We thought it worthy of a post of its own, this quirky hostel in the Abava valley, 2 hours west of Riga, Latvia.
As its name suggests, it’s a former working hospital. Your first thought is likely as ours – “cool, I wonder if we’ll be able to make out any of the hospital’s original features?”
No problem there – the building looks to have about 8 working bedrooms as of our visit, and is still in the process of being converted into a hostel. All the facilities are done, but you cannot escape the thought that not so long ago this was an abandoned or mothballed hospital. And that thought, especially as Julie and I were the only guests, gave this place a very spooky air..
The main kitchen was obviously the old operating theatre, with its tiled floor, drain holes, electrical cabling coming up through the floor and chains hanging from the ceiling.
The TV room has some heavy duty black-out blinds, and old eye chart (is your Cyrillic alphabet better with your left eye or your right eye?), and there’s a really old velour-covered electric wheelchair. Sadly, the batteries are dead – I wondered what the horn sounded like!
Indeed, there are left-over bits of hospital furniture everywhere we looked: a couple of old wheeled beds, trolleys that would have been used in operations for laying out surgeons implements, and old sinks in almost every room.
I haven’t been able to find out what kind of hospital it was, and perhaps that’s for the best – for the sake of a good nights sleep, we liked to think it was a nice hospital where minor injuries were quickly mended, rather than ‘The Shining’ meets ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.