Swapping Homes Anybody?


Friday, September 11, 2015

Time to Cool Off

Towards the end of our trip we had a scorcher of a day again. While in Berlin, I had visited a public swimming-pool but naturally it was mobbed. The grass for lying down and tan had long turned brown. In this part of the world where we were vacationing, our home swappers had left us a leaflet about a natural pool - bath in the open or Freibad- situated in a forest near Gaggenau, on the German side. "In harmony with nature" is their slogan. Being the environmentalist that I am- and the organic Ex Farmer's Wife- this description piqued my interest.
Located about 1 hour away, the experience was worth the drive, especially since the car had AC. We were about 30 minutes from the border which is an open border now like with all the European countries. No stopping or passport control. Suddenly you can tell from the different shape and colors of the tragic signs that you are in a different country.
It is a public, municipal pool which most German cities and towns possess but pool doesn't look like your typical pool but is just hewn into the landscape with stones all around and as walkways into the water. And all the surrounding meadows were still nicely green! Obviously it was not heated and several degrees too cold for the taste and comfort of these Floridians. We walked in at the shallow end step by step and the cooling effect was very welcome. It also had a jumping block for the adventurous and a shallow grotto where a number of children were playing.

This pool in Gaggenau is the oldest in Germany. Built in 1929, its waters came from local rivers. By 1957 its appeal had grown so much that it had to draw water from the local water main supply. Since 2006 , again it is run without having to add chlorine.Microorganisms and plants in special regeneration pools minimize the growth of algae. From there it is pumped back into the swimming area. Even in high temperature like those we were experiencing and many customers in the water, the purity is guaranteed.
The entrance free for adults was a reasonable EUR 3, whereas the Berlin one charged EUR 5,50. A nice extra!
On the way back we stopped at a German Aldi -which now has made it to these shores in the USA as well. A cheap chain for food and other household times. I was surprised to see that the whole roof was covered with solar panels. In the southern part of Germany, most private houses have at least part of their roofs under solar panels. I had never seen it on a shop.
Why can't we do it here in Florida? I'm ashamed to say that I had panels on my previous house in Kissimmee that I rented to Disney tourists.But here? I haven't even seen one in the greater Jacksonville or beaches area.

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