Berlin is dripping with pools

Berlin is dripping with pools

BERLIN — This city is a lap-swimming dream. With almost three dozen pools — some you might call pool palaces — spread throughout Berlin, a swimmer never needs to go far, winter or summer. I chose to swim my laps at pools within easy biking distance from my host's Prenzlauer Berg apartment, plus the 1936 Olympic stadium pool in a different part of the city.

Berlin pools are gloriously long and crystal clear. Water temperatures don't stray far from a sublime 82 degrees.

For a swimmer, water is home. My freestyle feels the same now as it did when I was 10. Under my cap, goggles and Speedo, I feel like a graceful dolphin, not a bumbler whose rudimentary German could barely get a...