Michael Strickland's blog on all things travel: news, deals, destinations, dreams and more.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nemo33: Now that's a swimming pool

What is it about those wacky Europeans? Last Monday, I debuted a new weekly feature to showcase weird and wacky travel, and my first selection was "Tropical Islands," a gargantuan aquatic playground south of Berlin, by way of the Caribbean. This week, we go next door to Belgium, to another monolithic waterworld reminiscent of never-subtle Las Vegas.

Nemo33 is a "swimming pool," kind of like the White House is a "house." The facility, located just outside Brussels, is a playground for scuba divers who can't escape to open water. It features several platforms for training, as well as the eponymous 33-meter pit for deep dives.

Being a diver living in the Northeast, lacking what I'd call desirable diving close-at-hand (though I have friends who'd argue that), I have no trouble understanding what would drive otherwise reasonable adults to spend a day playing in a 100-foot-deep swimming pool. I myself have wasted more than one day diving in flooded quarries, where the water temperature peaked at 42 degrees and the visibility extended to a whopping 3 feet.

There's truth in the adage, "The worst day diving is better than the best day working." So when it comes to scuba diving in weird and wacky places, the Belgians don't corner the market. Though I have to admit they do it with a lot more style.

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Blogger Cassie said...

Very cool! That sure beats the murky water of the Hoboken YMCA.

April 16, 2008 8:05 PM  

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