Ten Swims of the Summer
1. Italy: Villa Scapone Pool
When Tutt and I stayed here two years ago, I don't think we went into the pool. What a mistake! It was very refreshing and had great views over the bay.
2. Italy: the Adriatic
I had a little swim off the dock while we waited for the kayak man to come back from his afternoon nap. Then Mr Z and I paddled over to the practically private beach for some more wading and general enjoying of the sea.
3. Vietnam: Halong Bay
I didn't jump off the boat, as I had intended. I didn't fancy it. But we did stop at a small beach as part of the trip around the floating village and I was able to have a good splash around.
4. Vietnam: Hoi An Hotel
We didn't know this place had a pool until we arrived and found that our room overlooked it. The only problem was that it warmed up a lot during the day, so it was not as refreshing by the afternoon as it might have been. 'Oh no, my pool is too warm' - this could be the original first world problem.
5, 6, 7 and 8. Vietnam: Fusion Maia Resort, Danang
This place was RIDICULOUS. Tutt found it via a luxury holiday website and, although the travel agent pulled a "How?!" face when we said we'd like it included, she managed to get us two nights there within our budget. How, I will never know.
There were four swim opportunities at the Fusion. First, the sea:
I had a good wade in the sea but didn't really go in. I was a bit put off. When I first approached it, I saw a dead fish had been washed up and was being eaten by birds. As I got closer, I realised they were not birds, but large, spidery crabs, which melted back into the surf as I approached. I decided to kick the fish back into the sea, to prevent any nasty surprises from anything else feeling peckish while I was nearby. This turned out to be a mistake: on my second kick, that dead fish bit me* really hard on the little toe. I was bleeding quite profusely for some time, it hurt a lot and my hypochondriac brain kicked in with fears of poison and so on (Tutt was as sympathetic as you might imagine). As a result, I was not tempted to swim in the South China Sea again; but as you'll see, I didn't need it anyway.
* clearly not actually a bite, but I don't really want to think about what else on a dead fish's face was able to puncture my toe so effectively.
Option two was the infinity pool that led down to the beach.
A trick of the light makes it look short. It was not. This pool was lush - the shallow end was shallow enough that you could loll about on your elbows and soak up the sun - but busy.
Option three was the private pool in our room (I told you this place was ridiculous).
I did spend a lot of time in the private pool.
Loving my GoPro a bit too much at this stage. 600 pictures and videos of pools later...
However, I think my favourite must have been secret option number four, which was in the spa. It had its own waterfall. Under-12s were not allowed. And it was entirely deserted. Result.
9. Singapore: Raffles Hotel
Another place our magician of a travel agent managed to squeeze in under our budget. A rooftop pool, here.
Slightly marred by the unsupervised children who arrived and started spitting water at each other; but I could only smile, remembering 10 minutes earlier when I had watched a dishevelled pigeon bathing in the shallow end.
10. France: campsite
Last but not least, the campsite we stayed at in Normandy had its own outdoor heated pool. This one was nice because it had a sort of ledge all the way around the edge, so even the deep end was not that deep at the edges. It was less nice because the water level was way down (end of season problems) and there was quite a lot of leaf matter in there. And children. But that's always going to be a public pool problem.