Sunday, 9 December 2007


Just come back from doing something I very rarely do: swim. With Laguna Badeland, Weil has a popular swimming complex that draws in the punters from far and wide. French is spoken there as much as German, such are the numbers of Alsatiens who use it. I don't mean Alsatians of the canine variety. However, the adult price for one measly hour there is EUR 4.50. This is because of the variety of watery attractions offered, i.e. not merely a rectangle swimming pool but also water slides, wave machines and the whole (water) works.... It's the nearest thing I've seen to the Sandcastle in Blackpool.

My original intention was to go there and do a few lengths of the pool, until I found out that there is an indoor venue in Lörrach open from September to April - a simple no-frills swimming pool costing a euro less, and with no time limit. I did a reconnoitre of the place on my bike yesterday, and it seemed quite decent, so I went again today to have a swim. After fumbling around at the ticket machine and the turnstile, I managed to get in the modern and mixed changing rooms (wahey). I say "mixed", but it was a really a sheep-pen system in which you changed in privacy and then moved on to the lockers and put your belongings away. After some more fumbling around - this time with the locker - and wondering where the exit to the pool was, I finally made it out.

I've never been the best of swimmers and certainly can't do the alternate breathing style. Whenever I try to put my head underwater while doing the breaststroke, I come up spluttering full of chlorine. It's just not worth it, so I gently swim to the other end of the pool getting overtaken by the more proficient swimmers. My crawl is simply a wild flailing of arms. It has to be because my nose has to stay above water at all times. Not very effective, but at least it gave me a good work-out today. Swimming exercises all the muscles in your body like no other activity. I'm now quite tired this afternoon, though I expect getting up at 4.45 to watch the boxing didn't help.

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