Renee Iseli - Smits in beBee in English, Social Work, Healthcare Author of "Ik ben slechthorend, nou en?" • Writer May 30, 2019 · 1 min read · +700

The Loreley

The Loreley

Source:  Picture from the Author

Last weekend we spent a few days in Germany and almost visited the Loreley (if you don't know the history of the Loreley, you can google it, for example on "Mythos Loreley").
It was my mother's birthday and we had agreed to meet halfway between the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Our hotel was directly on the Rhine and directly opposite the Loreley Rock and the view was wonderful.

On the first day we did a nostalgic Rhine boat trip. And I immediately noticed that everything, from the dock to the ship itself, was wheelchair accessible. On board the steamboat there was even a stairlift. Especially pleasant for us, because my mother uses a wheelchair when she is on a trip.
Unfortunately there was no induction loop, which made it particularly difficult for me to understand the informative announcements made during the boat trip, the more so as the whole time there was also a background music, albeit quiet. Or, in other words: I could hardly understand the announcements and had to ask my husband, mother or brother regularly. Fortunately this is never a problem for us.
After all we enjoyed the day and the view along the Rhine in particular!

On the second day we drove up the Loreley Rock. There is a visitor centre and a landscape and culture park. Also here everything was wheelchair-suitable and we could walk around (despite the weather) and enjoy the wonderful view.
We thought that we could see and admire the statue of the Loreley up here, but we were taught differently. The rock was "only" meant as a vantage point and the statue of the Loreley is ... down at the Rhine on a headland! Later we drove past it by car, but unfortunately we couldn't make a personal visit to lady Loreley herself, because it was raining too much at that moment. But since we knew where she was, we could even see  Loreley from our hotel ... ! On the picture above, you can see the blue flag, then a tree and in front of the tree sits Loreley: she is grey and has a protective colour.

On the whole we had a wonderful couple of days and a very nice birthday for my mother.
I just find it a bit sad and an actual missed chance: with a little more effort, i.e. with an induction loop or simply by making available a few copies of the text of the announcements in writing( in German and English), the boat trip and informative announcements would have been better accessible  for hearing impaired people as well. After all, the announcements are standard and most of the guests were on the ship all day or noon. If you try so hard to be 'barrier-free', that would have been real inclusion.