Benjamin David has just over a mile (2 km) commute to work in Munich, Germany every day, but he got tired of the heavy traffic and crowded trains along the road to get there. So he decided to swim.
For the past two years, the 40-year-old founder of a think tank has been jumping into the Isar River every morning and swimming to his office.
“When I am swimming, I’m indeed quicker and more relaxed,” David said.
To keep his clothes, a towel, and his laptop dry, he uses a specialized waterproof bag that also inflates as it closes, turning into a floatation device.
This bag allows him to relax and float downstream if his arms get tired during the 30-minute swim.
David wears rubber sandals to keep his feet from catching on sharp rocks, glass, or other debris in the water. He also keeps close track of the weather and the river depth.
“Depending on the water temperature, I’ll wear shorts, or a short or long wetsuit,” he said, according to BBC.
As the seasons change, David will swim once or twice a day. Sometimes, if the weather becomes too freezing during the winter he chooses an easier commute using public transportation.
“Every now and then, people will look down from the bridges and laugh or ask what I’m actually doing,” he said.
Sometimes he’ll even meet up with other people to swim together.
When David arrives at his work place, he’ll put his suit on, order a cappuccino, and sit down to relax.
“My colleagues have to grin as they arrive by bus or car,” he said.
The Isar River has been used for transportation for more than 150 years, says David. It was once used to travel from Rome to Vienna.