Moscow has been blessed with sunshine and warmer temps as of late. I’m becoming hopeful that spring will soon be on its way.
I had the chance for a unique Russian experience this weekend when my school organized a trip to the Chaika Outdoor Pool. The pool is heated (28C/82F in the water) and within walking distance of my house.
With a beautiful day ahead of us, our small group headed to the pool. After nearly an hour of bureaucracy, paperwork, and a medical check (’tis the Russian way), we found our lockers and quickly made our way towards the pool entrance. The process would have been pretty tricky without a Russian speaker among us, despite the signs in English.
To enter, I had to climb into a small pool and dunk under a carwash-like flap. Popping up outside, the sunshine warmed my face and I made my way into the lap lanes full of swimmers.
Owing to the 5C/40F temperature outside, steam rose off the water and gave the pool a bit of an ethereal feeling. The majority of the swimmers were babushkas, all adorned with swim caps (required), many with black and white flowers sewn on. I made my way into the center lanes and enjoyed the bath water temperatures.
Outdoor pools are definitely a great way to beat the winter slog. Some of you may remember that the Cathedral of Christ the Savior here in Moscow was, for a temporary 50 year period, the largest outdoor swimming pool in the world.
All in all, the Chaika Pool was a very cool experience. I hope to go back, perhaps on a snow day. Here’s hoping we won’t see another of those for a while 😉