Day 1 (Yerevan) – The Charles De Gaulle Airport Experience

Can you believe that it has been 4 years (nearly to the date) that one has ventured outside of the Europe region? It’s about time therefore that one returns to veering off the beaten track into the unknown in terms of accessibility. The next few years are shaping up to be a very exciting time to explore the world in an electric wheelchair as major infrastructure projects, especially in Asia are expected to be completed which will, not only open up said countries to disabled travellers but also change the lives of residents with disabilities…more details will be revealed over the coming months! Anyway, let’s discuss this Armenian adventure…

As there is no direct flights from the UK to Armenia, one planned to fly from Bristol to Paris (Charles De Gaulle) where we would have a 7 hour stay before heading onto Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. As Easyjet arrives at T2 at CDG and FlyOne Armenia departs from T1, it gave us ample time to explore the airport and the CDGVAL transportation system.

Now, I have heard bad things about Charles De Gaulle and wheelchairs hence one was expecting some kind of drama so was pleasantly surprised when Superbunny was waiting on the jet bridge less than 15 minutes of landing! Once through the usual border control, we began our jaunt through the various T2 sub terminals to the free CDGVAL which transports you to T1 and T3. As T2 is home to a TGV station and the last time one visited France was 2015, it was only appropriate to have a gander around…

The CDGVAL has it’s own dedicated station away from said TGV station complete with elevators and level boarding making for a smooth roll and off albeit when the doors trap you…

In a matter of minutes, the concrete jungle of T1 appeared where we would spend 5 hours of our lives at. Before coming to Armenia, one purchased a few Apple AirTags so I could keep track of both wheelchairs in case we got separated. This came in handy as the policy at CDG (like Oslo) is that electric wheelchairs must be left at check in before passing through security etc. AirTags are also useful to ensure the wheelchairs are on said plane.

After another 4.5 hour delayed flight on a rather relaxed airline (don’t know if that is a good or bad thing?) , we touched down in Yerevan where one had organised an accessible taxi to take us to our hotel courtesy of VMA Assistance. Until very recently, buses to and from the airport were not accessible, however, I believe that a new bus route was inaugurated in the summer with low-floor buses. The only issue is that the schedule ceases at 11pm and we landed after this time, ahh well, times are definitely changing for the better though?

Before exiting the terminal, we still had the issue of reuniting with Superbunny. There was some confusion as to whether or not the Ambulift would be utilised, however as it was past midnight, I think the staff simply wished to clock off hence it was a manhandle down the steps! The AirTag proved useful again in tracking Superbunny which had been put with the rest of the luggage.

One paid 370 Euro for a return trip to the airport in Yerevan. For this price, we gained THREE staff and TWO taxis (one for the luggage and the other for the wheelchairs)…can’t complain with that! As predicted, one received a fuss and has already been asked to return to Armenia…

As we eventually reached our hotel at 2am, tomorrow is a rest day with a gentle wander around Yerevan planned and then one has a meeting with the president of the Disability Rights Agenda NGO for Armenia to discuss rights etc in the country…should be interesting!

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Day 2 (Yerevan) – The Pink City

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