Welcome to the Planetswimmer blog! Stories from swimming indoors and outdoors, from ice swimming to tropical beaches. Not to mention hotel pools! The Planetswimmer has explored beaches and pools in 30 countries, in a total of 166 places. You can also click on the map below to see where in the world they took place.

The Planetswimmer articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, caving, urban exploration, climbing, cycling, flying, and saunas.

All swimming-related articles:

Siltamäki suburb swimming hall
I realized there's more swimming pools in the Helsinki area that I have not visited. Today I visited the Siltamäki swimming pool. a small sports facility in the suburb of Siltamäki in Helsinki. My expectations were not high, and the pool being four lanes, 17m long, and only 80cm deep for half it... it wasn't a super good place for laps in the pool. But, it was a nice visit to a new place! And the sauna was just perfect temperature and design.
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January 2024, Siltamäen uimahalli, Siltamäki, Helsinki, Finland
Swimming (Water, Indoor, Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal)

Want Bormio spa
There's a more famous spa in Bormio city center, but ... this is something else: QC Terme Bagni Vecchi. Nestled in the high mountains above Bormio, on the road to the famed Passo di Stelvio... like a castle with indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna in a cave heated by the natural thermal waters.
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January 2024, QC Terme Bagni Vecchi, Bormio, Italy
Swimming (None); Sauna (None)

Matinkylän uimahalli, now with parking
I've been to the new Matinkylä swimming hall before, but it was only now I realized how to park in their garage! The swimming hall is a block or two away from the massive Iso Omena shopping mall, where I've parked before. But I kept wondering how come people were walking to the garage underneath the swimming hall, yet I couldn't see a way to drive there.
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January 2024, Matinkylän uimahalli, Espoo, Finland
Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal)

Love a swim and smell of kerosine in the morning!
I was in a conference at the Arland airport this week, in the "Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport Terminal" as they like to call it :-) It is directly connected to the shopping and restaurant space of the airport, one does not have to walk outside to get here. But the really cool thing is their rooftop pool. One can enjoy a warm outdoor pool while breathing fresh air mixed with some kerosine smell. Love it! Particularly in the mornings!
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October 2023, Clarion Hotel Arland Airport, Arlanda, Sweden
Swimming (Outdoor, Waterbody-Pool, Water); Sauna (Normal)

Late fall swim
It is always a bit sketchy to visit our summer cottage in late fall. It is cold, freezing, the facilities are pretty basic, and if the road is icy we can't cope with the steep hills on the road. Not with my crap car at least. But, it always ends up being a wonderful visit. Dipped in the cold lake once at least, had a wonderful warm sauna in glowing fire light, the lake and sunsets were beautiful. And I saw for the first time northern lights! Amazing that I have not succeeded in seeing them before, but for some reason not.
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October 2023, Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland
Sauna (Normal); Swimming (Outdoor, Water, Waterbody-Lake)

Screaming Underground
I've been here many times before, but doing it with my friends this time made me realize an annoying thing. We visited the Itäkeskus swimming hall, a wonderful underground creation. But... one of the nicest pools in a rock-dug hole was painful when kids were screaming at the full power of their lungs. And it is a massive echo chamber. In fact, the entire swimming hall is quite bad at acoustics; hard surfaces for the sounds to bounce off.
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September 2023, Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland
Sauna (Normal, Steam); Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

A Finnish Caving Buffet
If your caving friend was coming over for a weekend, what would you show about the Finnish caving scene? Here's our menu for a caving buffet, covering everything from ice saunas to block caves to cracks in granite, mines, limestone caves, to salmon meals to ... did I already mention saunas? Not to forget Sibelius for dessert!
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September 2023, Viking Glory, Stockholm, Sweden; Luolavuoren luola, Turku, Finland; Rotkoluola, Kaarina, Finland; Itäkeskuksen uimahalli, Helsinki, Finland; House Arkko, Kauniainen, Finland; Högberget, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Ansabunkkeri, Siuntio, Finland; Korkbergetin lohkareluola, Kirkkonummi, Finland; Hvitträsk cliff, Kirkkonummi, Finland
Sauna (Normal, Steam, Other); Caving (Basic, Rock, Morphology-Crack, Morphology-Boulders, Equipment); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Crack, Equipment); Sauna (Normal, Steam); Swimming (Water, Waterbody-Pool, Indoor); Travel; Caving (Basic, , Rock, Equipment, Morphology-Erosion); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Granite, Morphology-Boulders); Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Grani Igen
Such bliss. A quiet swimming pool, almost an empty sauna and showers... now we are visiting the Kauniainen (Grani) swimming hall. It is one of the oldest and most basic swimming halls in the areas around Helsinki. And it may be torn down; but for now it means low prices, quietness, and space.
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September 2023, Kauniaisten uimahalli, Kauniainen, Finland
Sauna (Normal); Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool)

Malmin uimahalli (Malmi swimming hall)
The Malmi swimming hall is one of the halls operated by Urheiluhallit Oy, a corporation running several sports facilities in Helsinki. For some reason I had never been there, had not even heard about it. I ended up visiting on its 40th birthday celebration. Quite an achievement, though undoubtedly achieved through several major renovations. In its current state, the hall is quite modern and nice.
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September 2023, Malmin uimahalli, Malmi, Helsinki, Finland
Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool)

Not just a lifebuoy
I had not seen this before, but at the Oittaa beach on the Bodom lake there's a clever "lifebuoy", with integrated emergency boat for the rescuers to use. Very nice! We need more of these!
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September 2023, Oittaan uimaranta, Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland
Swimming (None)

More Husbyfun Husbybadet
While skiing in Husby, I saw something which I wanted to return to: Husbybadet, the local community swimming hall.
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September 2023, Husbybadet, Husby, Stockholm, Sweden
Swimming (Indoor, Water, Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal)

Njiellalanjávri swim
Our caving expedition to the Käsijärvi wilderness area involved camping and research around the Njiellalanjávri lake. Of course, I had to swim there every night to clean myself of the day's sweat and dirt :-) Even if it was cold. Well, maybe these more like quick dips into the lake. Anyway, spectacularly nice water and scenery!
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August 2023, Njiellalanjávri, Enontekiö, Finland
Swimming (Outdoor, Water, Waterbody-Lake)

Hospitz sauna and beach
You have to agree that the name is weird, but regardless of that, Hotel Hospitz is a nice boutique hotel in Savonlinna's city center. It is small, just few rooms in two floors. But it has a bookable sauna in the basement, with direct access to the beach in front. Such a nice swim!
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August 2023, Hotelli Hospitz, Savonlinna, Finland
Sauna (Normal); Swimming (Outdoor, Water, Waterbody-Lake, Beach)

Punkaharju Beaches of the Road of the Century
Vuosisadan tie (road of the century) or Punkaharjun Harjutie is a road built on a narrow ridge between two lakes, Puruvesi and Pihlajavesi. The road runs for several kilometers and at times the ridge is barely wider than the road. The views and the nature around the road are very beautiful, pictures of this road and ridge some of the classic Finnish tourist pictures.
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August 2023, Vuosisadan tien uimaranta, Punkaharju, Finland; Kuikonniemen uimaranta, Punkaharju, Finland
Swimming (Water, Outdoor, Waterbody-Lake, Beach)

Union Square pool
I'm staying at the Parc 55 hotel in San Francisco. It does not have a pool, but the same chain runs the next door hotel, the Hilton Union Square, so guests in my hotel can use their pool. It is up on the 16th floor. Pictured above at night from the 41st floor...
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July 2023, Hilton Union Square, San Francisco, California, USA
Swimming (Outdoor, Waterbody-Pool, Water)

Slovenia lakes swim
My personal favorite lake was the Lake Bohinj (above pic). Pristine, clear water, almost no signs of civilization long the lake shores and the green-covered mountains around. Wonderful, just wonderful. But Lake Bled was also good, obviously with more castles and other human structures and services around...
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July 2023, Lake Bohinj beach, Bohinj, Slovenia; Grajsko kopališče, Lake Bled, Bled, Slovenia
Swimming (Outdoor, Waterbody-Lake, Water, Beach)

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