Thursday, August 8, 2013

Look Who Went Rhein Swimming!

Last weekend was hot and when it’s hot, everybody (locals and tourists) go Rhein swimming. So our friends, Dr. Moosehead and his lovely wife, Ms. I’m-Canadian*, made a plan to go Rhein swimming and asked if The Shaker and I would like to join them – I couldn’t wait to go!

Now I have said in earlier posts that I love swimming but let me just say that there’s a huge difference between river swimming and pool swimming for me.  And furthermore, I walk around this river everyday and I look to see how fast the current is moving. Some days it moves slower than others, but it’s always moving! I grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco where there was always a draught, so no rivers but plenty of pools.  Swimming in a river has never really appealed to me until we moved Basel. 

The Shaker and I with our "fish bags"
So out of our family, Gin has been the only one who has ever been Rhein swimming; she went several times last summer and only a handful of times this summer.  This is what she told us about swimming in the Rhein: getting into the river is easy; getting out is the problem – you have to be a strong swimmer and you have to have really good upper body strength.  These 2 statements are what made me nervous.  But I thought, “Come on if Gin can do it, why can’t I???” I swim nearly everyday.

Vermouth claims that she really doesn’t have any interest to go Rhein swimming so I begged her to come down and photograph the moment.  She did one better:  She made a video!

I am hoping the video works!  Vermouth and I had some technical problems but we think we worked out the kinks.  With that … In the video she yells out, “hug it!” meaning that we were suppose to hug the “fish bag” as we floated.  These bags held our clothing, towels, tram passes, money and our mobile phones (we put our phones in a Ziploc baggie for extra reassurance that it would remain dry and they did).  

It took about 30 minutes to float/swim from Roche (where we started) to Novartis (where we ended).  There are 3 water taxis along our path and one was right in my way.  So I had to swim to get out of the way.  I had no troubles avoiding it; but the next day I couldn’t figure out why my muscles by my armpits were sore and … then … the penny dropped!

This is Ms.-I'm-Canadian and I getting
use to the water and the rocks.
I need to get a pair of  swim shoes because
I hate walking on rocks without shoes!

Vermouth's fancy photography shot

Dr. Moosehead telling us of "the plan"

Us officially heading out

But it wasn’t hard getting out of the Rhein at all.  Dr. Moosehead gave us this tip:  to make our way over the right side of the river and let the river’s current guide us right into a ramp that we could just walked up.  That was the hard part; it was slimy and I would have died of sheer embarrassment if I slipped.  But it was totally cool because where you get out, there are a few make-shift bars along the river and everyone is just sitting out there, chillin’ with a beer and just smiling at the day along the river. 

The Shaker and I with our celebratory local
Basel beer:  Unser Bier

Thanks for a great day, Dr. Moosehead and Ms.-I'm-Canadian!
The Martini Knitter

*Note: Ms.-I’m-Canadian always says this, I’m Canadian however, it’s more like this:  “I’m Canadian! What else can I say?

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