Dr. Hoffer's Travel Site This site was last updated 05/05/11
UK1999 #41 Wien to Brussels
Austria to Germany to Belgium
The next day was Sunday again and for some reason I woke up at 8:30 in the
morning. I was supposed to go to Mass with Dimitrii at St. Stephan Dom but there
was a huge Cathedral just across from the hotel with a Mass at 8:45, so I got up
and went to that. Then I went for a run down Mariahilfer Strasse, which is the
main shopping street in Vienna. It was a beautiful run. When I returned Dimitrii
arrived with his friend, Igor, who moved from Russia to Vienna. We took our car
and drove to the Vienna Convention center called Austria House, which is where
the ESCRS meeting was being held. We registered, looked at exhibits, met up with
George & Jill from VVF and then went to the Reception cocktail party, which was
very nice. Marcia took a cab and met us at Hotel Imperial where the 3 of
attended the Grand Dinner meeting of the International Intraocular Implant Club
(IIIC). Dr. Peter Choyce gave the main speech and as usual made sure he
mentioned my founding the American Society in 1974. A very sweet guy.
Monday we knocked around a little, ran Mariahilfer again and Marcia went to the Opera House and had a Sachertorte. We took Dimitrii to the Le Ciel restaurant at the ANA Hotel, which we enjoyed 2 years ago when we were here. Tuesday morning Dimitrii wakes me up at 7:30 so we go over to the meeting, his lecture is at 9:30. He did a great job and also defending the Phakic IOLs when a doctor from Salzburg was attacking them. I went back to the hotel, put my slides together and ran Mariahilfer again, then drove like crazy to get to the meeting on time. This city is huge and the traffic is incredible. I made it with only 5 minutes to spare. I was the Chairman of the session so it would have been embarrassing. The moderating went well and I gave my two talks without much problem. We left with George and Jill and went downtown and had a well-deserved glass of pils. We met Marcia and then had dinner at Da Capo, which was very good.
I finally figured out the secret to doing email in these hotels – simply use the line their fax machine is hooked to; it has to be a direct line not through the hotel phone system. And you don’t have to pay for the call. Marcia spent 3 days reorganizing all our stuff in preparation for going home. We woke Wednesday, got everything back into the car and took off in the afternoon for Augsburg, Germany. There we got the last free room in the city at the Ibis Hotel. I did my run through town then we ate late at Bistro 3M in the heart of town. This is a rather big city.
This morning it was our job to find the hospital that Marcia’s Dad was stationed for most of his stay in ‘45-46, called Hauptkrankenhaus. After a little driving we find it and it is obvious it was newer than 1945. I checked with the librarian there (Zentrum Klinikum) and she told me they moved here in 1985 after they closed the old hospital. So we drove back into town and found it.
From there we drove past Stutgart, Ulm, Frankfort, Cologne, and Aachen and arrived in Brussels, the capitol of Belgium and the European Union. We found the Ibis Hotel near the center of the old city. Only by sheer luck (GPS doesn’t cover Belgium). After running through Grande Place, the main piazza I discovered a series of small alleys so densely populated with outdoor restaurants, you could barely move. I went and got Marcia and it was as difficult to choose which one to eat at as it was in Lyons, France 2 years ago (3 days before leaving for home from Paris). We finally settled on Le Lautrec and got talked into their specialty which is a platter for 2 of lobster, crab, scallops, shrimp, salmon, crayfish, langostines, turbot etc. It was quite good though the service was testy and slow. The price for this “tour de tourist” was $178. Incredibile! We strolled through the Grande Place and the buildings were spectacular, though the City could spend a little money on clean up of the streets. This is quite a magnificent capital.
Tomorrow we drive from here to Calais and hopefully catch our reserved Hovercraft across the English Channel and back to England. We may head for Greenwich before arriving in London.
We hope everyone has enjoyed their summer.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #42
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
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