My first time writing about Austin since I left for New Orleans. So I’ve decided to start with one of my favorite places to be in the city, Barton Springs pool. It’s one of the most relaxing places to be during the hot Texas summer. The best way to get there is from the Mopac Expressway, Loop 1,exit f.m. 2244. Entrance is $3.00 for the whole day and you can stamp your hand at either of the two entrances so you can come and go as you wish. I recommend taking a right on Robert E. Lee Rd. and parking past the baseball field on the right close to the second entrance at Barton Springs, there’s more parking and it puts you on the hill where there are better spots to sit. It can hot as hell in Texas, the last couple summers Austin had 30 days or more of 100 degrees+ (About 38 Celsius for the rest of the world), so places to swim pass from being a luxury to a necessity if you plan to be out and about or if you don’t want to stay inside and spend in the triple digits for your electricity bill. The water in the springs comes from natural sources and is always a cool 7o degrees (24 Celsius approx.) regardless of the temperature outside. So when it is 100 degrees+ outside you can jump in Barton Springs and feel cool for a good 30 minutes after getting out. The pool itself seems to be about the size of a football field, maybe a little less in width. There are a species of blind salamander living in the Springs but I’ve never seen or felt one whilst swimming. Also, anyone that’s been to B. Springs knows that there are certain areas that the kelp gets rather high and it caresses you while you swim. It’s slimy so most don’t enjoy that part. A friend of mine summed it up appropriately: “Now we know how strippers feel.”
The Springs can get pretty packed in the summer. On the hill there are people reading, doing Yoga, playing instruments, smoking pot, playing hacky sack, among other things. There are plenty of trees so you can pick between shade or no. Darker people tend to like the shade, lighter people, the sun. There is also a law that women can go topless in any public place like this in Austin, because men can do it, so there are often at least a couple ladies taking advantage of this chillin’ around the pool or on the hill above. Barton Springs brings a pretty attractive crowd if I do say so myself, but it also attracts a strange crowd also. There’re always the one or two elderly gents in cheetah-print thongs frolicking around.