Monday, March 28, 2011

Lake Bled, Slovenia

A quick trip to Lake Bled in the Julian Alps, a gorgeous place, though a bit grey in the transition from winter to spring. In summer it's a huge destination for watersports; in winter it's all about the snowfields. At the beginning of April, it's fairly quiet – I did lots of walking and a bit of climbing too.

(Pro tip: In this and all other posts, click each photo to view it at a larger size.)

Lake view from the balcony of my hotel room

Walking clockwise around Lake Bled, which took all afternoon (including several stops along the way)

View of Bled from Bled Castle


Chapel inside Bled Castle – I love this

Swan Lake (Bled Castle and Church of St Martin in the background)

Taken from a boat on my way to Bled Island

Church of the Assumption on Bled Island

Lady of the Lake

Dwarfed by the mountains

Bled Island

A new day, and some more photos from my hotel room balcony

Lovely morning! (Bloody cold though)

Swan fight!

Next: An Easter long weekend in Paris, France…

Monday, March 21, 2011

Internship: Term 3 – General Medicine (rural)

My third term was at a rural hospital in Nowra doing General Medicine. Just about anything can come in under Gen Med – patients aren’t admitted under specialty teams. I really enjoyed the term. My registrar was awesome, and my bosses were great too.

Nowra is about 2.5 hours south of Sydney, and about 1 hour south of Wollongong. I stayed in hospital-provided accommodation during the week, and drove home to The Gong on weekends.

Fun fact: Nowra is my Mum’s home town, and I spent all my Christmas holidays there as a child. The house I was placed in was 4 doors down from my Nanna’s old house (she died in 1998, and it was sold). I still have aunts and uncles in the area, and it was great to catch up with them.

It was also fun being in Nowra over the Christmas/New Year period. We had a few parties and big nights out, and there was great camaraderie amongst the group of interns, residents, and registrars in medicine, surgery, intensive care, and anaesthetics.

The medicine itself was OK I guess. As an intern on a Gen Med team you’re really a glorified secretary – writing in the notes, typing discharge letters, writing medication charts, etc. I didn’t get to perform any interesting procedures, but I saw some interesting patients.

One strange coincidence was when a direct admission under one of my bosses turned out to be the mother of my GP, who lives in Sydney. It was weird talking to my GP not as my doctor, but as the doctor looking after her family member.

So I enjoyed the term and saw how it’s possible to have a Gen Med rotation that doesn’t suck. It almost made me consider doing Physician’s training. But after seeing how much junior Medical Registrars (Basic Physician Trainees or BPTs) appear to hate their lives – at least for the first few years – I don’t think I could do it. If I was thoroughly passionate about a particular area, such as Cardiology or Gastroenterology, then maybe I’d be tempted. But I don’t have a passion like that – I just want a good job and a nice life that doesn’t suck. (Yes, I know that eventually life gets good for Physician trainees – I’m just too old and not interested enough to make it through the awful years first.)

Term 4 is General Surgery. I finish at the end of this week, and will have more to share with you soon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I spent a couple of days in lovely Ljubljana before heading to Lake Bled. Another small city with a great vibe – shame it was so cold and rainy while I was there. I think the riverside would be fantastic during summer.

Church of the Anunciation

Looking across the Ljubljanica River to the Church of the Anunciation

Plečnik Colonnade

Ljubljanica River

Ljubljanica River


Dragon Bridge

Dragon Bridge with Ljubljana Castle in the background

Robba Fountain and Town Hall in Mestni trg

Looking back towards the Cathedral of St Nicholas

Doors of the Cathedral of St Nicholas

Ljubljana Castle

Chapel of St George

Fantastic pews in the Chapel of St George

View of the city from the castle (shame it was so rainy and foggy)

To escape the rain, I visited the City Museum. It was very cool! And then I found this bloke in a corridor. Don't you think he looks like The Hitcher from The Mighty Boosh (sans Polo mint)?

Next: Lake Bled, Slovenia...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prague, Czech Republic

So many people had told me how wonderful Prague is, so it could never live up to expectations. I had fun there, but after Budapest it was a little bit disappointing. It was also packed with tourists, which I hadn't encountered yet. And of course I was getting tired of travelling alone...

Clock tower in Old Town Square (Staroměstské nám)

Astronomical clock in "action" (the skeleton's ringing the bell)

Old Town Square, viewed from the clock tower

Jan Hus monument and Týn Church

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

Walking off Charles Bridge into Malá Strana

David Černý's 'Piss' sculpture outside the Kafka Museum

St Nicholas Cathedral in Malá Strana

Interior, St Nicholas Cathedral

Memorial to the victims of Communism

View from the Old Royal Palace towards Charles Bridge

View from Prague Castle

St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle

Interior, St Vitus Cathedral

Visiting Prague and especially Prague Castle reminded me of my favourite INXS clip:

I did a day trip to Kutná Hora. (I really wanted to visit Český Krumlov, but it wasn't open for the summer season yet.)

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora

Sedlec Ossuary, Kutná Hora

Marian Column, Kutná Hora

St Barbara's Cathedral, Kutná Hora

Ceiling, St Barbara's Cathedral

Next: Ljubljana, Slovenia...