Fancy a paddle?

4 Sep

Walensee from Walenstadt beach

Everyone knows that you can’t have a summer holiday without plenty of swimming and coming from a small island nation, as I do, that means a trip to the seaside.  But what do you do in Switzerland, where they have no beaches?  You swim in one of the many beautiful lakes or fabulous outdoor swimming pools. 

Wherever lake swimming was possible, there were spotless changing rooms, one beautiful wooden chalet I used dating back to the early 1920’s, with loos, showers, cafes and children’s playgrounds.  They also provided a variety of diving platforms, inflatable water slides, artificial beaches and paddling pools for little children where the water was very cold.

The towns we went to that weren’t near a lake had the most amazing outdoor swimming pools which were open from May to September.  As well as the usual lane swimming pool the complexes would have a diving pool with challenging entertainment such as a climbing wall or balance beam, a shallow learners pool with slides, 10ft pirate ships with water cannons and fountains, and a toddler pool with ankle deep water and more fountains, or water channels with a dam system.  As well as the pools, there were also climbing frames, table tennis, beach volleyball, cafes and huge, spotless changing areas. 

We managed to swim six times in two weeks and my favourite place had to be Walensee (above).  It was pleasantly cool rather than freezing, gently shelved so great for small children but deep a few feet out, and the view was absolutely breathtaking.  Seaside swimming now seems rather dull.

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more pictures, click here.

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14 Responses to “Fancy a paddle?”

  1. Laura Driver 04/09/2009 at 9:49 am #

    I could get used to that.

    Beats our local pools … floating plasters, heavily tattooed folk and unclean changing rooms.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 04/09/2009 at 9:57 am #

      I know, I thought Tooting Bec Lido was the pinnacle of summer bathing. I was so wrong. Switzerland was one of those places that you wish you lived in it was all so lovely.

  2. Amy @ The Q Family 04/09/2009 at 2:21 pm #

    I could get used to lake swimming. 🙂 Sound wonderful for the whole family.

  3. Jen@TwoKidsandaMap 04/09/2009 at 2:50 pm #

    The lakes in Switzerland and Germany held my attention during our winter trip…I would look at them and imagine what they would be like during the summer! The swimming pools are absolutely amazing too! As someone with a bizarre fear of sharks, lake and pool swimming is very appealing!!

  4. Glennia 04/09/2009 at 4:51 pm #

    Looks gorgeous. How deep is the water?

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 04/09/2009 at 5:57 pm #

      It’s shallow at first, like a beach then after you go out about six feet it gets really deep. Look out for pictures of us taking a boat across the lake in a later post!

  5. Cate 04/09/2009 at 6:26 pm #

    I love lake swimming, it was my first introduction to swimming when I lived in the mountains in southern NZ as a child. A little cooler but such a view and no annoying waves.

  6. Lora 04/09/2009 at 10:32 pm #

    This looks beautiful. I’m a wimp for cold water and even I want to jump in!

  7. marina villatoro 05/09/2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Hey! What a great trip! We used to take lake trips when I was younger, but I never really swam in them. I’m a bit weary of water where I can’t see my feet:)

  8. Lorraine 06/09/2009 at 4:58 am #

    Any experience that makes seaside swimming seem dull will certainly catch my attention. The mountainsides bordering the lake look stunning.

  9. Dominique 07/09/2009 at 1:34 am #

    We were just talking about lake swimming tonight. It’s been years since I’ve been swimming in an inland lake, but this looks glorious.

  10. Wanderluster 07/09/2009 at 4:58 pm #

    This looks super cold but so pristine that I could jump in in a second.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 07/09/2009 at 8:46 pm #

      It wasn’t that cold near the shore, but it was only at an altitude of 500m at the end of a long hot summer. The lake at 1,800m was breathtakingly cold. I had to get out after a few minutes as I was worried my muscles would seize up. Lovely though.

  11. Linda 15/09/2009 at 8:11 pm #

    Amazing and beautfiful post. I think I am a fraud calling myself a travel blogger when I report on Butlins and you report on this. I would feature or link to every single thing you wrote here if I could! I am going to do a monthly ‘festival’ of best family travel posts from Sept 28 and you will be right up there. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Just love your blog! x

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