Thoughts and experiences on the topic "Naturism and Corona" from naturists in several countries:
► Sat 4 Jul: Short hike in the buff after breakfast brunch and skittles in the nude [6 Jul 2020]
The Westphalian Naturist Days traditionally began on Saturday with a breakfast brunch and skittles in the nude. Afterwards, the assembled naturists started their short hike. It led over the Way of St. James through the Boltenmoor to the canal crossing of the Dortmund-Ems Canal over the Ems River. Although the construction site there has made noticeable progress, it is still a large construction site.
On the way, the naturists met a large group of children, which the accompanying father of the birthday child declared a birthday hiking group. "Ha, ha, ha, they're completely nude!" and similar shouts rang out from children's mouths across the canal. Some time later, after crossing the horse farm Nahrup, the children's group and the hikers in the buff met again and exchanged some funny sayings. Well, they have something to tell, when they come home!
► Sun 5 Jul: 10-person groups compliant to current regulation concerning Corona for hiking or biking [6 Jul 2020]
On Sunday, two groups of 10 naturists each – due to corona regulations – met on a parking lot northeast of Münster (Westf.) near Gimbte. One group had planned a hike at the Dortmund-Ems Canal, the second group took a 41 km long circular route by bicycle.
Two policewomen came to us in the parking lot. "You don't look like it was you who called us. But we had to come here because of a phone call and check up on you. Of course, you're allowed to hike or cycle nude, and you all seem to know how to conduct yourself naked in public." We explained that we had split into two groups of 10 people each and that we would comply with the corona regulation. At the end of the short conversation, the policewomen wished us a nice day – we gladly returned this wish.
For the cyclists, the strong wind, which at times was accompanied by drizzle and some rain, and the air temperature of around 20 °C was so inviting, that only some participants completed the tour without any clothing at all. The highlights were the visit of wooden sculptures at Coerde and the observation of storks, which didn't let themselves be disturbed by the numerous Canadian geese scurrying around, looking for food in a meadow.
The hikers were amazed at the food offerings of the Oeding Restaurant, which were provided with current keywords (species-appropriate, sustainable, …). They then shortened the hiking break "Track swimming in the Ems" to 150 m, because they too had to wait until late afternoon for warm sunshine.
► Tue 6 Jul: Hike in the buff in the 'Metelener Heide' [8 Jul 2020]
'Metelener Heide' [en: Metelen Heath], a landscape characterised by light heather sand west of Steinfurt, is a destination most visitors head for a visit to the so-called dinosaur zoo, which was built on the site of a former bird park. However, directly around the zoo entrance, there is a largely primeval natural landscape, in which you may hike on marked hiking trails or along unmarked paths.
The naturist hiking group started their Tuesday tour with a closed cloud cover, strong wind, and drizzle, so that only some of the participants did not want to wear clothes at all, others needed some protective clothing.
Just in time before reaching a bathing lake, summer sunshine provided by sufficiently large cloud holes turned the stay at the lake into a pleasant hiking break. But in the afternoon, some heavy rain started again, so that some of us chose a direct shortcut back to the car park.
The remaining naked hikers could then enjoy sunshine once again. On the way on the sandy heathland paths, they honoured among other things the monument of a place of execution from the Middle Ages. They let end the varied day in nature together in the Leuters Inn in Metelen.
► Fri 10 Jul: Hike in the buff or bike in the nude, then a nude visit to the Dülmen Ponies [13 July 2020]
After a weather-related break on Wednesday and Thursday, the naturist days were resumed on Friday. The day began optionally with a hike or a bicycle tour in the Merfeld area, whereby the hiking route ran partly in a stream bed of a creek. During the creek section wading in the Kannebrocksbach Creek, it started to dribble slightly again. So, we got special memories like “Naturist barefoot in the brook with umbrella”. The last part of the hike through the forest was pleasantly warm.
The end of the day was – as in 2019 – a nude visit to the enclosure of the Dülmen Ponies, for which there was again a great demand. Instead of sun and warmth, a strong, cool wind were the constraints.
Even some tough naturists have put on a windbreaker at times. What a contrast to the ponies, that are outside all year round without a stable and of course without clothes. They might only change from open pasture to the next piece of woodland, because they don't like rain. There it is of course neither dry nor windless, but less wet and windy than on open pasture.
One mare had apparently completely forgotten the shyness inherent in these wild animals and curiously approached one of the visitors almost to the point of physical contact. Between the tips of the tactile hair on her nostrils and the human hand, there was only a few centimetres distance. The movement of a finger was then sufficient to trigger a shying, jumping and running away.
In addition to the informative lecture by the forester Friederike Rövekamp, which turned into a lively question and answer session, the direct encounters with the untamed ponies were an impressive experience.
► Fri 10 Jul: Cycle in the nude, then a nude visit to the Dülmen Ponies: Impressions by Georg [13 July 2020]
Georg has summarised his impressions concerning the alternative 'cycling' and the visit of the Dümen Ponies in a report with photos:
"On Friday, Mic and Rainer led us to the Dülmen Ponies in Merfeld near Dülmen. Our start was shortly after 11 o'clock, 7 cyclists and about 12 women and men made their way through the park landscape around Coesfeld, Lette, and Dülmen.
Only 1 participant of the cyclists was in the nude from the start. In the beginning, it was cold and humid. During the second break at a creek, we all could let the sun shine on our bodies! Then, the cyclists exchanged their clothes for almost a windbreaker. We were filled with a wonderful feeling of freedom! It was the pure pleasure! The paths were very close to nature and perfectly selected!
After 48 km, we cyclists came back to our starting point at about 3:30 pm. We all, cyclists and hikers, were at the parking lot of the Dülmen Ponies at 5 pm, where Ms Röwekamp, a forester in the service of the Duke of Croÿ, warmly welcomed and then guided us to the Dülmen Ponies in an amiable manner with great sensitivity. Filled with lots of information, a great day with the group of naturists full of good conversations and silence concluded. I happily rode my bike back to Dülmen and from there by train to Münster. Arrived at home, I was on the road for a total of 88.5 km. I slept very well! Thanks to Mic and Rainer for the great preparation and all the effort!"
► Sat 11 Jul: Hike in the buff in and at “Venner Moor” [13 July 2020]
On the eighth day of WNT 2020, after a few hikes with rain showers and two cancelled nude activities, because it rained heavily, the wind blew cold, and a closed cloud cover did not let warming sunrays through to us, we had hiking weather again: cheerful, a few clouds, low wind, at the beginning still a bit cool, later warm, so that most of us gradually took off our clothes and hiked relaxed in the buff.
We accepted the rain of the last days as a gift of nature. Water is life! Klaus from Rhineland-Palatinate said: “Send the rain to us. Where we live, it's totally dried out.” We saw intact trees full of green leaves, green fields and meadows. A pond, which we had found completely dried out in 2018/19, was full of water again. A heron had found its pantry there. Also the boggy-wet areas in the Venner Moor: Brown and dried-out in 2018, now green, damp, and full of life again, so that the log paved path in the Venner Moor fulfilled its purpose again.
In between, we had to change our hiking route along the Dortmund-Ems Canal, because construction work is taking place there for a long time: A bridge over the canal, over which the country road L884 'Kappenberger Damm' is led, was newly built and will still be moved to its intended position. In preparation, the footpaths and cycle paths on both sides are closed for about 1 km. Some people don't mind: They bypass the barriers and continue walking and cycling there, which is possible at the weekend because construction work is then suspended.
We preferred to stick to the rules, walked a bit along the country road on a foot- and bicycle path, then turned north at the next opportunity for a detour of about 500 m, enjoyed the peace and quiet of nature, friendly encounters and a long conversation with a local carpenter, who was very interested in our lifestyle. Then again streets and bridge to return to the south side of the canal. Also on the bridge, we had friendly encounters with families who obviously enjoyed it, when they saw us. Afterwards at the canal and in the moor again calm and nice conversations, with families who were interested in our lifestyle. One family told us, that they were going on a nude holiday to 'Euronat Centre naturist' in France the next day.
► Sat 11 Jul: Hike in the buff in and at “Venner Moor”: Impressions by Thomas [13 July 2020]
We got a report by Thomas concerning his impressions of this day's nudevent:
"From 10 o'clock on, first hikers arrived at the car park to start the hike from. Mic and Rainer had again prepared the tour very well. As more than 20 participants had registered, several groups were formed in accordance with Corona protection measures, which started seperately one after another.
In the beginning, it was still a bit fresh and our brave "girls" were still a bit "hidden". This was subject to change during the day, which is why the sun was smiling more and more.
Past large grain fields, fruit trees full of sweet fruits and juicy meadows with hungry, but also curious cows and bulls, our way led through the farming communities. Everywhere we noticed, that farmers had sown strips of meadow flowers at the edge of their fields. A true flower splendour in many bright colours …"
► Sun 12 Jul: Hohe Mark – Hike in the buff [13 July 2020]
The final day of the WNT led the naturists to the Hohe Mark, a forest area west of the city called Haltern am See. Summer had returned with sunshine and temperatures pleasant for hiking. The area is a popular walking area, so the two nude hiking groups often had encounters with couples, families, or groups, often accompanied by cheerful encouragement or interestnext Westped questions.
We also got in touch with a police patrol interested to know, if everything was alright and when the next Westphalian Naturist Days will take place. We could not yet give a fixed date, but at least inform those police officers about the URL www.nackt-wandern.de [en: www.hiking-in-the-buff.info].
Since 1989, the Tree of the Year has been awarded, and a tree of the respective species has been planted every year in the Hohe Mark along the path “In der Brake”, so that this path has become an avenue of Trees of the Year.
That day's hiking in the west of the Münsterland region included – quite unusually – a climb and after the ascent to Galgenberg Height, where a fire watchtower provides a lookout above the treetops, often through narrow paths framed by ferns and finally past the Waldschenke, a tavern in the middle of the forest, back to the starting car park. The day and the WNT 2020 as a whole concluded at the restaurant Haus Waldfrieden in Börnste near the city Dülmen, where delicious food and refreshing drinks awaited the hikers.
► Official group photos of WNT 2020 [13 July 2020]
Everything began almost silently with the closure of the libraries in mid-February. Little by little, bookstores and clothing and stationery shops also closed. The bars could only serve at the tables and closed at 6 pm. Here and there, you could see the slogan "#everything will end well" and then a series of restrictive measures by the Prime Minister. Parliament was closed, so the measures never became law. And with these measures, freedom of movement and freedom of work was removed from the constitution.
The regions increased the dose to the point, that the masks were forced. The television spread panic with alarming news and manipulated the data (every death was attributed to the corona virus, without investigation, without autopsies – the bodies were cremated immediately).
Something very suspicious began to happen. At first, a very vague feeling that someone had exaggerated the danger. Then it became clear that the whole thing was a pipe dream. While media talked eagerly about the virus, the usual unknowns were carrying out their own plan: political, economic, social. Some private television stations (ByoBlu) were denounced for broadcasting "unscientific" news, while state and private television stations (those of Berlusconi) hunted each other to describe a situation of highest alert.
Fortunately, there were also doctors who, when interviewed by counter-information channels, immediately explained the state of affairs and provided elements to avoid giving in to the panic that was created in the population (Francesco Oliviero, Stefano Montanari, Massimo Mazzucco, Roberto Quaglia, Marclelo Pamio). I have enough to stay calm and not believe everything.
I continue my walks (otherwise forbidden), and I change my schedule so as not to encounter the Carabinieri patrols. Half an hour of sunshine at noon (for vitamin D). The streets are deserted, you cannot leave the house; in the supermarkets they ask for the mask and try the fever. Everything can be tolerated if you are in a different order. And more and more walks convince me, that nature is not against us: it offers us oxygen, pure morning air, sun, exercise. She does everything to keep us healthy and alert. This certainty is the best vaccine against this banal flu.
On the other hand, I cannot believe a prime minister who imposes restrictions through fines (up to 3000 euros), who lies, who declares on the eve of Easter: "I do not work with the favour of darkness": it is like saying: "Do not think of an elephant" (see GeorgeLakoff's book "Don't think of an elephant!"). Then suspicions have a basis, and the whole house of cards collapses miserably. It is likely that the government will fall at the end of the emergency, and rumours of an italexit from the European Union are spreading.
In all this I have something positive to record: a greater awareness of myself and my body, which is gradually being freed from lies and ideologies; the mask itself has made me think about my identity: if I cover my face, others do not recognise me, but I know who I am; society does not know my body, as if a person can only deal with his face in society. Only I recognise it, and I understand that you cover it because it is considered unworthy, because it is reviled, because it is the cause of sin, etc. Thucydides reports from a speech of the Spartan king Archidamos (433 B.C.): "What we are, is our wisdom; what we do not want, is our courage". And these words have become my guidelines in daily life.
– Guest article by Vittorio, Italy
While trying out a nude hiking route of the WNT, which has been modified with new sections, I passed a parking lot, which is situated at a barbecue area and a children's playground with sandbox and swings. A few cars parked there - among them a vehicle of the Coesfeld 'Ordnungsamt'. Two employees apparently took care that because of COVID-19 people do not form groups.
"Stop, what are you doing?", one of the gentlemen said to me. "I'm caring, to keep me in good health status: Therefore, I'm hiking", I replied. "But not like that. That is not allowed", he replied.
"Yes, it is. I've been doing this for many years. In October 2018, the daily newspaper 'Westfälische Nachrichten' interviewed a spokesman for the police in Münster (Westf.) and a department head of the citizens' office in Senden about this", I explained.
During the conversation, I fetched a small folded printout of the WN article "Naturism in 'Venner Moor' - nude hiking is not a nuisance"" from the linen bag, which I had brought with me, and offered it to the gentlemen at a COVID-19-compliant distance for reading.
One of the gentlemen of the 'Ordnungsamt' took the expression, folded it up, and both read the article.
"We didn't know that. Please excuse the interruption. We wish you a nice hike", was their reaction, returned the printout neatly folded up. My hike was saved!
Hint: Maybe, it can also help you, if you have a printout of the WN article with you, when you are nude in Germany! Link to the article (PDF).
– Report and archive photo: Rainer
Bright sunshine invited on Palm Sunday, he aim was the first hike of a newly explored path for WNT with long barefoot stretches, a bathing opportunity and a rest area with one of our cars previously parked there, to have water and food without the need, to carry it with us. At 15 °C and strong wind at the start of the hike, the hikers started bare feet and with short trousers causing astonishment among other hikers, who wore long trousers, shoes, and coats.
The temperature rose, the wind decreased, and so after 5 km we were warm enough to take off our clothes. At the rest area after 10 km, a couple came biking, stopped, and asked: 'We probably got lost – can you tell us how to get to Ladbergen? We talked for a while at a COVID-19-compliant distance, which didn't make it easy to show screen content on the smartphone. As farewell, both wished us a good appetite. Then, another couple cycled by, he shouted to her: 'Look, nudists!', then turned to us and waved us happily.
The nude second part of this hike was really fun: The air temperature rose to 20 °C, the wind decreased, all encounters were very friendly. I learned something about green manuring with mustard plants and the difference to rape. We met numerous families, young people, and adults. Looking at their faces, we saw, how much fun they obviously had encountering us.
3 km before the end of the hike, we arrived at the Dortmund-Ems Canal, which invites you to take a bath. The water temperature of 8 °C was quite refreshing, but compared to ice bathing at 4 °C, it already felt like spring. Besides, there is no wind under water – the wind dried up the body quite fast afterwards in common work with the warm sunshine. It was a wonderful, happy spring excursion!
Five days of cloudless high-pressure weather with strong, cold eastern winds – the temperature sensation is just above zero, even the bright March sun cannot change that. But even in times of COVID-19, you have to keep fit and need exercise – jogging or walking once a day or at least a stroll is necessary to strengthen your immune system.
At a small lake, a rest was welcome: Bright sun shining into your face, feet under water, lovely small talk – maintaining a certain distance, of course. You understand other persons even from a distance of 2 m and you do not have to expose yourself and others to the risk of droplet infection – because microscopic droplets are inevitable companions, when breathing out, and even more so, when speaking.
In supermarkets, which we all have to visit from time to time to buy food, keeping away from each other works all of a sudden in an exemplary way, as if each of us had trained this behaviour from an early age.
The people, who went for a walk this afternoon, were calm, cheerful, and health-conscious even in the Corona crisis: Here, too, you kept a certain distance, enjoyed the nice weather, and had relaxed conversations from safe distance.
There we go!