Jess Rooney

A flirty encounter with a little fly: Vienna

Blue entraps you,

The scent that trickles through your pores reveals you,

you are hidden in a temporary escape.

I spoke about Prague in my last post which was the most beautiful city to explore on my adventure. The Gothic architecture mixed in with the surrounding buildings, parked on two sides of the Vltava river. I am definitely going to return to visit it’s streets again but next time I intend to branch out of the city a little more to see what lies just beyond Prague’s borders.

The sound of rustling noises can be heard coming from the floor below my bunk. My eyelids slowly part as the sound continues growing with intention. I peer over the bars confining me inside my elevated perch. I see one of my companions sleeping across from me on a lower bunk. The other walks about the room frantically. I question her. My voice crackles from fatigue. Her reply is given with a sweep of her hand into view. A swollen index finger protrudes stiffly from the rest. At the end of her knuckle, the colour has turned purple with a vein slithering down towards her wrist. A mosquito has had its fill of her blood and left her with this infectious gift.

To the Hospital! wait.. which one?

The Dice has stopped on four. You must pass the adventure and stop at the hospital. This was to be our first medical bump on our travelling monopoly board. In the hot summer weather, you expect a few attacks from hungry mosquito’s and a body covered in itchy red lumps that are altogether irritating but for the most part are harmless. Unfortunately, in some cases, the cheeky little blood drainers come with some surprises and unluckily for one of my companions who discovered that they turned out to be more susceptible to their charms than most. The flirty little fly left her drained from all its attention and dumped her with a nasty infection as a parting souvenir of their time together as Leech and Host.

Injury Abroad

Get it checked!  Go straight to the nearest pharmacy and show it to the chemist on duty.  I and my friend went looking for the closest pharmacy to our hostel. After a quick inspection, she was given cream for her hand. Cream? for that? My unprofessional opinion is this definitely needs more than a dash of cream? With a language barrier as your opponent, it is probably a good idea to look for a second opinion if the first doesn’t seem to fit. The person might not understand the situation properly and may not understand your symptoms. Our second opinion was to go straight to the hospital and have it inspected by a Dermatologist who would be far more equipped to deal with our crisis.

After collecting our other friend from the hostel we were dropped off at a hospital or at least down the road from a hospital by a taxi person who didn’t seem to know where they were going. We walked around the outer section of the building trying to decipher the hospital signposts. We eventually found the reception but sadly we were informed that we were at the wrong hospital. We took another taxi to Hospital number two. Hospital number two was a quiet, empty and completely clean white. It felt as though it was barely visited or in operation. A showroom for your expectations which like any open box always ends up a disappointment. After being directed to a third hospital my infected friend was becoming understandably agitated contributed to her increasingly painful hand and the discovery that every hospital we were being sent to was turning out to be the wrong one.

Third time lucky?

Hospital number 3 was crowded and looked like the inside of a beehive. Doctors and nurses rushed by disappearing through numerous doors. People waited on plastic seats while others queued along lines painted on the floor.  A voice called names out along the narrow yellow corridor. For every moment spent sitting along the corridor of injured souls, the room began to close in around us, the empty space between becoming small and smaller. Our bodies became marshmallows squeezed inside our cracker confinements. We the non-infected tagalongs tried to keep positive and joke about the situation because after all what else can you do but laugh? Of course, it was easier for us as we weren’t going through all of this but it was a long day for everyone and positive spirits needed to be kept up. My advice is to try not to let it damper your trip. Bumps will happen, you just need to learn to walk over them and reach the other side with a smile still attached.

A crackling voice was heard over the intercom. Was that an Ashleigh? Yes!!! finally. Away she went into a small room. Our fingers were crossed and our heads lifted when she returned to the store that was once a corridor. She was given antibiotics to take for four days. Result! we thought that’s it, we are done, let’s explore. Oh, wait you can’t get antibiotics at the hospital you say? We have to search for a pharmacy that is still open after midday on a Saturday you say? excellent…

With a small list in hand of pharmacy’s, that’s doors may still be open to us, we searched all around Vienna city with no luck. Tensions were high and panic also started to rise in us. We went into a cafe, desperate for directions. A woman who had great English was able to give us directions to a pharmacy that was… OPEN!!! thank you !!!

After all of the day’s stress, we returned to her cafe for tea and cake and to finally relax.

I can tell you much of Vienna’s hospitals and only a little of the city itself. But What I did see and experience was expensive and overrated. If you want to spend money on retail therapy then Vienna is somewhere I would recommend but if your looking for more of a sightseeing adventure then I would suggest another Austrian City. What we did see and do was beautiful even though it was not my favourite city to visit.

Volksgarten Pavilion is a bar and grill beside the Volksgarten in Vienna. It is a cool outdoor venue with good music and a busy atmosphere. At night it cost 6 euro to enter (or so it was when it was when we were there) and the drinks are a little pricey compared to everywhere else we have been so far. But if you ignore the overly priced drinks menu it is a nice spot to hang out and relax.

Capa Tosta is an outdoor bar with an inner restaurant section. It is situated at the edge of Stadtpark. Like the Pavilion it isn’t cheap but is a wonderful place to drink a cocktail and enjoy the surrounding nature.

In StadtPark flows the wien river and the home of its River Gate The  “Ohmannschen” is located beside Capa Toasta. Its Architecture is a great piece of Art Nouveau.

Hofburg Palace is the former imperial palace which lies across the Heldenplatz Gardens. It is a magnificent building with what I can only describe as Godly sculptures that protrude from its walls.

Bum Bag Filler 

An EHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare on temporary stays in other European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover immediate and clinically necessary state-funded treatment until your planned return home to the UK. This is something I can’t over-recommend. If my friend didn’t apply for one for our trip her medical expenses could have been bank breaking. This could have been an unforeseen expense that would have altered the travelling experience in a negative way.  Just something to think about before you set off on your trip. Next Stop Budapest!!

Did you experience any medical mishaps while travelling and how did you deal with?

Hope you enjoyed the post and keeping reading,

Jess x

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