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We have had rainy weather here in Germany for the past month or so. It has rained pretty much every day without fail up until last weekend. Fortunately, for my garden (and my disposition) it hasn’t been the type of stormy rain where it’s grey all day and there is no sun. It just hasn’t been too warm though. We have been needing to wear sweaters or light jackets outside and for the last month of summer this just doesn’t feel right. So when we finally got a break from the cool weather and a warm spell hit us, we jumped at the chance to go swimming. We went to a nearby man-made lake one afternoon, a local indoor-outdoor swimming pool where Anna had a blast in the kiddie pool, and just this past weekend we went to a gorgeous park in the city of Cologne and swam in one of the many crystal-clear lakes and ponds that dot the numerous hiking paths throughout the park. I think Anna, our almost two-year old daughter, enjoyed this swimming trip the most. There was plenty of room on the shore for her to play in the sand and the water was warm and only very gradually got deeper so she could run in and out of the water as she pleased. She also happily got to see a family of swans come up very close to us (a little too close!), with an enormous white cob and pen and two slightly smaller, very cute grey cygnets.

There were also plenty of ducks swimming around who were surprisingly not afraid of the older kids jumping into the water from a footpath bridge nearby, which passed over the lake at its narrowest spot, or the noisy little kids on the other side of the shore from us throwing rocks into the water and screaming with delight. It was a hot day an we enjoyed leisurely swimming around or playing in the sand with Anna and soaking up as much of this summer as we could get our hands on before it quickly comes to its end.


These photos were taken in between the raindrops about a month ago at a man-made pond near where we live.  It was a hot day that turned overcast almost as soon as we made it to the lake but we managed to get some time in the water before fierce gale-like winds ushered us back to our car and an imminent storm quickly drove us back home.




Anna did not want to wade in the water at all that day!



Playing with the sand and throwing it in the water was much more her style.