Come on, face it, the ice bucket challenge was really only a fad designated towards rich nerds to test their latest ice cube dispensor on their new fridge. My message today goes out to all those hard-core, punk-loving, high altitude and H2O-proximity cravers that search for some time off, to relax, to recover, to re-fill the adrenaline tank before heading off again.

Winter is nearing!

And with winter nearing, I guess you all know what that means: The ice bathing season is about to commence!

ice-swimming_b9381If you do feel inspired by those Russians or Norwegians then you would want to know where in Europe you could actually undertake this enjoyable evening event without getting skin irritations or swallowing more heavy metals than water. The best place to get an idea about the local bathing water quality is at the European Environmental Agency, precisely HERE. Now, blue means good, red means bad, it’s as simple as that.

Now, for all my Luxembourgish readers, I attach you a map of the places where the EEA sampled water quality in Luxembourg and around, see below.  I would, just out of concreteness, add three marginal reservations to the water quality test results:

Number 1: The samples around Diekirch are obviously from the dam at Esch-sur-Sûre. While the data indicates that water quality there is excellent, because of a recent incident in September you may currently want to keep your mouth closed in order to minimize your intake of Metazachlor. Official statements suggest that it is safe to drink, so I guess you have nothing to worry about… In any case the government asked the EU for an exceptional weakening in its regulatory standard for a period of three years during  which the regulatory threshold for Metazachlor is increased 30-fold. Since experts say that, if you still drink the water you only take in a small portion of your Acceptable Daily Intake,  then this shows that the EU is really looking out for you by setting safety standards that are – … – simply too safe.

bathingNumber 2: The samples around Remerschen are not from the Mosel, where the EEA does not even bother taking samples since this would destroy their equipment, but from the lakes at its western side. Obviously, the proximity to the Mosel and our good old friend the nuclear power plant Cattenom make this bathing event in Remerschen a potentially unforgetful experience!

Number 3: In case you enjoy bathing outside of Luxembourg, try to avoid Lac de Neufchâteau in Belgium as well as the river Nied close to the Siersburg Camping in Germany, unless you prefer to get dizziness, nausea, vomiting, skin irritations and alike, in which case that would be the perfect place to spend your weekend family trip.

Alright, now knowing all this, we only need some snow, ice, and defrostable swimming pants! Enjoy.