After scoping pools in
Then you can swim. But, you can only start swimming on the hour. This means you should get to the pool about 15 minutes before the hour. First you go to the Administrator and buy a ticket to use the pool. At Olympiyets, this ticket costs you 90 rubles (about $3.50), and it allows you to swim for one 45-minute session. The whole daily pool schedule is divided into 45-minute sessions (8:00 – 8:45, 9:00 – 9:45, and so on). This is pretty standard here, and it is the only regime I’ve ever seen at pools in
Another note of interest is that there are no outlets in the locker room at Olympiyets. This means everyone dries his/her hair in the corridor outside the locker room – that is, in one of the main halls in the gym. This is totally normal and apparently expected, because there’s even a mirror for it.
Despite the seemingly strict regime, most Russians are not, in fact, very serious swimmers. But they like to go to the pool! This means that if you’d really like to swim laps, like me, you should ask while you’re scoping the pool, “Когда бывает мало народа?” (“When are there not too many people?”) Otherwise, you are likely to get to the pool, and there are 50 people just sort of floating and standing around, and you will not even get in the minimal amount exercise possible in your 45-minute session. Fortunately, at Olympiyets between 11 and 3 there are apparently not too many people, and I got the lane all to myself when I went at 2:00 pm today.
Now, if you ever told me 5 years ago that I would go through this whole get-the-spravka-only-swim-on-the-hour-AND-pay $3.50 to swim for a whole 45 minutes, I would have never believed it. But I have to say that it was totally worth it. The swimming itself was SUPER. It was so nice to be in the pool again, and of course I felt great after. And, the good thing about the price and the 45-minute regime is that it rather excludes overdoing it (hmm, one of my character traits?), so I should have no excuse not to go consistently, since I certainly won’t be able to say I’ve burned myself out.
Since naturally they don’t let you take pictures of the pool in
p.s. A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little brother, Dan, who is 20 today!!!
1. Artur Maiss of ISAR-RFE and Petr Sharov (familiar faces to many of you, of course) contemplate the state of the