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Kris in the Baltics and wheelchair problems



Meet Kris: a 23-year-old Dutch girl travelling across Europe with Interrail. Diagnosed with Ehler Danlos syndrome, Kris is exploring Europe in her electric-powered wheelchair. With her Instagram and YouTube, she's sharing her adventures to show that travel is possible for anyone. After travelling across Scandinavia, she headed to the Baltics...



After 50 hours of travelling across all the countries in Scandinavia, it was time to travel through the Baltic States. However, as soon as I arrived, I faced some problems. Although my wheelchair had been working perfectly in the extreme winter weather (even in Lapland!), when I arrived in Latvia, it suddenly stopped. The motor was broken, which meant that I couldn't move my wheelchair or move myself outside. So, there I was, in the middle of Riga: a city with no wheelchair-friendly taxis, no English-speaking train assistance and a wheelchair that could stop working at any moment. 




After more than a fortnight of waiting for a new motor to arrive by post, the shipment was cancelled. The only way to get my wheelchair fixed was to go to the south of Germany - first by boat to the north of Germany, and then from there by train to the south.


My parents flew in from the Netherlands to Riga. There was no wheelchair transport possible and I couldn't find anybody in Latvia who could help me, so when they arrived, they drove me to the coast of Latvia so I could take the boat to Germany. It's crazy that I couldn't get myself to the boat after such a difficult journey already, but I'm happy that I saw my family after such a long time. It was so nice to see them!




When I finally arrived in the south of Germany and replaced the wheelchair motor, I decided to make the best of my stay and visit Stuttgart and Munich. I'm so happy that I got to see these amazing places. With my ski clothes and snow boots, in both the sun and mountain shadows, I discovered the beauty of south Germany. 


Munich was my favourite destination in Germany and definitely worth another visit. I ate pretzels all day long, and can't wait to have them again soon! I saw incredible places and loved the relaxed vibes, but after a few days, I decided to take a train to my favourite place in the world. My (hopefully!) future home, the Czech Republic.


The first stop was Prague: a city which looks like a living fairytale, with friendly people, many vegan food choices, cute parks to visit and tiny streets smelling of warm, cinnamon Trdelnik (a doughy dessert). Finally, in the first country where I could book train assistance for my wheelchair without any problems, I felt free. After Prague, I also visited Czechsky Budejovice and Czechsky Krumlov. They were beautiful! 




But, can you believe it? After my adventures in the Czech Republic, my wheelchair broke again! Now, I need to get myself to Italy, for what I hope will be the last repair. On my way, I hope to visit Austria and Switzerland (and eat more pretzels...), before I jump into the land of sun, gelato and - of course - the wheelchair repair shop. 


I'm ready to swap ski clothes for summer outfits, and, with my wheelchair hopefully fixed soon, I've got plenty of adventures ahead. Let's go!



Follow Kris' journey here on the Rail Life Stories Magazine, and of course also on her YouTube and Instagram channels (Dutch). 



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