced gardens. The Amalfi Coast is known for its production of limoncello liqueur, made from those lemons.

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After touring the Limoncello Factory, Charles and I took in the view.

We also saw handmade pottery at a shop in Positano.  The Amalfi Coast is a major center for Italian ceramics, including tiles, tableware, vases and bowls.

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The picturesque. village of Positano is tucked into the hills along the Amalfi Coast. John Steinbeck called it “a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.”

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Tourists climb the 62 broad steps leading to the Amalfi Cathedral in the Piazza Duomo. The cathedral is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Andrew, whose relics are kept there.

After we left the Amalfi Coast, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe, where we enjoyed a traditional margarita pizza with a crust baked in a wood-fired oven.

After lunch, we headed for the nearby ruins of the Roman city of Pompeii. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was buried under 13 to 20 feet of volcanic ash and pumice. Pompeii’s remains were discovered in 1599. Its ancient stone streets are straight and laid out in a grid. Our tour guide led us through the ruins on a surprisingly accessible path.

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The well-preserved ruins of Pompeii include homes, shops and public areas such as a forum, amphitheater, temples and baths.

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A tourist attraction for more than 250 years, Pompeii is said to be the most visited archeological site in the world. Tourists can spend several days exploring the site.

Next up: At our second stop in Italy, we see Rome and the Vatican.

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Our accessible Mediterranean cruise vacation (Part 2)”

  1. William Keller Says:

    Such an interesting travelogue. Your travels should be an inspiration to many others WBK

    Sent from my iPhone.

    >

    Like


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