65@65 SWIM 17, LEIPZIG SCHREBERBAD

Updated: Feb 24

One of Germany's oldest lidos, Schreberbad opened in 1866, the original basin was fed by the River Elster, which we crossed on the way. A little beauty of a location, the last day in September before it closed for the Summer season, we were lucky. Pauline and I went with in-laws Janet and Tony, both used to warmer waters in Australia. Tony pulled me into the open water after a lapse of many years when we were in Victoria in 2009, when I entered the Port Lonsdale Rip-View Classic. This was an ocean swim, I did a decent time, and I was pulled in again. I still have the tee-shirt. Today we're in Leipzig, a city I have longed to visit for many years - home of Bach, and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, we heard both. The Schreberbad was initiated by Dr Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber, and opened five years after his death. He was a physician and lecturer at the University of Leipzig. In 1844, he became director of the Leipzig Sanitorium. He wrote predominantly about children's health and the social consequences of urbanization at the dawn of Leipzig's industrialisation. The idea of Volksgesundheit (people's health) was developed in his time, and the lido we are swimming in today was built with this in mind - health from physical activity in the outdoors. The pool is no longer fed by the Elster (or magpie), and has been renovated, and the water crystal clear with barely a touch or taste of chemicals - as it says in the mural and on the changing cabinet - here makes swimming fun! There was cake in one of the historical cafes, of course. Leipzig is great for cake; and cakes, plural - the little Bach cakes are a recent tradition, in the spirit of the Mozart Balls my kids love and which you can find in Vienna and in all good airport shops in Germany and Austria. The city view is of the opera house from the Leipzig Gewandhaus Hall. In the Gewandhaus, there is the orchestra with conductor Andris Nelsons - after playing Bruckner 8.


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