Public swimming pools in France, Paris in particular

I swim for fitness. In the UK I would just go to the local Everyone Active pool and do lane swimming (not the private health clubs).
Is there an equivalent public pool network i France, or how does it work.
Thanks for your consideration.

Everyone Active is a commercial company, so in principle these pools are little different from private club pools - they are just more accessible and affordable. And they do have a charitable arm. There are quite a few similar leisure ventre operators in the UK, and more recently quite a few public pools have been taken over by not-for-profit Trusts. Few pools are truly public facilities directly operated by local authorities any more.

France is now pretty much the same, with many municipal pools now run by private operators. However there are pools in most towns across France, just look up your nearest one! They usually have specific hours for lane swimming.

And there are 41 pools in Paris so you should find one to suit

Neil… please could you amend your Registration… there is a box which requires your Full Name … ie First and Last.

If you are not sure how to do this, simply put your Full Name here on this thread and I will amend your Registration for you…


Here in rural Normandie, I have a choice of 3 public pools within a 30 minute drive. I have tried them all, but finally settled on the nearest (Avranches) mainly because it opens at 9am on Sundays when it is not too busy. Sometimes they try to segregate the lanes according to use - fast swimmers, equipment users (fins, palms, etc.) and nage détente, but the French are fairly anarchic in these matters and often seem to choose to use whatever lane they fancy. However, the convention of circulating and keeping to the right is generally observed.
At times it can get a bit difficult, especially when overtaking in a fairly narrow lane and occasional collisions and minor injuries occur, but I am happy that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
Another rather strange convention is that one is expected to greet any female acquaintance with a kiss, which can seem to be disturbingly intimate when both of you are in a state of near nakedness. Back in the UK, any such activity would have resulted in a blast on the whistle and “Catch you doing that again and you’re banned!” But maybe things have changed there since I’ve been away…

Bisous IMO are no more intimate than rubbing noses or shaking hands, they’re just a social convention and shouldn’t attract any feeling other than polite acknowledgement of the other person, or persons, regardless of age, sex or state of dress. :smiley:

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Some British people do find it awkward, Mike, and in Britain it is rather a recently imported affectation, as IMO is hugging (out of California and show-biz?) so I have sympathy with Pam Ayers.

I’m not critical of you in any way by the way. It’s rather a British thing not to be physically demonstrative in public; and for some, that goes for in private too.

But it is so widespread and natural in France that the nation would be bereft without it. And it’s egalitarian, it is shared by men and women. You will have seen men share bisous when they meet at work, in work overalls and with bristly chins.

It doesn’t necessarily involve the lips, either. Many bisous involve brief cheek-to-cheek contact without any other bodily contact at all. It’s just a graceful gesture of greeting. And so French (other nationalities apply too…) :smiley:

I suspect that your experience comparatively recent. My French wife assures me that, when she left to seek adventure in England 60 years ago, there was no public kissing in France. At that time she was shocked to find that the English seemed to be under the impression that French girls were more sexually liberated than their own women. My guess is that they got their information from returning sailors, who didn’t necessarily mix with the most refined company!
Having returned to her homeland 15 years ago, she still feels uncomfortable with this new custom and is a big fan of Pam Ayres.
But we seem to have drifted away from swimming…

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I still need water-wings and a rubber ring to paddle up to my ankles, with my wife holding my hand…:frowning:

If you don’t swim easily, it isn’t your fault. They just didn’t teach you right!

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@Mike_Kearney, I’ve been pondering this bisous business, and I can’t see how it’s a modern phenomenon (your French wife may of course be a ‘vintage’ spouse :face_with_hand_over_mouth::shushing_face: - excuse the liberty-taking).

It’s de rigueur here in Sud-Manche and most prevalent amongst the ‘very’ old like 80+, who are like nodding dogs on their way round the Tuesday market, bisouing all their relatives, friends, old rivals in love, discarded grotty old flames etc. They cluster like molluscs on wet rocks, blocking the way and giving pesky intruders the evil eye.

Anyway, just thought I’d mention that aperçu…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

That happens here too, but that doesn’t mean they behaved that way when they were 18.
My wife had a Breton mother and a father who was half Spanish. The Bretons, like other Celts, are known for being cool and undemonstrative, while the Spanish side of the family were smotheringly over-demonstrative. I suspect that she never quite learned to cope with the difference.
The Bretons now do the bisou thing, but they have their own version. They can be seen, with hands grasped behind their backs, kissing the air alongside the other’s face!
Thanks for reminding me that I belong in the category of Very Old! :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

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