Friday, 22 February 2008

Outdoor pools in winter?

Ok.. look normal..

Snow ball...

The Neo Baroque Szechenyi Furdo

Hungarian wet sports.. chess!


Splendid exterior...

Splendid interior decor so far removed from modern day british health centers!

A common question is will the pool be open all year round and the answer is definitely yes. Do people go swimming in winter? especially in an outdoor pool with no roof, do you not freeze to death at the sheer thought of scampering around in near freezing conditions?

Well it's always been the intention to open the pool all year, mainly because it's heated anyway, so therefore will be a pleasure to swim in during the cooler months. What better way to find out than go some where that's well established with outside pools, not to mention a bit nippy, and find out how the people get on. Budapest has over 100 natural thermal spa baths, with locals and visitors proud and frequent users. We organised a comprehensive weekend research trip to see some of the worlds greatest outdoor pools and were very impressed. It was very cold but that didn't seem to stop the luxury seeking locals. The water was great at a temperature close to human body temperature and on the clear, sunny day we visited the bath, the atmospheric steam really was spectacular and people in abundance too. The feeling of walking in the cold air followed by submerging into the warm water was amazing and truly revitalising, a feeling that we very much hope to replicate in the Lido. The 'restaurant' area was basic and paprika goulash probably not our first choice but a quick rub down from the big, scary Hungarian masseuses really does make you feel 100% relaxed and refreshed. After another wallow, a couple of lengths, it was time to leave and make notes on what we had learnt from a truly fantastic day experience in an outdoor winter pool.

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