Latvian bathing

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The Baltic Sea was, in my mind, representing the North with snow and cold. A sea space which was the playground of the Vikings at the 9th century. These people were famous for their spirit of adventures. The legend was telling they didn’t hesitate by diving in the sea, even during winter. Still, this story inspires nowadays the bathing clubs through Europe during winter. How in these conditions we couldn’t resist to the appeal of this magic sea for some moves of fortifying breaststroke?

I didn’t go traveling around the world with the idea of bathing in the seas that I will see. But step by step, the idea started. Upon our arrival in Latvia, this pleasure was associated to the wish of swimming. In April, in the North when at this period it’s often difficult to swim in the Gulf of Morbihan. 

This morning, the sunshine was going through the wooden windows to heat up the interior of our chalet in Jūrmala. The elements were reunited and the unique opportunity to reply to the call of the Baltic Sea. After a nice breakfast, I went down to the stairs leading to the garden. Backpack on the  shoulder, swimming suit and towel in a bag. I went towards the beach. I used a little path surrounded by trees, enjoying the nice weather of this weekend of April. The savour of this beginning of Spring and the freshness of the marine air. 

There were duckboards leading my steps between the pine trees up tho this wide sandy beach. On this wide golden flat path there were many families strolling.

On my left hand side, there was a swimmer doing breaststroke. Looking this swimmer tackled my proudness and made me decided for good. No choice anymore, there was a Latvian guy in the sea so I needed to follow. I put my bag on the sand and took my swimsuit. Changing of clothes stayed in my memories due to the Nordic cold being freezing. 

After a couple of steps in the fresh waters, for not saying in the iced sea, I didn’t have any doubt. I didn’t check the timetable of the high tide. Mistake of a beginner. I needed to walk during a hundred of metres to have water at the waistline. A trial in plus to go deeper and to enjoy swimming the crawl or to float on my back a few seconds. Quickly, the temperature of the water reminded me the reality. I went back to my towel and dried myself with a lot of energy. I quickly put my fleece jacket. The gulls flying above my head were laughing about the situation. We deserve the Baltic Sea, a true rite of passage for the “vikings” that we are leaving in the next few days to reach Russia…