Ned needs a swim

I love swimming.

I’m not a great swimmer, but when I’m in the pool doing lengths, I become a happier and healthier form of me, so that’s why when I’m travelling I seek out the pool.

So today, just moments after my first swim in a new location, I’m thinking it’s time to share my limited knowledge of pools in different spots around the globe, where you can be guaranteed a decent to excellent session in the water.

I’ll structure it by country and attempt to add sufficient information including website, so you can check on price and/or restrictions.

Please also consider this page as guide under continual construction.


  • Sydney – centre – 1C Mrs Macquaries Road – next to the Botanical Gardens

Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool

It’s outdoor, 50 metres and all lanes are ‘roped’ and you decide which is yours according to your speed. Slow, Medium, Fast.

Opens usually in September for the summer months.

Incredible location.

I swim in the mornings, early, generally as a response to jet-lag.  It’s a great time to go though, as you have a lot of squad-swimmers training (and not just young ones, majority of swimmers appear to be between 30-50 years, getting a dip in before work).

You feel motivated and part of really happy party.

Also, an incredible café. The food, drinks and view are top-shelf.

I’ve been swimming here for a few years, last being September 2020.

  • Sydney – Manly Aquatic Centre

Manly Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Swim Centre

A few pools in this complex. I only swam in the 50 metre outdoor pool, though there’s also a 25 metre outdoor and 25 metre indoor pool.

Great again for swimming in the early morning – I’d leave beaming and then head to a local café for a flat white and brekkie.

I swam here late December 2018 and New Year’s Day 2019.



Athens – Hilton Hotel –

Best pool I’ve ever swam in – that’s the outdoor one.

Deep, up to 3.5m in the deep end. 25 metres.

Open currently from 8.00hr-20.00hr daily – May-October.

Open to hotel guests and non-residents.

I’ve been swimming here for years, last being July 2020.

United States of America

Great 50 metre indoor pool.

I swam two sessions over a three day period.

If memory serves me correct, there were 10 lanes in the pool and only about half a dozen swimmers in the pool, each visit.

I swam late morning and not only embraced the water but also the kick from doing it from inside of one of the top academic establishments in the world.

I swam here May 2019.

  • New Orleans – University of New Orleans Aquatic Centre

I swam in the 50 metre indoor pool – which at the time was broken into 25 metres sections.

It was just before noon and there was only one other swimmer. It was a weekday.

A little bit dated and out of town, but an absolute joy to catch the bus to.  I’m not recommending it, but my one hour each way, with the same bus driver looking out for me, and thinking I was probably less than bright, only enhanced the trip.

Staff were great and the music playing whilst I swam brought back memories of being at a NHL game.

I swam here November 2018.


Frikes, Ithaca


I’m usually a drinker and not an eater…but then I ate the menu.

Team Family – minus one, have just resurfaced after two and half days, read five meals, consumed in this paradise of outstanding food indulgence.

After dining here just once, there was little reason to venture elsewhere.

Poppy and Nektarios are reviving traditional plates and adding the bit which was missing.

For instance, the Butter Bean Bake – something I would normally think ‘That’s over there, leave it over there’.  Thank the Lord, it called and we answered.


By just adding a little carrot and chilli this dish has not just become a new friend, but has improved my world.

And the Goat Stew. Yes…I haven’t eaten meat for quite a while…but when we eyed it on another consumer’s table and smelt it, I knew my pescatarian days were numbered, in fact I have vanquished them.

Every single mouthful devoured was supreme. The cod fish cakes, the chargrilled octopus, the salads and the Savoro – a fried fish cooked with currants – unusual to consider, but a meal that could turn your life around.

And the location. Ideal.


Leave Lockdown and escape to this incredible part of the world and have a meal you’ll never forget.

To see more about this restaurant go to:


And here’s a photo of a beach really close by.