Tuzla is miles away from any beaches. It takes us about 9 hours to drive to the nearest stretch of coast, which is admittedly the exceptionally lovely Croatian coast, but by any counts, it is a long way to go for a swim.
That doesn't mean we have to go without our saltwater fix. Tuzla gets its name from its salt mines, although many of them are now caving in and leading to some interesting subsidence in the centre of the city. A couple of years ago, the mayor took the inspired decision to fill a few of the disused ones in and turn them into a salt water lake. This proved to be a runaway success and there are now 2 salt water lakes, a couple of waterfalls and pools and, a whole beach. There is beach volleyball, a whole load of cafes, exercise machines, trampolines and a real holiday atmosphere. It is also situated in the centre of town right opposite Dave's office.
We're making the most of it. On a nice day, we swing by Dave's office just after 5, pick him up, plaster on the sunscreen, get out the armbands and get in the water. Nothing is guaranteed to get us in the holiday mood faster. It's almost like living on the beach in California. Except you can see the Orthodox church just over the road, hear the bells ringing from the Catholic cathedral just a little further away and catch the call to prayer from the myriad of smaller mosques dotted about the city whilst watching everyone tucking into their beers and parading in the most glamorous swimwear. Only in Tuzla.