D · Our nude performance on the footbridge on Saturday night in pictures [29 August 2017]
Photo story [29 August 2017]
Eleven nudes enter the bridge and move slowly to the center.
The middle of the bridge is reached. They all turn clockwise and show the letters "LEBENSWERT." [en: "WORTH_LIVING."] – the motto of the city of Münster.
After about half a minute, all naturists turn around and show the lettering 'NATÜRLICH.'' [en: NATURAL(LY).] and the logo of the City of Münster. Naturism is just natural. We have to calm down the security guys, who are in red t-shirts: "We're doing an art project here!"
Position change. In order to be able to read our inscriptions from the other side of the harbour, we have to change the order of the naturists. The security guys take care, that we do everything right.
Now we are the other way round, and the people on the waterside side with the many restaurants can finally read: 'LEBENSWERT.' [en: WORTH_LIVING.], while from the other side now, '.HCILRÜTAN' can be seen from left to right, i.e. correct from right to left.
Once again, we turned around to show people in the restaurants: Naturism is 'NATÜRLICH.'' [en: NATURAL.] The photographer on the other side now sees '.TREWSNEBEL' from left to right, correct again from right to left.
In all 4 positions, we have stayed for about half a minute. Now our message has been understood, and we are going back to the waterside. There is applause. Thank you!
After the performance, one of us answered questions of a young family about what they just saw. The three children at the age of 4, 6 and 8 years really liked it, and their parents as well.
Münster is LEBENSWERT, they all here know it, so they live here, NATÜRLICH!
– Photos: Thomas
Münstersche Volkszeitung translated
Report by German newspaper Münstersche Volkszeitung translated [29 August 2017]
The nude conquer the art
29 August 12:47 – Naturist intervention on Ayşe Erkmens footbridge ON WATER
Some of the visitors to that sculpture might have rubbed the eyes or cleaned the glasses that Saturday evening. The currently most visited sculpture of Münster, Ayşe Erkmens „On water", was captured by eleven nudes, who had painted the sequence of the letters „lebenswert" [en: worth living] and „natürlich" [en: natural] on the front and the back of their nude bodies. And now they were holding hands solidarily without any clothes on Münster's iconic footbridge „On Water“. Notable resistance to the nude takeover did not stir. The whole action was not, as one might believe, planned by long hand, emphasized the participants, nine men and two women, who during the morning had met at the Westphalian Naturists Days. The focus of that days was hiking, swimming, or cycling, all of which carried out in the nude and in harmony with nature. The combination of natural nudity and art evoke a particular interest. And so, amongst the participants the idea emerged, to reflect the artwork „On Water“ by Ayşe Erkmens in "their naturist way of life and to add another experienceable facet by means of a combination of body painting and spontaneous nude performance (…) a half-new look to what is known", as it is stated in an academic press release.
The courageous eleven nudists were curios about the resonance, which of course did not fail to appear: "Reactions from other visitors did take place," reports Helmut Schultze, who participated lively: "Others left space to us and watched our performance attentively. Also from the footbridge, one could read the words "Natürlich" and "Lebenswert". Many visitors interviewed us. Also, reaction from the audience on the waterside, which was estimated to about 3,000 visitors, took place: Applause! Some of the security staff reacted irritated and asked us to leave the bridge. Otherwise the police would be called. Our explanation "This is an art project" helped us to to gain some extra time without disturbance and thus helped us to finish our performance. In any case, photos and probably some video material should have been recorded."
The public action of the naturists is not motivated politically. Helmut Schultze: "Our approach is not political but rather social: We live naturism and recognise this mental attitude as deeply human and natural – as against consumption-centric orientationn, wasting resources, and environmental destruction, with which the present humanity is going to turn our planet uninhabitable soon."
The organising team of the SculptureProjects took the action, which they could not change any more, calmly. "The dock at the port is freely accessible to all visitors. Since the group has not pushed or harassed anybody, they are free to walk-on the footbridge like any other visitor", the press office of the #sp_muenster from Domplatz said.
The arts-minded naturists took their inspiration, among others, out of a nude visit to the exhibition "The bare life" and a spontaneous performance "How little abstraction does art tolerate?" by the psychologist and nude artist Milo Moiré on the final day of that exhibition in the LWL-Museum, Münster (Westf.) in February 2015. So all official art, so to speak.
The naturists, used to the jargon of art, managed to "add another new aspect" to Ayşe Erkmens' site-specific intervention, as the press release of the artful nudes calls it.
The Active Naturists' Initiative, which communicates by Internet, is active for the promotion of tourism in the Münsterland region in Germany since 2016. (Fb)
The Active Naturists' Initiative carried out a spontaneous nude performance on the artwork „On Water" by Ayşe Erkmens
Source in German with the image: Münstersche Volkszeitung
D · Catch-up days from 24 to 27 August of the Westphalian Naturists' Days [27 August 2017]
Those nudevents in the Münsterland region in Germany in June / July, which had to be abandoned or cancelled are now put onto the agenda again at end of August expecting more stable weather conditions.
Sun 27 Aug: Nude hike near Merfeld [27 August 2017]
Sunday was the last day of the catch-up days, offering as good conditions for nudevents, as the days before. 16 nude hikers, aged between 30 and 80 years, covered a distance of about 15 km in the Merfeld area. As part of the track, one had the choice to wade a brook, while others continued on dry paths. Those, who waded, realized, that there are also ascents in the Münsterland: the brook has three (artificial) waterfalls with a drop height of about 30 cm each on a distance of 1 km.
Sat 26 Aug: Nude performance on the inner harbour of Münster [26 August 2017]
On Saturday evening, eleven women and men entered the platform On Water by the artist Ayşe Erkmens, who had been installed in the old harbor basin during the Sculpture Projects Münster 2017. With the the feet pacing on the platform in the water, letters were to be seen on chests and backs of the performance artists, displaying the letters "NATÜRLICH." [en: "NATURAL."] and the logo of the city of Münster on one hand and on the other the letters "LEBENSWERT." [en: "WORTH_LIVING."] – the motto of the city of Münster.
With a few twists and turns, the words could be read alternately from all sides, and at the end of the performance, the performers were acknowledged a little with applause from the estimated 3,000 people of Münster present.
Sat 26 Aug: Nude hike near Venne Moor [26 August 2017]
We hiked across the Woermann farm again – in 2012, the farmer had searched the Internet as to nude hikes and contacted us. Then we went on to the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal and through the Venne Moor to the place for a rest. Many of the hikers approaching us asked us questions as to hiking in the nude, which we willingly answered in detail.
After the rest, we met an excursion carriage with a group of young women, who usually form a roup of regulars, but today made their annual trip. Their laughter and shouts awoke a whole pack of deer in the neighboring forest, which we could still observe on a forest glade. Then, just arriving on the car park to start and finish our nude hike, we met the excursion carriage with the group of young women again, who – probably animated by us nude hikers – agreed on the game "Which team lays the longest chain of clothes?" and therefore undressed (almost completely).
Participant's report regarding a nude hike on Friday, 25 August [29 August 2017]
»Thanks again for another very pleasant day.
Having hiked now the same trail for the third time, it was nevertheless nice, not least because of the co-hikers.
Nude people apparently do not have high inhibitions, because we were en route quite familiar and friendly with each other.
I also felt the stop after the hike in the Das kleine Kartoffelhaus inn very lovely, especially due to the chance to be there in the nude. Many thanks to the landlady and the service staff, such a welcome is certainly not commonplace.«*)
– Report: Thomas
*) Maybe not commonplace, but also not unique: In the same inn in 2016, in the Zum Ziegenhainer inn in Jena, Germany, in 2016, and others.
Fri 25 Aug: Nude hike or bike tour near Altenberge [25 August 2017]
Today, from the same starting point, there was a nude hike over 26 km for 9 pedestrians and a 52 km nude bike tour for 12 cyclists. The weather offered for both activities sunny and warm conditions up to 25 °C, which again invited some to a bath in a lake.
The cycling group had numerous encounters of different kinds: with people, with horses and with police officers – the latter had received several calls and spent more than 2 hours of their service to search for the nude cyclists. That prompted them, to ask the cyclists to be informed in advance about similar events in the future – then they could calm down callers right on the phone: "We know that, they are not doing anything bad". In addition, we noticed, that the bike path is in some places as narrow as an one-way road – but possible contraflow needs to be taken into account.
Lost and found
Thu 24 Aug: A nude hiker encounters a clothed cell phone in the Hohe Ward and feels happy to be able toreturn it to the woman who lost it [25 August 2017]
On Thursday evening, an e-mail arrived at natury: "We have probably met a group of you in Hiltruper Wald this morning. My friend lost his cell phone during our walk and hopes that one of the hikers might have found the cell phone.".
The mail survey to all migrant participants yielded the answer of Jens: "… then it is probably the cell phone of your friend, which I found. As I passed the place as the third of our group, I have asked only the two people in front of, if they missed the phone. So, I am glad to be able to return the mobile to the owner." Everything will be fine!
Thu 24 Aug: Nude hike tour in the Hohe Ward [24 August 2017]
The thermometer showed 20 °C, as 20 nude hikers undressed in the car park and started their hike. The sun peered through the clouds only from time to time and so it took some time to warm the air up to 24 °C in the afternoon. Soon, the participants gained an impression of how intensively the area is used for water catchment. Everywhere, one encountered fountains and place of sampling, i.e. to measure the quality of the water. At the water works, constructed in 1908, one could taste a dram.
But the city of Münster also considers the health of hikers and walkers in the forest and warns that the oak procession moth can cause allergies and health problems. A creepy story is also told by the bronze plaque on the Freistuhl, a former court place, where 13 skulls were found, which, in the truest sense of the word, were literally muzzled by a nail driven downwards through the skull, which was than bent below the chin – someday at the end of the Middle Ages.
Finally,the group reached the Dortmund-Ems canal near of the railway bridge of the Hamm-Münster train line, where some of the participants enjoyed a cooling in the water. At the end of the day, the restaurant Prinzenbrücke had an adequate, delicious refreshment after the hike of 17 km.
D · Hike in the Lahn-Dill Mountains on Sunday, 20 August [22 August 2017]
At the meeting point of the hike, a rather fresh wind was blowing in the late morning. However, an air temperature of about 17 °C made a textile-free hike possible on the varied route, which offered far-reaching views into the hilly landscape of the Lahn-Dill Mountains. Cloudy skies alternated with diffuse sunlight and bright sunshine. A short rain shower, which surprised the hiking group during a rest, could not disturb the mood for hiking on the route of approximately 15 km. The end of the nice day was spent together in a pizzeria with delicious food. – Translation: John; Report and photos: Horst K.
D · Nude hiking days in Saxon Switzerland – 7 to 18 August 2017 [19 August 2017]
Also in 2017, Wolfgang and Andreas, tireless initiators of nude hikes, invited to participate in their tours in Saxon Switzerland.
Wed 16 Aug: Nude hike at the Pfaffenstein [19 August 2017]
On Wednesday we hiked from Pfaffendorf [en: Priest's Village] via the Quirl [en: Beater] to the Pfaffenstein [en: Priest's Stone]. On the way, a torrent of drinking water poured down from the sky on us.
Our mood did not become depressed: On the contrary, some of us had great fun with the old hit song "… Singin’ in the rain …" from the 1952 film with Gene Kelly.
At lunch, we had food and drink at the Priest's Stone.
On the descent the skies opened and poured on us again. We felt like acrobats on ladders and stairs like in the middle of a wild water torrent. Some of the hiking bag covers were not waterproof, so there was a lot to dry again. Luckily, we found a restaurant with an open garage at the parking lot so that we could dry out and put on dry clothes. Others jumped nude and wet into their cars – we did not want to expect that of our driver and his car.
On the last night of our stay our landlord gave us a liquor and invited us to stay with them again very soon. The landlady, who is still lively in retirement age and happy to help students, was pleased to take some of our brochures (in German and in Dutch; a version in English is in preparation) and said that she wanted to inform her students about naturism. She also told us that she had seen a slender young woman several times driving but with no clothes on – and that in such cool weather too (!), but that others had thick jackets. – Translation: John; Report: Rainer; Photos: Martin
Wehlen and Bastei
Tue 15 Aug: Nude walk between the town of Wehlen and Bastei [16 August 2017]
The 23 hikers had a sunny day with air temperatures up to 28°C. We started (initially clothed) from the parking lot in the town, which is called Stadt Wehlen. From the edge of the forest we ascended on the Schanzenweg which had picturesque viewpoints to the west and the east, and over the Elbe valley.
After a short descent to the Tümpelgrund we had a demanding climb in the Griesgrund, a steep valley formed by the fall of the river. It can be climbed in the summer and – like five other trails – leads to the to the Steinerner Tisch [en: Stony Table]. Here we had lunch and a rest from climbing.
After hiking through beautiful valleys with their greatly varied mossy stone formations, we reached the Uttewalder Tor [en: The Gate of Uttewald]. Here, a teacher of Muslim children spoke to us and asked if she could take a picture of our wandering group in order to show the Muslim children what the natural human body looks like. 16 men and 2 women presented themselves for this educationally valuable photo!
Finally we reached the Teufelsgrund [en: Devil's Ground] and explored its cave system. Even the Heringshöhle [en. Herring's Cave] gave its secrets, to some observers at least. The final attraction was the panoramic view from the Wehlen castle ruins. And here too, at the Café Eierschecke, we enjoyed ice cream and coffee before our descent to the Wehlener Marktplatz [en: Marketplace of (Stadt) Wehlen].
Those who were unable to hike spent a splendid summer day at Albert. In the garden they met fluttering and jumping visitors. – Translation: John; Photos: Roberto
Mon 14 Aug: Nude bicycle ride on the Elberadweg to the Czech Republic [14 August 2017]
The traditional cycling trip to the Czech Republic started in quite cool temperatures of less than 17°C. The cold was particularly noticeable in the shade and the strong wind. But the sun eventually appeared in the blue sky and quickly warmed the cyclists.
Of course, we could not bike through Rathen without a stop at the railway crossing gate. At the exit of the village, we already announced to the mobile ice-maker our return in the afternoon. However, he did not have enough patience to wait for us: on the way back we had to do it without ice cream.
We crossed the bike path construction site (blocked for pedestrians and cyclists: "Lebensgefahr!" [en: "Danger to life!"] between Königstein and Bad Schandau during our forward run with some difficulty, but decided for our way back to cross the Elbe over the Bad Schandauer Brücke [en: Bad Schandau Bridge] to continue the journey on the north bank of the Elbe. In Königstein the ferry brought us back to the south side.
The rest of the trip to the Czech Republic and back went as planned. We had lunch of goulash and Bohemian dumplings and other food. At the end of the day we assembled at a restaurant in the Pirna market square and enjoyed the warm summer evening and cheerful socializing. Translation: John
»Maze of Senses«
Sun 13 Aug: Excursion and walks in the maze of the senses [13 August 2017]
Fifteen naturists, men and women, made an excursion from the Saxon Switzerland to Kohren-Salis, in the area of Leipzig, to have a naturist day in the »Maze of Senses«. This is a facility where visitors can experiment, play and explore in an unfamiliar environment.
On our arrival in the morning there was still rain over the whole the region, so we were greeted with sparkling wine and a warm camp fire. The rain continued until lunch time when we had kettle goulash, coffee and apricot cake. Soon a team from the MDR ["MittelDeutscher Rundfunk", a German regional TV and radio station] also came in, and they took video recordings for the TV reportage series "Sachsenspiegel" [en: Saxony's Mirror]. When the rain had gone, the sun warmed us up during our 3 km long walk through the maze, where we tried some stations to experience ones senses.
In parallel, a second group made a climbing tour, which was not afffected by the hyetal region, which moved over Leipzig.
Rauenstein and Bärensteine
Sat 12 Aug: Rauenstein and Bärensteine [en: Bear Stones] [12 August 2017]
The sun was shining again, but only intermittently, and at around 16°C it was quite cool at the start of the hike. Also there were sharp gusts of wind up to 40 km/h! Overall weather conditions were quite chilly. We started from the village of Pützscha anyway, but few of the 20 naturists were in the nude. Most of the hiking group remembered old stories about the warming effect of clothing, and did not seek to be heroes!
We made an early stop in the Berggaststätte Felsrauenstein (clothed) and had hot coffee and hot soup. Afterwards, during our descent into the valley, the air temperature rose to 18°C. We reached the second pull-out point after a longer walk which included a short textile interlude.
We first climbed the Little Bear Stone and rested at its viewing platform. It was not practical to go through the narrow entrance to the Great Bear Stone because the stones were still very wet. Some of our group took advantage of the comfortable forest path and approached the climbers. We had a pleasant weather surprise towards the end of the day: around 18:00 the air temperature rose to approx 22°C.
– Translation: John
Fri 11 Aug: Saxon newspaper reported, hiking in the rain on the Lilienstein [en: Lily Stone] [11 August 2017]
On Friday, the newspaper »Sächsischen Zeitung« published a report on the Nude hiking in the Saxon Switzerland. The article contains a photo as to nude hiking and an interview with Wolfgang. The subjects were: "The naturists are on their way again, and what is so exciting about nude hikes is explained by an enthusiast."
The day was not really inviting for nude walking, since it began to drizzle in the morning, and the temperature was only 17°C. The group, which was smaller this time, made its way to the Lily Stone. But it did not get colder until afternoon. Then, one of our hiking eccentrics preferred to go to the thermal baths of Tuscany in Bad Schandau, in order to have a really freezing shower after his visit to the sauna.
After 16:00 a few bolts of lightning were added to the rain which was now much heavier. The rain did not cease until after 18:00.
– Translation: John
Gohrisch and Papststein
Thu 10 Aug: Nude hiking on Gohrisch and Papststein [en: The Pope's Stone] [10 August 2017]
In the night, there was a prolonged thunderstorm with very heavy rain. The temperature was almost 18°C with 99% relative humidity (almost total rain!). The moist atmosphere remained throughout the day. The drops on the display are not rain but condensing mist.
We decided to ascend the Gohrisch first. The view from the highest point showed us billions of tiny nebula droplets with a visibility of about 10 m. Nevertheless, the 24 nude hikers quite frequently met other hiking groups, which were not deterred by the weather as much as we were.
At the excursion area on the Pope's Stone most of the hiking group took the opportunity to enjoy a pot of coffee or a soup. Afterwards we went on to the Hempelhöhle, Lichterhöhle and Eishöhle before some of us went to the farm shop in Gohrisch to get more coffee and to buy a few products.
In the evening some of us had a Greek style dinner in Pirna, while others preferred Tagliatelle with ham and broccoli in cream sauce, Italian Bresaola and a selection of cheeses.
– Translation: John
Along the Czech border
Wed 9 Aug: Nude hiking along the Czech border [10 August 2017]
The Wednesday walk started at the car park in Hinterhermsdorf, a small town just a 20 minute walk from the Czech border. During the night it had rained, and now in the sunshine, the 21°C air temperature with humidity of 80%, the 30 participants were soon sweating.
First, the path through sunflower fields led to the viewing tower on the Weifberg. This gave a panoramic view far into the country. Then we followed the Folgenweg and the Bammelweg to the Weißbachtal, where the small stream marks the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. On this route we were accompanied by a gentleman, who had read a lot about nude walks at natury.de. But, he said, in the prevailing weather conditions it was not something for him!
Since we were denied the boat trip on the upper Kirnitsch watergate due to our natural lack of attire, we walked on foot to the dam and then climbed the steep route to the Hermannseck. We then continued over the Königsplatz viewpoint and, after a stop (clothed) in the Buchenpark inn, walked back to the car park
– Translation: John
Schrammsteine to the Falkenstein
Tue 8 Aug: Nude hike over the Schrammsteine to the Falkenstein [10 August 2017]
The Tuesday hike started with the ascent, and later the descent, to the Schrammsteine. Thirty one nude hikers and many other visitors were there and, consequently, there were longer waiting times for the ladders. The temperature was 21°C with quite a strong wind blowing.
It turned out that a large part of our hike was actually a step-up and ladder exercise. Conservative estimates of some climbers thought there were at least 1000 steps.
Then we went across the Gratweg to the Breitenfurt, and later to the Falkenstein, where we met other climbing groups who looked at us with curiosity, puzzlement and amusement from their lofty position.
In the meantime, the air had reached a temperature of 28°C, and on the ascent to the car park hikers could even get a sweat. For the evening, a few groups arranged for a joint dinner and a chat, which we enjoyed outdoors in the warm summer evening.
– Translation: John
Mon 7 Aug: Hike around and on the Bielatal [08 August 2017]
The Bielatal and its surrounding sights were the aim for 24 naturists who started out on a cloudless summery day with air temperatures of up to 26°C.
The Dresdner Morgenpost had sent a photographer and a reporter to collect information about our nude hikes and to write an article for the Sunday newspaper. The two journalists accompanied us onto the Sachsenstein [en: Saxonian Stone] and to a few other viewing points. They often took the opportunity to ask clothed hikers their opinions on nude hiking.
The highlight of the day were the Herkulessäulen [en: Pillars of Hercules], which we saw were conquered by some climbers. We had long talks with some of them, but the topic of nudist climbing was (still) foreign to them.
At the end of the day we explored passages through the maze, which seemed to be a significant test of skill, before we went to either the barbecue in Albert's garden or the chanterelle dinner at a restaurant.
– Translation: John
A · NEWT (Naked European Walking Tour) 2017 – 20 July to 4 August [6 August 2017]
This year, 48 nude travellers from USA, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, and Singapore met in Austria. A large farmhouse (the Hut) in the Wildschönau region of the Tyrol offered accommodation. Languages in use included English, German and French, but Flemish, Dutch and Slovakian were in use as well. We were able to greet others in their native tongue and to answer their questions. When required, some could also offer Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Russian.
Some of the hikers carried paragliding gear in a particularly large rucksack from the upper station of the Markbachjoch cable car a few hundred metres to the take-off area. From the Rosskopf, another 300m of height could be added. This effort was rewarded by a gliding flight over the beautiful landscape amid the impressive mountain panorama.
Ten hikers (the Tent group) slept in tents on alternate nights on the lawn in front of the farmhouse or in the mountains. Every second day they returned to the Hut group to eat together, spend the evening talking, and exchange experiences and ideas. One evening photos of nudist walks were presented from the USA and Europe.
On each of the six hiking days, we explored the beautiful surroundings, walking up to various peaks to enjoy impressive panoramas. We had distant glimpses of the Wilder Kaiser range and even of far-off peaks glinting with snow. There were mountain lakes and rushing streams to refresh us. We hiked for a total of about 75km, climbing and descending some 4,300m.
Once we were surprised by a thunderstorm on a dirt road: not for very long but with heavy rain. Even rucksacks with integrated rain protection let in some damp. On returning to the Hut, the sun was already shining from a blue sky and anything damp quickly dried when spread out in the yard, thanks to the warmth of the paving.
Conversation with locals revealed that our nudist walks were by now well known in the valley of the Wildschönau and beyond.
Children who met us in groups with their teachers or parents laughed merrily, and clearly had a lot of fun from seeing us and no doubt telling others about us afterwards.
We spent a long time talking to an alpine dairymaid that we met on her pasture. She happily asked us to convey her greetings to our landlady at the Hut.
Another time a couple stopped near us in their car and we exchanged a friendly greeting. But shortly after, the car stopped, a woman got out and asked for a photo to remember the moment, which we gladly gave her. From her we learned that a herdsman had seen us and called her. Her husband had asked her whether "they should be in the nude today (while cheese making)". She thought the idea was great, but was not sure if this would be compatible with hygiene regulations.
Our landlady happily took a printed exemplar of the German version of our Broschüre (English version: brochure) and told us at our farewell that we were good guests and that we would be welcome to return at any time.
– Translation: Bernard – Report: Rainer, Pictures: Horst
S · Monument to the traditional roles in Sala [4 August 2017]
Since many years, the city park of Sala, a Swedish city of 15 thousand inhabitants 60 km west of Uppsala, is home of a monument of a youthful couple. The girl's gaze shyly turns aside – just incredible, if she would return the look fair in his face! The statue is a monument of traditional role behaviour. But it is still worthwhile to visit Sala’s municipal park – just because of the young man standing 100 m away, who has been trying to fly a plane model for many years.