WILL HIDE strips off and dives into Zürich’s rivers, ponds and pools

From dawn to dusk, Zürich in summer is a place for the suits – bathing suits. WILL HIDE criss-crosses the Swiss city by river, lake and pool 蘇黎世的夏季,最宜換上泳裝,從黎明至黃昏,在水邊徜徉消暑。Will Hide在這個瑞士城市縱橫穿梭,帶你到河畔、湖濱與池邊去


Open-water swimming is something you either get or you don’t. The Don’ts question the sanity of jumping into a cold – no, let’s say just ‘bracing’ – body of water. The Dos relish the freedom, the connection to nature, the awakening of the senses and the ability to front crawl without a plaster floating past at eye level.

If you’re in the latter group, welcome to Zürich. No other major town in Europe embraces the concept of lake and river swimming quite like here. In Switzerland’s largest city there are around 40 swimming spots to splash about in; with lake, river and outdoor pools dotted just about everywhere.

This being Switzerland, the badis (as the outdoor pools are known) are clean, elegant, efficiently run and more akin to a members’ club than a swimming pool. Some of them are for women only, some are just for men, and in the evening several turn into bars with live music and cocktails.

Some people don’t come to swim at all. The morning yoga class at Utoquai badi, on the shore of Lake Zürich itself, starts at precisely 7:05am. Here on a sunny summer day, with the snow-clad Alps still clearly visible in the middle distance despite the season, people gather to show off their expensive, crisply pressed trunks, to tan on the pontoons moored several metres from the shore, to relax with an Aperol spritz while they soak up the day’s news from the pages of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, to gossip with friends over a salmon salad and, for sure, to flirt with the attractive lifeguards of both sexes. The long building juts out over the lake, as it has since 1890. It is made up of various wooden decks divided into single- and mixed-sex areas, with a well-ordered, calm Swiss hum.

There has been outdoor swimming in Zürich since the days of the Romans, when the settlement was known as Turicum. In the 19th century, the city council built public baths for residents, calculating that it would be cheaper than equipping individual homes with running water. A necessity became a trend and by the 1930s architects competed to build bathing pavilions that attracted both the working man and the well-to-do.

As well as by the lakeside, several badis were built in the heart of downtown on the Limmat River, just a short stroll from the main train station and the 17th century city hall. In high summer those located at the Upper and Lower Letten sections of the river see plenty of hip, tattooed, six-packed men and women jumping in from bridges to be carried downstream by the swift current, slamming into the sluice gates at the end, while their friends play volleyball, drink in the cafés, sunbathe on the banks and crank out Bieber and Gaga on their bluetooth speakers.

When I tried this, though, I careened into the gates and the force of the water almost ripped my swimming trunks off. It was only after observing the locals approaching feet-first that I realised there’s definitely a technique here. Some people even bodysurf using the sluice gates, riding the force of the flow being pushed through the narrow channel at

在海洋湖、 泊或河流等公開水域游有泳, 人喜歡,有人則否。不喜歡的人會質疑,為何要縱身躍進冰凍——不,是投入「令人精為神 之一振」的水中,自討苦。吃喜歡的人則享受那種在大自然中逍遙自在的感,覺 讓身心同時甦醒之餘,不會一面游一面在瞥眼角 見水中載浮載沉的垃圾。

如你果喜歡在公水開 域游泳那,麼歡迎你來到蘇黎世。歐洲有沒 什大麼 城市比這裡更熱衷於在湖泊和河流游泳。蘇黎世是瑞士最大的城市,有多處湖泊、河流及戶外泳池等約40個點供地 ,人一暢游 番。

瑞士不單以湖光山色稱見 ,這些當地人稱為badi的戶外泳池亦十分清,潔環境優,雅 管理完善,令人感更到 像一個只供會員使用的私人會所而非公眾泳池。其中有部分戶外泳池只供女士使用,同時亦有男士專用的戶外泳池。到了黃昏時分,多個戶外泳池更搖身一變,成為有現場音樂表演和供應美味雞尾酒的酒吧。

有些人前來,並非為了泳游 。位於蘇黎世湖畔的戶外公眾泳池Utoquai badi,每天早上準時於7時05分舉行早晨 伽在陽班。 一個 光普照的夏日,峰頂積雪的阿爾卑斯山清晰可見。相距不太遠的積雪山峰四季皆可見到,在這幅美襯景 托下,穿人們 上昂貴、熨得筆挺的短褲,互相;炫耀 或在離岸數米的浮台上曬;太陽或是一面翻閱《Neue Zürcher Zeitung》日報上的新聞,一面悠閒地享受一杯Aperol spritz雞尾酒;也有人一面品嚐三文魚沙律,一面與朋友閒話家常;當然有與還 人漂亮的男、女救生員打情俏罵 。日形游的泳棚一直伸湖出 面,貌外 從1890年以來就沒變。有 過 這座建築物由多個不同的木甲板組成為,分 男、女專用及共用區瀰,漫一份平而井然有序的氣氛,極具瑞士特色。

自從羅馬人統治的時代以來,蘇黎世就有在人 戶外游泳;當時這座城市是羅馬人治下的一個行政區,名叫Turicum。到了19世紀,市議為會 居民興建公共浴室,認為這種做法比為每每家戶提供自來水更便宜。本來這是活生 上的需要,後來卻演變成一種風尚;到了1930年代,建築師競相興建浴堂,同時吸引勞動階層與富裕人家前來使用。

除湖了 畔的戶外泳池之外,有好幾個則位於市中心,就在利馬特河岸旁。 從火車總站或建於17世紀的市政府大樓出發,只需步行一段短短的路程就可抵達。每當盛夏,利馬特河的Upper Letten與Lower Letten河畔泳池內,就有不少打扮新潮、身上有六塊腹肌和紋身的健美男,女 從橋上躍入河中,讓湍急的河水帶他們往下游,最後撞到排水閘上。其他泳客則或玩排,球 或到餐室點一杯飲品坐小 ,或在河岸上曬太陽,身旁的藍牙揚聲器高聲播放著Justin Bieber和Lady Gaga的流行曲。

當我嘗試學那些俊男美女般讓河水帶往下游時,我撞到排水閘上,而湍急的水流幾乎將我的泳褲也扯。掉後我來觀察一些當地人的做法,見到他們在快到排水閘時首先將伸腳 出,這樣就不會整個人撞到排水閘上,原來竅門就在這裡。有些人甚至利用排水閘來玩徒手衝浪,乘著河水流過末端狹窄的水道造成的急流而下;不過,若非對自己的泳術深具信心的話,還是不要嘗試。然而這裡跟其他戶外泳池一樣,全都有救生員當值,障保 泳的全客安 。

如果想要斯文一點的活動,可以在市中心乘搭7號電車,約大 15分鐘的車程,就會緩緩地將你帶到整潔而井井

the end. Not something for less confident swimmers, but as with all the badis, lifeguards keep a watchful eye.

For something more peaceful, hop on tram number 7 from the centre of town and in quarter of an hour you’ve trundled out to neat, well-scrubbed suburbs. After a further 10 minutes on foot by the edge of the lake you’ve reached the Seebad Wollishofen, where the architecture is as much of a lure as the facilities. Once you’ve paid your eight Swiss francs (HK$65), you enter a spotless world of well-manicured lawns, pristine wooden lockers and benches, and a graceful concrete pavilion designed in 1939 by Hermann Herter that looks like a blueprint for the USS Enterprise on Star Trek.

I walked down the steps to the lake and enjoyed the delicious crispness of the water. Not chilly, but fresh. Not many other people were around – probably beavering away in Zürich’s bank vaults – and I cut through the water at a leisurely pace enjoying the liberty that comes with not being in a lane, not being kicked by the swimmer in front and not having to think. I swam away from the shore, looking up at the city in the distance.

Towards the shoreline a diving pontoon called out to the child in me. There were three levels of boards. I chose the lowest one, which still seemed high when I teetered on the edge. With a couple of bounces I launched myself into the great unknown, landing with a splash in the water. Again, again!

On my way back into town I stopped at Seebad Enge, also on the lakeshore, for lunch. It has the feel of a club that, by happy coincidence, just happens to offer swimming facilities. Business people often come for a dip at lunchtime to break up a day of meetings. A steady stream of men and women arrived in formal work attire only to emerge from behind cabana doors minutes later wearing just swimming costumes and a smile, immediately unburdened by the weight of bonds and share prices.

Perhaps the biggest surprise offered by the badis comes as dusk falls over 有條的市郊去。沿著湖邊再徒步行10分鐘,就來到另一個戶外泳池Seebad Wollishofen。這裡的建築跟裡面的設施同樣吸引,只需付八瑞士法郎( 65港元)入場費,就可進入一個一塵不染的天地。這裡有修剪整齊的草坪,完好如新的木製儲物櫃和長凳,還有一座雅致的水泥亭樓,由建築師Hermann Herter於1939年設計,外貌令人聯想起《星空奇遇記》裡面的聯邦星艦企業號。

我走下通向湖裡的梯級,享受清涼沁人的湖水。湖水並不冷,但是感覺清爽怡人。四周並沒有太多人,可能都在蘇黎世的銀行內埋頭苦幹。我從容悠閒地在水中慢游,感覺自由自在;這裡沒有一般泳池內分成一條一條的水道, Beers on the pier Dive, jump, swim – or play beach volleyball and relax with beers at Seebad Wollishofen (below) 暢泳與暢飲在Seebad Wollishofen戶外泳池(下圖)盡情嬉水,或打沙灘排球,然後喝杯啤酒輕鬆一下

Zürich. By day the Frauenbadi admits only women. But in the evening it transforms into the Barfussbar, or ‘Bare Foot Bar’: men are allowed in, but not their shoes. It’s a gorgeous structure and location with awesome views of the lake and town. On the balmy evening when I visited it was busy but not packed, with a range of ages mingling, laughing and dabbing their feet in the water while sipping cocktails and listening to an acoustic set from local musician Hong, singing his latest hit, Sweet Killer. On other evenings here there are literary readings, concerts and improv theatre performances.

A 15-minute walk away, the men-only Schanzengraben badi – the oldest of Zürich’s badis – also mixes sexes once the sun goes down, transforming into the Rimini Bar. If anything it’s an even hipper, more intimate, sexier location than the Frauenbadi. A young, snappily dressed crowd, who clearly go to the gym and are chiselled of jaw and pert of bottom, were engaged in after-work flirting over beers and good Swiss wines, relaxing on cushions or lolling by open-air pools illuminated red and green by the lights. Many chatted in English, highlighting the international character of Zürich, with one couple deep in conversation about interest rates: finance is everyone’s second language. On Monday evenings there is a secondhand goods market. (At the Lower Letten baths you might catch night-time open-air movie screenings as part of its Filmfluss series, which features foreign and Swiss indie productions.)

The city was shutting down for the night as I wandered back to my hotel on Marktgasse across the peaceful Limmat, lost in my thoughts under a full moon.

As I meandered along the lanes near the riverbank I made my plans for the morning, which would definitely start with a dip in the lake – a thoroughly refreshing way to start any day in Zürich, whether you’re facing a day of analysing stock portfolios or cafés and museums.


Cathay Pacific flies to Zürich from Hong Kong seven times a week

探索蘇黎世國泰航空設有由香港飛往蘇黎世的航班,每周有七班 也不會被前面的泳客踢到,更不用思考。我游離岸邊,遙望遠處的城市風景。



Seebad Enge戶外泳池吃午餐。這裡令人感到恍如置身會所之內,只是這個會所恰好提供游泳設施。白領人士經常在午餐時間前來游泳,消除整天開會的疲勞。你可以見到身穿正式上班套裝的男男女女絡繹前來,消失於更衣室的門後。不消幾分鐘,就見到他們身穿泳裝開門,面帶笑容地跳進水裡,將債券和股票價格拋諸腦後。


Frauenbadi婦女泳池只供女泳客使用,但是到了傍晚,就會變身為一家Barfussbar,即是「赤腳酒吧」。這時男士也可以進內,不過不能穿鞋進去。這個戶外泳池有很漂亮的泳棚,可以望到湖泊和城市,風景極佳。我前來的這個黃昏和暖宜人,裡面男女老少都有,熱鬧但不至擠迫,彼此談笑風生,有人將腳輕輕浸在水裡,一面啜飲雞尾酒,一面聆聽本地音樂人Hong用木結他自彈自唱他的最新暢銷作品《Sweet Killer》。這裡平時在黃昏時分都會舉行朗讀會、音樂會和即興劇場表演等文藝活動。

從這裡步行15分鐘,就來到只限男士使用的Schanzengraben badi戶外泳池。這是蘇黎世最古老的戶外泳池,跟

Frauenbadi一樣,太陽下山後就容許異性入內,並且變身成Rimini Bar酒吧。這裡比

Frauenbadi更新潮、更幽靜,也更具吸引力。聚在這裡的都是年輕人,打扮入時,每個人都輪廓分明,身材健美,顯然在健身室下過不少苦功。他們下班後來這裡,倚在 軟墊堆上,或懶散地躺在被紅色和綠色燈光照亮的露天池畔,享受啤酒或瑞士葡萄酒,互相嬉笑調侃。不少人都以英語聊天,可見蘇黎世是個國際都會。有一對男女正談得興高采烈,話題是利率,金融財經是這裡的人的第二語言。每逢星期一晚,這裡還有二手舊貨市場。至於在Lower Letten的戶外泳池,晚上會有露天電影放映,選映Filmfluss系列的節目,主要是海外及瑞士本地的獨立製作。


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