Once the ‘pool’ was ready, it was time for the brave to take the plunge. It was fascinating to watch the different approaches as people took their turns. There were those who took a leisurely swim as though they were somewhere tropical, clocking up a few lengths. And then there were those who reluctantly walked down the stairs and into the icy water, muttered a few *choice* expletives and frantically clambered back out. I take my ushanka off to each and every one of you!
Being a naturally curious person, I spoke to my Russian friend yesterday about the plunge. There are two main groups here in Russia who do it. There are the religious who perform it on Epiphany Day as it is said to fortify the spirit and the body. The others are known locally as “morzhi,” or walruses and they regularly swim in the subzero temperatures throughout the winter. The morzhi believe that ice swimming offers many health benefits, from detox, to improved circulation and energy levels. I guess I’ll just trust them on that! Enjoy the images, CSP xx