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Published: September 15th 2018
7-16-18 Monday. Vidin, Bulgaria. Afternoon arrival. The main attraction here is the large well-preserved Baba Vida medieval fortress on the River Danube. After a tour of the fortress the group walked by the shell of a large ruined Romanesque synagogue en route to a nearby small mosque which is across the street from a Christian religious organization.. Inside the mosque we were introduced to the imam who was very enlightened about the need for different religious groups to live in harmony. His mosque interacts with the local church in social functions and the two groups have cordial relations. There is no longer a Jewish community there but Jews from elsewhere are planning to restore the synagogue and turn it into a museum. Later in the afternoon a local group of school children from an English speaking club came aboard the boat in traditional costumes and sang a few songs before practicing their English on us. Then Simon rested on the boat while I walked around the town photographing the local art and architecture. After dinner a dance troupe, also in local traditional costume, impressed us with their almost acrobatic skills. In the evening Simon had severe abdominal pain and our guide
Sofie arranged for a doctor to come to the boat. The doc suggested a visit to the local ER. We rode in an ambulance and were seen right away by a doctor who palpated Simon’s abdomen (which included a sharp jab) and after his permission injected him with an anti-inflammatory drug. His pain shortly subsided. The doctor asked “do you need documentation for this?” I replied, “yes, I will need it for the insurance reimbursement.” She said “oh, there is no charge, it was an emergency.” Bulgaria has socialized medicine. Doctor’s house call, ambulance ride, emergency room doctor, drug injection, and all we paid for was the taxi ride back to the boat.
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