Rehab Alland, Day Nineteen: The House

The facility I’m at has a rich history. It was built in the 1870s as a hospital for sufferers of tuberculosis and other diseases of the lung. After World War II it was requisitioned as quarters for the Red Army. In the 1980s, when tuberculosis wasn’t that big a problem any longer, it was established as a centre for metabolic disorders, especially diabetes.

The history has left its marks. Over time, several wings had been built and subsequently demolished. Currently, the house consists of two wings that are connected on the lower level. The central wing contains a reception area, a large common room and, most importantly, the dining hall. There are other common rooms scattered all round the house. Most of them offer some kind of entertainment, like a pool and air hockey table, a Wii, a darts machine, or a foosball table. There’s also a small café, although I haven’t been in there.

I really like what they’ve done with the place. 😀 It’s gorgeous. It’s also rather large and hard to find your way around. Some people might call it a labyrinth. There are patients here who, after almost three weeks, still have problems knowing where they are and where they need to go. It’s probably an inevitable consequence of the many reconstructions the place has undergone, but it can also be a real nuisance at times. Kafka would have loved it.

Another thing people find troublesome is that due to the rather remote location, it’s really difficult to get a signal on your mobile. I’m very lucky in that respect, as my room looks out towards the closest phone tower. That way I’m getting a tolerably good signal in my room as long as I stay close to the window. Not everyone is as lucky, though.

The medical facilities have been overhauled and greatly extended only last year. As a result, you can get a wide variety of therapies, both active, like ergometer training, and passive, like massages or hay compresses. They also have a pool for physical therapy that’s large enough for swimming, and that’s open several times a week at night.

The extensive grounds are very well kept and give you lots of opportunities for long walks. If that’s not enough for you you can venture out into the Vienna Woods, which are gorgeous at this time of year.

Rehab Alland, Day Seventeen: The Woods

Vienna Woods
Vienna Woods

The town of Alland is located in the middle of the Wienerwald, or Vienna Woods. It’s a forested area some 45 kilometres long and 25 kilometres wide to the south to west of Vienna. Part of it is actually inside city limits.

The area isn’t exactly mountain territory, although technically it is the start, or end, however you see it, of the main chain of the Alps. The highest hilltops are no higher than 900 metres and the whole area has been saved from planned deforestation in the 19th century, so it’s still heavily forested. A very small part is even said to still be primeval, although I’m not sure that is true.

Alland doesn’t have any hot springs or peat or whatever highlight you might find in spa towns. Instead, their therapy is based on long walks through the woods. If you want to lose weight, that happens to be exactly what the doctor prescribed. In my case, literally.

To be honest, hiking will never become my favourite pastime; although I must say I find it a lot more enjoyable than when I was forced to do it occasionally while still in school. Maybe it’s because here I can set my own speed and choose where I’m going. I’m not slacking off when it comes to steep or otherwise difficult terrain, either.

Anyway, I took my camera on most outings and made good use of it. Hope you like the pictures. My apologies if I’ve used one or the other before in a post.

March and Rally for Human Rights at AIDS 2010

Last week, the XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010) took place in Vienna. Part of it was a rally for human rights on the 20th of July, which was headed by singer Annie Lennox, who also performed. I was there and took a few pictures. Please also take some time and read about the current struggle against HIV/AIDS and the 10 reasons why human rights should occupy the center of the global AIDS struggle.