View Full Version : Where to swim in Paris?

Phil Arcuni
May 3rd, 2003, 09:36 PM
On short notice I will be in Paris, France, for most of next week. This is a week when I would like to get some meterage in.

Can any one of you recommend a place to swim (yes, I want to spend an hour or two with my head in chlorine fumes instead of wandering around the Ille de Paris.)

Parisian suburbs would be OK, also.

Ion Beza
May 3rd, 2003, 10:20 PM

from recollection after fourteen years out of France (I left France in 1989), I can think of:

1) the swimming pool at Massy Palaiseau;

from the subway station Les Halles in the center of Paris, take the subway named 'RER' that stops at Massy Palaiseau;
there is a deep water 25 meter indoor pool, and every June until September, there is the outdoor 50 meter pool;

the swimming club that is lodged here, 'Entente Sportive de Massy', is a Division I French club (similar in level to the U.S. clubs preparing for the U.S. Swimming), building age group swimming up to Olympic swimming;
the coach of this club (Michel Courtois) took me from public swim into the club, when I was age 28 in September 1986;
this is the club that I joined for the first time in my life at age 28, after swimming in public since age 25;
I am being remembered in this club as 'Alex', short for my middle name Alexandru, since the French always had a problem with pronouncing my first name 'Ion';
this club made Olympic caliber swimmers over the years, like Sandra La Cour, Peterman, Sophie Kamoun, Christophe Bourdon, Thierry Laloum, and recently (2000 Olympics) Xavier Marchand;
it also made national caliber swimmers like Benoit Vassent, 'Big Maz' Mazzoleni, Philippe Chartier, Laurent Kabiche, Christophe Devedeaux, Lionel Mounier, Benoit Verdier, Vincent Nicholas, Sandrine Buisserez, Therese Mounier, Noelle Costa, Benjamin Scouarnec, Fabienne Le Gallic, Marc Demuliere, Laurence You-Know-The-Pretty-Blonde-whose-Last-Name-I-Forgot;
don't mind my nostalgia for remembering these memories...;

however, and this is the difficult part, the French didn't have lap swimming in public swim at the time when I was in France;
during public swim, it used to be a cacophony of public (mainly young hooligans diving and splashing in the water) without swimming lanes;

(hence me being a prodigious miracle according to two coaches -Courtois in France and Johnson (Olympic head coach now) in Canada-, to be able to raise from this environment without any age-group swimming, to an 20:34.29 in 1500 meter swam in a 25 meters pool, November 5, 1986;
after only two months of any competitive swimming;
I am being told to imagine what Ian Thorpe's times would be, without any striated tissue developed in Ian Thorpe's muscles;
note: the striated tissue in swimming, develops only during age-group swimming from ages 13 thru 19, but not at 28 when I started);

similarly there are the suburb clubs in Orsay (that produced the 1992 and 1996 Olympian Christophe Bordeaux) and Clichy;

all this brings the choices 2) and 3) below;

2) the indoor swimming pool that I vaguely remember as being at the subway station Kellerman in Paris (named 'Piscine Kellerman' if I remember correctly), was a 50 meter pool with swimming lanes that I was using to complement my club swimming with, in 1988;

3) the indoor swimming pool that I vaguely remember as being at the subway station Chatelet-Les Halles in Paris, was a 50 meter pool with swimming lanes that I was using to complement my club swimming with, in 1988;

unfortunately, the choices 2) and 3) were not perfect for swimming either, as the French didn't have lanes set by levels 'Slow', 'Medium' and 'Fast';
there were swimming lanes alright, but of mixed levels, so a swimmer better than the public had to tone down any ambitious workout, compromise with the reality of the place and do the minor parts of the workout in these public pools.

May 3rd, 2003, 10:58 PM
I wondered about the pronuncation of your name too. Is the I pronunce like a Y,Ion.

Ion Beza
May 4th, 2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by cinc310
...Is the I pronunce like a Y,...
My Romanian name 'Ion' is pronounced in English like if it was spelled 'Eon'.

The Romanian language is labeled as phonetical:
the way the alphabet is pronounced, that's the way that every letter in every word is pronounced;
no exceptions.

In the Romanian alphabet the letter 'I' is pronounced in English 'E', and the Romanian word 'Ion' (my name) is pronounced in English like if it was written as 'Eon'.

The English language is not phonetical:

.) think pronouncing differently 'flood' and 'food' in spite of the same spelling;

.) think pronouncing differently 'live' (from "I live in a house.") and 'live' (from "It was a live performance.") in spite of the same spelling;

.) think pronouncing 'i' in the word 'inside' differently than pronouncing 'i' in the English alphabet.

Most European languages are phonetical.

May 13th, 2003, 04:24 PM
Try http://www.swimmersguide.com/. I located a few places at the Lornet online site.

I was in Paris in 1997, and swam laps at open public lap swimming Sunday morning at a 50 (or was it 33) meter indoor pool in Les Halles. The cost was relatively cheap.

I took forever to find the pool since the Les Halles complex is a large relatively modern underground shopping complex. The pool was located on the THIRD underground level down.
Lanes were arranged by STROKE, not speed. I also seem to remember that the pool did not use chlorine, but ozone.
Good luck.

Phil Arcuni
May 14th, 2003, 01:42 AM
Thanks for everyone's reply, especially Ion's.

After reading Ion's post, I did do some searches on various web sites. I found a few, one which included comments about the various Parisian pools. The comments went like this -

"3 lane, 25 meter pool, crowded and not particularly clean,"

or "4 lane, 20 meter pool, showers are dark and dank and not very hot, better to swim at Les Halles."

(these quotes were *not* very encouraging).

The one place that looked possible was Les Halles. I could not find Massy-Palaiseau so forgot it (it is hard to remember words that you can not even pronounce.) I had no idea where I would be staying, and Les Halles looked like a place I could find from far away.

So I got out of work early last Thursday and took the train to Les Halles. I had no trouble finding the pool (pools are like a magnet to me, I can't miss them.) But guess what?!! Thursday was a national holiday to celebrate the end of WWII, and the pool was closed!:(

But that is not the worst of it -- I was staying at the Hotel Mercure in Massy-Palaiseau, only 500 meters from the train station, and did not remember the name of the pool in Ion's post! What surprises me is that I did not even *smell* the pool. My pool magnetism had failed!;)

So, Ion, there is a good chance that I will be back to Massy-Palaiseau in the future. Can you give me more complete directions to the pool there? From the train station would be great.