Just a little bit longer
We want to play
Just a little bit longer
When I was planning my beach trip to the South I had different options regarding accomodation. In Kristiansand it was really really easy. I booked a wheelchair accessible room in Comfort Hotel Kristiansand, which turned out to be quite new and wheelchair accessible. The only weird thing was that they had put the shower chair in the hallway, which made me wonder if I was stealing someone elses shower chair or if they just left it for me. Anyway, I took it. And I did not got arrested (so I guess it was ok)…
Besides that the room, the bathroom and hotel worked out just fine.
Friday I got a (planned) guided tour through Scandic Hotel Bystranda, which is a new and very accessible hotel. They have 23 universally designed rooms and the whole hotel and facility is wheelchair accessible. The hotel was pretty expensive, but the surroundings close to Bystranda beach and Aquarama is definitely hard to beat.
Accomodation in Lindesnes turned out to be a bit more complicated. My friend Ingrid had offered me to do some couch surfing in her cabin for three days. But the thought of waking up with mascara all over my face, at the couch three mornings in a row, with her mother-in-law and three teenagers (whom I did not know in advance) did not seem too tempting. Although a very kind offer. So I booked a room in Lindesnes Havhotell, which is a 10-15 minute walk from Ingrid’s cabin. The hotel claimed to be wheelchair accessible on Booking.com and they used to be a Scandic Hotel (usually good a access for all). So I thought it would be pretty safe. We all make mistakes…
2 days before my arrival I got a call from a receptionist at Lindesnes Havhotell:
“Hello. We can see that you have booked a wheelchair accessible hotel at our hotel through Booking.com. The thing is, we took over the hotel 3 weeks ago from Scandic. And we must admit that our hotel is not that wheelchair friendly.”
“Ok. What do you mean by that?”
“Well, we are not sure about the wheelchair accessible rooms. They are situated in another building and you need an elevator to get there. And then you need to go outside again. And inside. And we don’t know how the rooms really work for a wheelchair user.”
“Ok. That’s a shame.”
“Yes. We therefore recommend that you go to Rosfjord Hotel in Lyngdal (same owners) instead. They are really nice and wheelchair accessible. And it is only a 20-30 minute drive from Lindesnes.”
“The thing is, I am visiting some friends at Lindesnes. I want to stay there. I think I want to try your hotel anyway. I have a manual chair. I am sure it will work out.”
“But we are really not wheelchair accessible. We recommend that you go to Lyngdal instead. You can drive back and forth and still visit your friends”
“But I was planning on drinking wine and having a good time in the sun with my friends. I think I want to check out your hotel anyway. How bad can it be?”
After some discussion, we therefore agreed that I would come and check out the premises on Friday. If they did not work with a manual chair, they would not charge me (and I would need to crash on someones couch or go to Lyngdal instead).
Late Friday afternoon I arrived at Lindesnes Havhotel after a nice barbeque at my friend’s place. I checked in at the reception and the guy (perhaps the owner?) already knew my name. It was obvious that they had discussed the avaited wheelchair user INGUNN! He said he really did not know how this would work, because the previous owners had made some pretty lame decisions. But he seemed positive and we would check it out. He gave me the key to the wheelchair accessible room (building 8 – 3rd floor). But alas….when we got to the lift to get to building 8, we encountered a 40 cm threshold to reach the lift! And no ramp. This was obviously not going to work… 🙁
Time for plan B (hotelwise). We went looking for a normal hotel room that could work. First we checked out one of the flats, but the rooms were on the smaller side and the bathroom door seemed hard to close. There was also a 15-20 cm threshold to enter the room. However, the room next to it (H-222), seemed like a better option. The threshold was only 12-15cm and after a test it turned out that I could get in and out with my manual wheelchair without assistance. It was definitely not perfect. Both the bathroom and room was narrow. But for 3 days it would work.
While I went down to change wheelchairs and get my luggage, the owner (??) went down to the reception. And when I got back the very friendly guy turned up with a newly built ramp (in 20 minutes!). However I found that it would be easier for me to get in and out grabbing the doorway without the ramp, so I declined his nice offer. But I truly appreciated the effort (2 points for wheelchair access – 5 points for the service)… 🙂
So I did not have to go to Lyngdal anyway. And I truly enjoyed my morning coffee at Båly Harbour, right in front of the hotel. Lindesnes Havhotell is nice, if you disgregard some challenges regarding wheelchair access.
I even got to experience the Canal Days, the “big happening” at Spangereid with ice cream, market, American veteran cars and old colleagues in the area.
And I also encountered gigantic seagulls, big enough to scare everyone who has ever laid their eyes on “The Birds” (I blame Hitchcock).
Since the weather was close to perfect, I decided to stay one day extra (after kindly asking my boss). I asked the hotel if I could keep the room for one more day. Well, I couldn’t. My room was taken. And since I did not bother to search for another room with a low threshold (and the receptionist did not bother to do it), I decided to stay on Ingrid’s couch for the last night. And I can recommend Ingrid’s cabin as well. If you don’t want to go to Lyngdal instead… 🙂
The last night in Spangereid was very quiet and sunny and deserves a blog post in itself. Que sera sera. At least I did not have to write about Lyngdal… 😉