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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Day bathers brave the Baltic

More than 80 people chose to welcome the new year by leaping into the Baltic for the annual winter swim in the southern town of Ystad.
It was the eighth year in a row that cold-defying Ystad residents and fellow enthusiasts took the plunge on New Year's Day. 

Both the air and water temperatures were around 5 degrees Celcius on Tuesday. 

The winter dip is arranged by a local association (Föreningen Ystads Kallbadhus) that wants to replace the winter swimming pavilion that was destroyed in a storm in 2004. 

"We want to reclaim Ystad's relationship with the sea, and it's appealing to have a place where people can meet all year round," the association writes on its website. 

Similar pavilions, or cold-water plunges, are a common sight around Sweden. 

In 2005, Swedish architect Thomas Sandell even proposed building a circular version with an adjoining luxury hotel to float in Riddarfjärden, near City Hall in central Stockholm.