|Italy, Austria and Turkey - DONE!|
In late May, my wife and I travelled from Sydney, Australia to Istanbul where we stayed for a week and dialysed at the Diaverum Clinic near Harem, across the Bosphorous by ferry from the main city ferry wharf. Very good clinic, well run and friendly, they even sent a car to collect us from the Harem ferry wharf ! 3 treatments cost me 550E. We stayed in the Ilkay Hotel 5 minutes walk to the main ferry wharf and near the old but elegant Oriental Express Railway station! We also visited Gallipoli for the weekend to locate my grandfather's WW1 Grave at Hill 60 using Hassle Free Travel who were marvellous! Can't recommend them highly enough for any Turkish travel anywhere there.Another nice hotel in Istanbul is the Oriental Express Hotel, a boutique hotel overlooking the Bosphorous from the top open deck.
Then we flew to VIenna where it is difficult to get treatment but Dr Kocke runs a 2 machine holiday clinic at about 250 E a time. Stayed at the City Pensione,only 5 minutes from St Stephans Cathedral-right in the centre for E95 a night DOUBLE,b and b. Wonderful. Checked out the Opera and the Symphony Concerts and got cancelled tickets for less than half price TO EACH ..Wow!
We trained it over the mountains to VENICE- a beautiful 7 hour fascinating trip and arrived in Venice at 1.30pm, I had previously booked in to dialyse at the Venice Hospital about 10 minutes pleasant stroll from St Marks Square. This 500 year old architectually beautiful hospital has a modern 44 bed clinic for renal treatment at the other-furthest end. A walk through the main hall, past the kiosk to the clinic, well run and highly organised - I requested and got 5 hours treatment there 3 times in the week we stayed in Venice.(Most patients in Italy only dialyse for 4 hours- In Australia 5 hours is usual) By the way, we stayed in the Instituto San Giesseppe run by white nuns which is a catholic kindergarten but has 8 lovely tiled twin bedrooms with en suites. Very reasonable at 90E DOUBLE a night AND about 3 minutes stroll to ST MARK's Square !
We then flew to Catania in SICILY and bused it to Muzzoro below Taormina where we stayed for a week on the beach. I had previously booked into the Taormina Hospital which was about 3 k's away so we hired a little Smart Car and that let us see Mt Etna and surrounds as well as take me to the Hospital-I did 6 treatments there over 2 weeks- the second week we went up to Taormina and stayed at Hotel Schuler-right on the cliff face with splendid views of the coast line, the sea and Mt Etna. The dialysis was first class, and a bottle of Aussie red went down well on last diaysis when we toasted Italy and Australia with the staff!
This area is truly beautiful and should be listed on everyone's travel places to visit!
We then trained it all the way up the coast to Rome, getting the boat ferry acoss the Messina Straits on the way. I had prior booked dialysis at the Gambro (now Diaverum) Clinic at Laventina,out of Rome on the Metro to the last southern stop.I caught a taxi to the clinic- 10 minutes away .Easy!
So guys, you CAN DO IT! The whole exercise cost my wife and me $13,000 Aussie Dollars plus air fares! EVERYTHING WAS BOOKED ON THE INERNET. We flew Malaysian and on a Tuesday- I dialysed at the Diaverum Clinic in Sydney at 7 am and we flew out at 2 30pm arriving Kuala Lumpar Airport at 10pm local time (midnight in Sydney).We stayed overnight at the Pan Pacific Hotel at the airport ($A135) and flew out Wednesday morning at 9am KL time for Istanbul.When we arrived at Istanbul, our little hotel collected us at the airport and took us to the hotel where we rang the Clinic and confirmed we were on the way for treatment. The hotel sent a porter with us to the ferry wharf and told us which one to get to Harem-so we did 5 hours treatment and on the way back to the hotel enjoyed a wonderful late dinner under the Golden Horn bridge where there are lots of nice restaurants sited. In all this, GLOBAL DIALYSIS played the major part in me arranging ALL my treatments.
Thank you Global Dialysis !
The rest was easy- once I had confirmed my places to dialyse I could concentrate on the computer to book our accomodation nearby...what a holiday!