Badeschiff, Berlin

Continuing the swimming theme, I went to the Badeschiff to swim (almost) in the Spree. Before war and the GDR came town Berlin had many bathing ships, which were pools in the river for cooling off in summer. Now all the pools from the good old days are gone, so the designers of the Badeschiff were inspired to recreate one with a modern twist.

Essentially, this is a container of salt water that sits in the river, and you enter it from the riverside bank. In summer it is all open, and you get great views down the river of East Berlin buildings, and can sun yourself, drink at the bar, swim and dance when the DJs start at night.

I visited the winter Badeschiff, which is a little more subdued (although the DJs still play at night and the bar is open, it is quieter). For winter they have put a white futuristic shell over the top and created a couple of pavilions. Inside there is a sauna and lounge chairs, so you can get a drink, sauna, massage and relax while you can still get the great views through the transparent plastic walls.

You should appeciate this image, as to take it I had to smuggle my camera in and take sneaky shots as soon as all of the nude peoples' backs were turned, so as not to seem a total pervert. Seriously, after taking this picture I was swimming in this pool with a naked couple who jumped in. Me looking like a loser bathers wearer. I surely would have been thrown in the river had they know I was taking photos in this private-parts sanctuary.

The pool itself is still the most amazing part. You literally feel as though you are jumping into a much bluer version of the Spree, as the pool is at river height, and the walls are transparent, so you see the river and pool water as one waterline. You can go through the plastic flaps at the end of the pool and swim to the outside and while in the pool sit by the river, or I guess you could jump into the river if so possessed. The downside is the water in winter is not heated and on a 8 degree day that will numb your body quickly! But that just makes it even more like a real swim in the Spree.


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Anna Metcalfe is a content maker, word writer and editor of things.