Margaret Island, Budapest, August 2013

7

I decided there the title of this story , sitting at a table in a restaurant surrounded by the park on the island . I said aloud , before a speech acclaimed as I was eager to do so.
I felt the weight of this caption, as if you were already aware of the importance of that moment and I needed to place it. I already perceived it as a souvenir photo of many years ago. A great picture taken knowing that I would have hung on the walls of the heart.
We were sitting at a table specially arranged in the most luminous corner of the room, at the end of a beautiful dinner. We, VIP of Europe.
Twelve people , six nationalities . seven participants of The Visionary Europe,, three trainers, two friends from Budapest who helped us during the stay.
To the numbers of the group must be added the two rented apartments , the thousands of miles that each of us has come to be there that night together.

After less than four months after the end of the workshop , which was held in Berlin in May, we have already organized the first meeting . The idea was to get together , get to know each other better and to try to recreate the energy and atmosphere of the workshop week.
The context was different , the city was different , but maybe not the motivation .Each of us was there to try, once again , to live with other visually impaired , to know even more thoroughly how to cope with everyday life and push ourselves again out of the security of our own territory .
Budapest is a wonderful city, but perhaps not the most accessible in Europe. With the help of Zsuzsa , Nellie’s friend , we were able to move in the city without having to search for directions, without having to worry about what means to take, just enjoying walking. If I think of how many things ssiamo managed to do in 48 hours…
The visit to the Synagogue, the walk in the center, the boat trip on the Danube (of course !) , the rickshaw ride, nights at the clubs , the castle and the underground labyrinth of Buda, thermal baths, lunches and dinners together, …
Perhaps the sequence of pictures posted on the facebook page of Noisyvision can give an idea of the atmosphere and group cohesion. You can read it in faces, hear the laughter that remain silent out by the smiles captured in some frames.
A weekend of words and stories, but most of those light moments that you live on the road.
I do not think any of us have ever feared he could lose, not knowing where to go. We were all willing to help us , to support us, waiting for each other. I for one did not want to enter the labyrinth. I knew that I would find low tunnels, humidity, steps, darkness. And it was much worse than I thought. For an environmental situation which in itself is not the ‘ ideal for a visually impaired person, it was added opera musicbroadcasted in all corridors . It was spreading as a ghostly echo, I echoed in my chest like a sound of darkness, in a mixture of history and primordial breaths. But of course, I enjoyed it.

While the exploration of Budapest on the model of that method of Berlin has given way to a easy visit there have been occasions to compare the accessibility of the two cities . The white lines on all the steps of the escalator mark a point in favor of Budapest, as well as the tactile bronze profile, which gives the possibility to touch the skyline of Buda from the Pest side of the Danube . The guidelines on the floor of the subway are different from those I’ve seen so far, because instead of being in relief, thin grooves are carved on the floor easy to follow with the white cane .
The means of transport and station platforms, however, are much less accessible . Steps at times very high , other times not reported by an appropriate color contrast. Bicycle lanes do not exist, buttons at traffic lights … I do not think I have seen. But you know, these are the classic problems of the old cities. Everything has been built over the centuries and without an overall plan .How could you do to improve in small steps ?

In any case, the Visionaries do not miss the boat trip. Despite someone had complained that on a boat you can not “feel ” the city, we like to see the city from its lowest level, perhaps feeling the movement of the water , maybe see a bridge from afar. We love to move on the rivers and maybe this could be the theme of the next steps .We cruise on the Seine, the Thames , or maybe somewhere else along on the Danube ? Why not the Tagus ? Or maybe on the Tiber , Arno , on the Po.
Somehow for a visually impaired person is the easiest easy to move. There are no steps nor dog shits, a cold beer in hand and the scenery flowing.

Where do we want to throw the next amchor ?

Apart from the water one thing is certain: the visionaries want to continue to discover, to live in other parts of Europe , perhaps, one day, in some other corner of the Earth.
We want to travel , get together and feel free . Tap the world and take those pieces that the eyes do not see.

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