What is Badi you may ask? It is one of the most awesomest things Switzerland has to offer. By definition it is an outdoor or open air pool. It can either be man made or in many cases it is a private section of the shore along the lake, sometimes with a pool, sometimes without.
I knew we scored big time when we found our awesome apartment, but I didn’t realize just how much until I discovered we were literally across the street from an amazing one.
You can pay an entrance fee of 3CH, 10 pass for 25CH or buy a season pass for 40CH (about $42). I opted for the latter since I can see myself taking the kids here every sunny day after school. Kids of course are free (score another point for Switzerland).
Each Badi is unique as to what it has to offer and there are more in the canton of Zurich than there are sunny days in a year here (see link above). My Badi had a small soccer field with a goal, a play ground, huge grassy area dotted with large shade trees, a sand pit covered by a sun sail, changing rooms, lockers, showers, ping pong tables, football tables, chair and umbrella rental and best of all a diving board, floating platform and trampoline in the middle of the water to play on. A large sign displays the temperature of the water at all times. My first time here it was a chilly 18C/64F but three days later it was 22C/72F and by mid July it should be closer to 24C/75F.
I don’t know how Switzerland is such a wealthy country when it seems like no one ever works. The Badi was packed on a Wednesday afternoon and the lack of air conditioning coupled with 88 degree weather this weekend meant the Badi was a madhouse.
Just as I was falling in love and thought I had found a serene place to “relax” with the kiddos, of course I get yelled at AGAIN. There is a small area with wading depth water that is roped off so it indicates where the water gets deep. Parents with young kids were playing in this area. Of course all the floating platforms and trampolines are in the deep zone. Lincoln is an okay swimmer and wanted to venture out into the open water. Lilybelle didn’t want to be left behind, so I strapped both kids into their puddle jumper floatation devices to be safe and swam out into the lake with them.
I hadn’t noticed a lifeguard on duty at all, which was not surprising to me given the haphazard way in which I’ve noticed the Swiss approach the concept of safety (much more on this in another post). So I was doubly surprised to see a guy in a bright orange shirt waving at me frantically from the shore while of course screaming in German. Completely unsure if he was a lifeguard or not (no red lifeguard attire – is this because it is identical to the Swiss flag?, no whistle and no flotation device).
Again, I speak no German, he spoke no English yet he continued to lecture me for a good 10 minutes while I stood there dripping with water and shame. Fortunately, my father was there to help translate. He was telling me that where I was swimming was 4 meters deep and it was extremely dangerous for me to swim out into the open water with two small children who can’t swim. The rules are that it is one adult per child who cannot swim. I wanted to point out that from the shallow area to the platform we swam to was no more than 10 feet, that Lincoln is an excellent swimmer with the floaties and he CAN swim without them.
Sigh, I guess I better sign both kids up for swim lessons ASAP. If anyone knows any place to sign them up or any other rules that I didn’t see/can’t read, please comment and let me know.