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Swimming in GreeceThe water is wonderful! Swimming holiday in CroatiaGulet Swimming Cruise TripsTurquoise swimming in Kas, TurkeyGreece - Swim and Sail Cruise HolidayLondon Tooting Bec Cold Water Swimming Championships 2017Cold UK Ice Mile SwimmingMontenegro swimmers meeting gold olympian from Rio 2016Swimming holiday locations captured by droneSwim and Sail Cruise PhotosBest Lakes to Swim in EuropeSwimming Lake Powell CanyonsStrel World SwimHuman Limits presents Martin Strel, the Marathon SwimmerSwimming Croatian Islands from the AirMediterranean Turkey TripsSpring´s Best Fitness RetreatsSwimming around Obonjan island in CroatiaOlympic swimmer about Swimming and Sailing in TurkeySlovenia ranks top Greenest Countries in the WorldSwimming in Slovenia Customer ReviewAustralian Swimmer Talks about Swimming in CroatiaTravelling from Venice, Italy to SloveniaMartin Strel amongst top 10 extreme world stuntsSwimming the Yugoslavian submarine tunnelsTestimonials About Montenegro SwimmingSwimming the Mississippi RiverNew Swim and Sail Turkey VideoMartin Strel International Marathon Swimming Hall of FameTurkish Gulet Swimming Adventure InterviewSwimming trip guest reviewsCroatia Sea SwimmingMediterranean Turkey Swimming HolidaySwimmers with disability on holidaysSwimming in Tenerife Sea Canary IslandsLake Swimming Trip in SloveniaMontenegro Fort Mamula island swimmingBest Deal Swimming HolidaySwimming holidays for singlesLake Bled Winter Swimming Event 2015Chill Swim Winter Swimming on WindermereBest Fitness Holidays in EuropeLondon 2015 Cold Water Swimming ChampionshipsTrying Out Open Water SwimmingLake Swimming SongSwimming Turkey - week long trip itinerarySink or Swim feature article about Slovenian Lake Swimming AdventureArticle by Telegraph Swimming in Dalmatia (Croatia)Boxing Day Swimming at West Midlands Water-ski CentreMartin Strel member of International Marathon Swimming Hall Of FameFive days of Croatian island-hoppingInspiring story from our Croatian swimming tripIn the swim: Article from our guest about Croatian swimming tripGuest reviews and blog article from Croatia swimsMontenegro swimming holiday reviewStrel Montenegro swimming songSwimming at the Lulworth Cove, Man Of War and Durdle Door beaches of the Jurassic CoastMartin Strel swimming with Sheikh from Saudi Arabia to BahrainWorld´s Winter Swimming Championships in Rovaniemi, FinlandWinter swimming at Big Chill Swim on Lake Windermere 2014Montenegro holiday reviews by our customersNew mobile app about Slovenia´s Top 50 places to visitMartin Strel 5 Times Guinness World Record HolderThe Lake Powell Swimming ExperienceCroatia Underwater Swimming Top QualityLake Powell Article: Aquatic swimming adventure with Martin StrelOur guide and coach Giovanna RichardsLake Powell Swimming - Crawl through the desertLake Bled Winter Swimming Cup 2013Winter Swimming Championships in Tooting Bec Lido in LondonLake Swimming TestimonialsNick Ward reports about our Sea Swimming in CroatiaLake Powell Best Swim VacationLiving Swimming Legend Visits Page, Arizona and Swims Lake PowellStrel swims from Statue of Liberty to Freedom TowerVirtual Open Water Swim ChallengeA Strel Swimming Story From Croatia10th anniversary Mississippi River SwimSwimming Smiths blog about Slovenia swimming tourWhy Go for Open Water SwimmingOpen Water Swimmer Show premieres on National GeographicH2open Swimming EventH2Open water swimming event at Reading Lake, UKMartin Strel´s Epic Amazon Swim celebrates 5 year anniversaryH2Open Water Swimming NominationHow to swim the Amazon river by Martin StrelWhy is swimming so great for your healthSwimming with sharksLake Bled Winter Swimming CupSouth African Swimming Tour
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Sink or Swim feature article about Slovenian Lake Swimming Adventure

A mid-life crisis spurs Auckland businessman Peter Bourke to head with his Speedos to the Alpine lakes of Slovenia.
We arrived at Lake Bohinj, northern Slovenia, late in the day before the start of the swimming adventure. 
 
Swimming the length of this lake has been my goal for nearly a year and my first thoughts were ‘Bloody hell, I can’t swim that, I can hardly see the other end.’I could sense Bubbles, my wife and travelling companion, was sharing my doubts. As part of my midlife crisis I had decided to take up swimming.  That was after a sailing trip at Croatia when we swam in the tepid Adriatic. Back in New Zealand, inspired and in Speedos, I launched myself into the bay down the road from home. At first it was a case of just getting from mooring buoy to mooring buoy and resting at each. By Christmas I could swim non-stop around the buoys but unless I had a reason for visiting the buoys, it wasn’t going to last. 

Swimming Slovenian Lakes
 
Among Google searches and YouTubes on how to swim, I discovered the term ‘adventure swimming’. That’s me, I declared. I’m going to become an Adventure Swimmer - whatever that is. Further research revealed adventure swimming is fulfilling the challenge of swimming naturally defined pieces of open water - for example, the length of a lake, a river, a harbour crossing. I found out the ultimate adventure swimmer is Martin Strel, a Slovenian known as the ‘Big River Man’. Strel has swum the length of the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Danube and the Colorado rivers, to name a few. And his day job, along with his son Borut, is to provide swimming adventures to punters like me.
 
Strel Swimming Adventures is based in Slovenia but provides adventures in Croatia and the United States, as well as the lakes of Slovenia. An adventure will typically consist of three days swimming for a total of about 15 kilometres with the longest swim being up to 5km. In my case in Slovenia, this involved swimming three lakes, Bled, Bohinj and Predil and part of the glacier-fed Soca River. Our longest swim, and ultimate goal, was the 4.5km length of Lake Bohinj, the largest lake in Slovenia. 
 
Slovenia is a beautiful country nestled between Italy, Austria, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia. With a population of just two million, its people seem to have a blend of all that’s good about the cultures of its neighbouring countries. They’re known for being hardworking, honest and friendly and that’s just how we found them. Slovenia was previously part of Yugoslavia but was moving towards independence before the civil war and was the first of the Yugoslavian states to join the European Union.
 
The Alps start in Slovenia, so its landscape, apart from along its just 7km of coastline, is alpine with beautiful clear lakes and rivers, towering mountains, wooded steep slopes and scenery out of The Sound of Music. 

Swimming Slovenian Alpine Lakes
 
Ljubljana, the capital and largest city with just 200,000 people, has all the character and history of the famous old cities of Europe built around palaces - only it’s smaller. And with a third of its citizens being students, Ljubljana has a university town feel about it. Lakes Bled and Bohinj are stunningly beautiful. The water temperature at the end of August was 22 to 25 degrees, and crystal clear. My group, being the last of the summer season, was the smallest with only four swimmers: Toby, from Belgium, and Rob and Hannah, a young English couple, and myself. Usually there are about 10 swimmers, mainly European although some come from the United States and a few have travelled from Australia. I was the first Kiwi.
 
The lake swimming adventure is run by Borut Strel with his small team of guides. They escorted us on the swims in inflatable boats either paddled or propelled by electric motors. There are no fizz boats allowed on the lakes. Over the course of three days, Borut and his team gave instruction on swimming technique with a view to having us all completing the longest swim. My technique improved hugely and, yes, I did complete the 4.5km swim of Lake Bohinj. Not bad for an old heavy displacement diesel like me.

YouTube video of Peter Bourke speaking:



Original swimming article was published on Sunday Star Times, National newspaper in New Zealand. Read PDF here.
 
Swimming in GreeceThe water is wonderful! Swimming holiday in CroatiaGulet Swimming Cruise TripsTurquoise swimming in Kas, TurkeyGreece - Swim and Sail Cruise HolidayLondon Tooting Bec Cold Water Swimming Championships 2017Cold UK Ice Mile SwimmingMontenegro swimmers meeting gold olympian from Rio 2016Swimming holiday locations captured by droneSwim and Sail Cruise PhotosBest Lakes to Swim in EuropeSwimming Lake Powell CanyonsStrel World SwimHuman Limits presents Martin Strel, the Marathon SwimmerSwimming Croatian Islands from the AirMediterranean Turkey TripsSpring´s Best Fitness RetreatsSwimming around Obonjan island in CroatiaOlympic swimmer about Swimming and Sailing in TurkeySlovenia ranks top Greenest Countries in the WorldSwimming in Slovenia Customer ReviewAustralian Swimmer Talks about Swimming in CroatiaTravelling from Venice, Italy to SloveniaMartin Strel amongst top 10 extreme world stuntsSwimming the Yugoslavian submarine tunnelsTestimonials About Montenegro SwimmingSwimming the Mississippi RiverNew Swim and Sail Turkey VideoMartin Strel International Marathon Swimming Hall of FameTurkish Gulet Swimming Adventure InterviewSwimming trip guest reviewsCroatia Sea SwimmingMediterranean Turkey Swimming HolidaySwimmers with disability on holidaysSwimming in Tenerife Sea Canary IslandsLake Swimming Trip in SloveniaMontenegro Fort Mamula island swimmingBest Deal Swimming HolidaySwimming holidays for singlesLake Bled Winter Swimming Event 2015Chill Swim Winter Swimming on WindermereBest Fitness Holidays in EuropeLondon 2015 Cold Water Swimming ChampionshipsTrying Out Open Water SwimmingLake Swimming SongSwimming Turkey - week long trip itinerarySink or Swim feature article about Slovenian Lake Swimming AdventureArticle by Telegraph Swimming in Dalmatia (Croatia)Boxing Day Swimming at West Midlands Water-ski CentreMartin Strel member of International Marathon Swimming Hall Of FameFive days of Croatian island-hoppingInspiring story from our Croatian swimming tripIn the swim: Article from our guest about Croatian swimming tripGuest reviews and blog article from Croatia swimsMontenegro swimming holiday reviewStrel Montenegro swimming songSwimming at the Lulworth Cove, Man Of War and Durdle Door beaches of the Jurassic CoastMartin Strel swimming with Sheikh from Saudi Arabia to BahrainWorld´s Winter Swimming Championships in Rovaniemi, FinlandWinter swimming at Big Chill Swim on Lake Windermere 2014Montenegro holiday reviews by our customersNew mobile app about Slovenia´s Top 50 places to visitMartin Strel 5 Times Guinness World Record HolderThe Lake Powell Swimming ExperienceCroatia Underwater Swimming Top QualityLake Powell Article: Aquatic swimming adventure with Martin StrelOur guide and coach Giovanna RichardsLake Powell Swimming - Crawl through the desertLake Bled Winter Swimming Cup 2013Winter Swimming Championships in Tooting Bec Lido in LondonLake Swimming TestimonialsNick Ward reports about our Sea Swimming in CroatiaLake Powell Best Swim VacationLiving Swimming Legend Visits Page, Arizona and Swims Lake PowellStrel swims from Statue of Liberty to Freedom TowerVirtual Open Water Swim ChallengeA Strel Swimming Story From Croatia10th anniversary Mississippi River SwimSwimming Smiths blog about Slovenia swimming tourWhy Go for Open Water SwimmingOpen Water Swimmer Show premieres on National GeographicH2open Swimming EventH2Open water swimming event at Reading Lake, UKMartin Strel´s Epic Amazon Swim celebrates 5 year anniversaryH2Open Water Swimming NominationHow to swim the Amazon river by Martin StrelWhy is swimming so great for your healthSwimming with sharksLake Bled Winter Swimming CupSouth African Swimming Tour
Our teamWhy swim with usNewsReviewsPress/MediaBrochureInsuranceGroup bookingsTraining planFAQsOur storeSeeschwimmenSpeaking in SwitzerlandWork with us