Posted by: viewfromtheriva | January 24, 2016

Swimming in Split in January

Two regulars enjoying themselves in the balmy 14C water at Znjan beach

Two regulars enjoying themselves in the balmy 14C water at Znjan beach

One of the many pleasures of living here is that if you really love to swim in the sea, you can have a ball all year round, despite the fact that the seawater temperature can drop to 12C and the air temperature  may be hovering just above freezing!

So today, enjoying a sunny stroll along the long, curving beach at Znjan, a 10 minute drive outside Split, we were not surprised to see a couple of regulars doing the backstroke and splashing around in the sea as other Splitcani  in fur coats and parkas walked along the shore hardly even noticing.

Unlike “Polar Bear” clubs in Russia and other frigid climes, where die-hard swimmers jump into really frigid water on a set day every winter, here in Split, a surprising number of people go for a swim all year round, regardless of the temperature.

My coldest swimming memory was when I lived in Russia and visited Lake Baikal in Siberia, the largest freshwater lake (by volume) in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world’s unfrozen surface fresh water–and in some spots, more than l mile deep!  My hosts pretty much challenged me to go in–even for 10 seconds–to earn my stripes as a true lover of Baikal.  Foolishly accepting their dare, I did and for an hour later couldn’t feel my toes!

In the summer, Znjan looks like this, 24-28C water, sunny skies and lots of locals and tourists alike enjoying themselves immensely.



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