hidden europe 8

Hidden cavities

by Nicky Gardner


The Etruscans did it and so did mediaeval Christians. Teeth and toothache have long been stimuli for travel. We explore the current fad for dental tourism, and alight upon Sopron in Hungary and Kobarid in Slovenia.

Kobarid is a handsome little place in Slovenia's exquisitely beautiful Soca valley. It has, as it happens, figured before in hidden europe (issue 4 - September 2005). But our feature on the history of Kobarid omitted to mention one aspect of modern Kobarid life. It was brought home to us recently when we were back in Kobarid a few weeks ago. Checking into our hotel, the receptionist gave us our room key, rattled off a few details about hotel facilities and meal times, and then, as we turned to head upstairs, she added: "And let me give you this sheet which shows you how to get to the dentist."

Naturally, this bred a certain apprehension about what kind of food might be awaiting us in the hotel restaurant. Could the pizza really be that tough? Or was this a retired dental hygenist making a second career in hotel reception work? Had she perhaps detected that all might not be well with our molars?