I go there often on a regular hot Summer days. But this summer has been just sad. It hasn't been warm enough to warm the water.
And I don't mean a heat (almost all of) the rest of the world experiences. Oh, no. Even our hottest days are usually quite tolerable, and won't last longer than a week. You'll survive by drinking enough liquids and getting your salt taken and wearing light-coloured clothes. I visited Barcelona in March and Chicago in June and I'll tell ya, the hot days in Chicago were just very different we ever get here. I'm actually rather sensitive to really hot days, they can even here make me sometimes have marathon headaches etc.
Barcelona in March was very much like the beginning of the Summer here - usually. Not this year though. When you swim the first time in a Summer in natural water in Finland, we say that you throw away your winter fur. I'm usually done with that by the middle of June, but this year - no way. I did finally get my butt into the nearby river last week.
...and the water was so cold. It felt like swimming on June 1st rather than in the middle of the July. The thing is, swimming on June 1st is special in the sense that you are really brave to do it. You have to prepare yourself to the coldness. If you walk in from the edge, a funny thing happens - in a while your legs will get this kind of a warm feeling. When your upper body gets in and you start to swim around, you usually don't want to stay there until that too will get warm. But then, when you get up, you actually want to do another quick dip.
The difference is the not staying part. In the middle of the summer the water is usually so warm you actually can stay in and swim around for a good while. This summer you should be very very into swimming to do it.
I am proud of myself for doing it and going in. And I'm happy I enjoyed it. But I definitely wouldn't hope every summer would be like this. I want the hotness. I want a weather where I can't wear dark-coloured clothes.
I have an option though. A really funny one actually: an apartment with an access to a shared indoor pool. Such a rare and weird little luxury in a regular building in Finland. So... I can start a more frequent practice of doing a little dip down there, if this shortage of swimming possibilities starts to weigh on me. It's not quite the same, but it's something.