Our Australian friends Tim and Suzie Drysdale recently introduced us to their local “swimming hole”. It is in fact an old limestone quarry, and was used for many years to mine the raw materials for cement. I discovered to my interest when I was talking to Maria’s dad that he had in fact worked in the quarry when he first left school. I was momentarily reminded of a summer job I had as a teenager at a limestone quarry outside Tamworth, my hometown in Australia.
But unlike the scarred hills of the Attunga limestone quarry, Kalkbrottet in Lanna, outside Orebro, is no longer in use. Once the supply of limestone was exhausted the quarry reverted to being just a very big hole in the ground, and with the pumps that for years had kept it dry removed, it gradually filled with water to become what it is today – a huge natural swimming pool.
The walls of the old quarry extend vertically upwards 6 or 7 metres above the water. They are perfect for jumping or diving. The clear, inviting water, a beautiful blue-green, is deep – 30 metres in the middle.
The quarry must be at least two hundred metres long, so it is a good swim. At one end there is a tiny beach. At the other the cliffs rise sheer from the cool clear depths. With a little effort you can scale the walls and find ledges to bask in the glorious warmth of Sweden’s gentle summer sun.
Last year it was Vättern but this year Kalkbrottet in Lanna has become our favourite swimming hole.