Also in 2020, an international group of naturists from Ireland, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, and Germany met again in a side valley of the Zillertal to hike in the nude in alpine surroundings. In the beginning, it was cool and wet, later it was summery, partly hot and sunny, and we all had a week of fun and enjoyment together in the impressive nature.
Once, the naturist hiking group reached a suspension bridge. We waited patiently in a queue of clothed hikers near a hut above the well-known Schlegeis Dam. Everything was due to the motto "All together in the altogether".
"On a suspension bridge" 3:45 min [110 / 70 MB]
Text and photos: Rainer. Video: Pierre (France); post production: Rainer
Austrian Alps, 2019: Naked European Walking Tour (NEWT). Founded by Richard in 2005, now initiated by Pascal, Clarisse, and Roland: Participants from up to 12 nations met for hiking the Alps nude. Most of the group members stay in a rented hut and share meal preparation there, but a smaller group regularly undertakes two or three day tours with tents, i.e. they also spend nights in nature. At least once, the tent group returns to the hut to refresh their supplies.
Nature and naturism harmonise better in the natural surroundings of the mountains than anywhere else, but this year the landlord of the accommodation imposed a clothing requirement on the property and pool for the approximately 40 naturists. So it remains unclear whether NEWT will take place again in Austria, or whether another host country will be chosen.
Nevertheless, NEWT 2019 remained an event with highly attractive nude hikes in alpine surroundings every day. The individual hikes offered very varied experiences and insights into the fascinating world of mountain nature – including swimming in ice-cold lakes or rolling in snow.
Martin, a member of the 'Sächsische Nacktwanderfreunde', reports about NEWT 2019 in a detailed, personal photo report; Andreas has contributed additions from the point of view of the tent group.
– Thanks to Martin and Andreas for providing these reports!
Martin and Andreas provided a participant's report:br />
Note for English-speaking readers:
The Naked European Walking Tour took place in the Austrian province of Styria, or Steiermark in German. An “alm”, which appears in many of the place names, is an area of alpine pasture, very often the site of a farmhouse.
Dear hiking friends
After Andreas and Wolfgang took part in the Naked European Walking Tour in 2015, and Torsten and I joined it in 2017, we wanted to stay true to the good old two-year rhythm and be part of this unique hiking group again in 2019. Andreas, myself, and more than 40 other naturists from numerous countries joined to explore the area around the Dachstein …
As usual, but still different …
In contrast to the Naked European Walking Tour '17, this hiking report will be updated every day, so that you always may know, what Andreas and I experienced that day …
► Arrival: The day with the special surprise … [13 July 2019]
Our journey involved a good eight hours drive through the Czech Republic, then through countless tunnels in Austria to Ramsau am Dachstein. At first the world seemed to be in order, so Andreas and I unpacked our clothes, had a short chat with Lim from Singapore and John from Ireland, as well as some other participants, before I decided to jump into the swimming pool belonging to the property. Pascal first got an “okay” from the owner that we could walk naked to the pool, but after this practical example, there seemed to be a reason for the owner to inform us before dinner that we should please keep our clothes on in the hut. The planned Naked European Walking Tour became a clothed European Bed and Breakfast …
But none of this should discourage us, and so I went to the Bergerhof next door to take a panoramic photo of our accommodation with a view of the Duregg.
“When I wake up in the morning with a headache, lying in my bed with my shoes on, I think I must have an allergy to leather.”
We spent the evening in a convivial group to exchange thoughts, opinions and all sorts of intelligent nonsense. Which included the above quotation from Horst from Thuringia.
► Day 1: The one with the infinite ways … [14 July 2019]
On the first day we decided to defy the weather forecast and so we didn't let the morning rain stop us from visiting the Rosemialm. So we drove our cars towards the alpine pasture and then started the hike – with a destination of Ahornsee – in light rain.
The first part of the hike we followed a narrow path through the Styrian wilderness. As the weather unfortunately did not allow us to photograph the landscape of the hike at the beginning, I decided to capture the first photos of the near surroundings on digital film. So I took the following photo of a wild azalea …
After the first third of the hike we finally arrived at a place where an unexpected delay occurred. None of us knew what was going on, until after a few minutes it turned out that Peter had to turn around with stomach pains, and so he could not participate in the rest of the hike.
We decided to vote whether we should continue the hike or turn back in the direction of the cars – at first there was consensus that we should go back. So we descended the slope we had climbed minutes before until Pascal informed us that his wife Clarisse would accompany Peter back to the car. We walked up the slope again, through the Styrian wilderness, always accompanied by the light rain, which partly stopped, to return again as soon as we took off the rain ponchos.
Some time later we reached the temporary end of our hike: When two textile hikers approached us while we were eating lunch, and told us about the slippery path we had planned to climb down, Pascal decided to stop the hike and walk back towards the car. The rain-laden sky gradually cleared up, then rain intensified further towards the evening. So we followed the northern route through the woods, where we took numerous photos of our hiking group.
Shortly before the end of the hike we were suddenly told that we had to get our clothes out of our backpack at a hut in order to get dressed …
The reason for this was – apparently – an abandoned hut, but Pascal didn't want to take any risks based on the experiences of last year. So we followed the last two kilometres of the hike up the slope. On the way we took some videos and numerous photos, including two taken by Lim showing me lying on a bench. While the rest of our group kept their clothes on, I decided for this one moment to throw the “load” off.
This last possibility of "being human" took place at the end, a few hundred meters before the end of our hike.
► Day 2: The one where I'm 17 again … [15 July 2019]
On the second day we intended a high-altitude walk, and a hike to the Seekarscharte at 2,044 meters was planned. We started our hike at about 1,400 meters, very close to an alpine hut, which also housed a small pigsty on the property. From the parking lot we followed the way up into the mountains, until Pascal gave the word after some time that we could undress – since we started at about 12 degrees, Andreas and I decided to keep our clothes on for the time being and hope for warmer temperatures or a proper ascent. The latter was also promptly fulfilled by Pascal and so we found ourselves after relatively short time as part of the nude hiking group again.
On our way we also passed a small stream, which we had to cross – the opportunity for me to use the functions of some camera apps. The first meters of altitude behind us, we took not only pictures of the stream, but also photos of the impressive landscape, as well as our hiking group.
After we left the first meters of altitude behind us – the first break was also over – we climbed the mountain further until we stood at the foot of a valley. Of course, the climb was not over, but the mountain gave us a short rest before we needed to go further up a steep slope …
On the way up Peter seemed to have problems again and so I decided to take his backpack from him so that he could breathe a little better – until the lunch break at around 1:20 p.m., after we gained a few more meters of altitude.
At lunchtime it was time for me to take a picture of myself again and so I asked Lim from Singapore to take a picture of me and then Pascal, a few meters further on, to ask him to capture me in front of a panorama. It was natural that Lim and Pascal also got photos of themselves – the view into the valley was utterly unique …
Lunch break doesn't mean a break from all activity, and so after this little photo tour I went out again to capture some good shots with the digital app “Spectre” – it turned out that other fellow hikers were also impressed by the shots. I would like to withhold these photos from you (for the time being), as the next few days will certainly promise similar photos.
At the end of the break I also took the obligatory group photo – I'd like to offer it to you later. It struck me that I forgot to pack my trousers during the first break, so that I went through the windy passages of the Alps in “Marylin-Monroe-Style” during the further course of the hike. But as a nude hiker you quickly forget the unimportant things … trousers for example.
After this little “shock”, we continued on our way, because there were still some kilometres ahead of us and we wre a long way from the peak. So it wasn't surprising if we photographed some flowers along the way, as we saw alpine florets, but also the rare blue gentian. Who remembers the song of Heino?
A few minutes later we reached the destination of our hike: The Seekarscharte at 2,044 meters above sea level. Since Horst was about to explore the vastness of the landscape, I decided to press the trigger immediately …
Maybe I should also mention here that when we reached the 1,900 meter level we encountered small snow fields again and again, which were used for one or the other photo, as well as – later – a slide. Also at the Seekarscharte a small snowfield was found and I asked Andreas to take a picture of me lying in the snow. Since on the third day Pascal took us on a difficult hike, during which we were to encounter such snowfields again, I'll show you pictures from that day instead.
At the Seekarscharte Pass a small part of the group decided to descend to the nearby village, because Peter wasn't doing well again and he had to fight with the thin air.
For the rest, we went further in the direction of more snow fields. This took us to a height of approximately 2,060 meters. The next snowfield was bigger, and Lim used it to prove to the rest of the group that he is a real guy, and so he rolled through the snow once. Following the increasing number of snowfields, we also passed the first lakes, which were created by the melting snow of the last months – at one of the biggest lakes we finally found a “slide of snow” again ( we should speak much more of a snow-covered slope here ). Clarisse then said that this would be ideal for me to slide down … a few minutes later I was already 17 again and the next hit arrived in my ear …
The cold lake was also a welcome occasion for some fellow hikers to go for a short swim.
At some point every bathing break comes to an abrupt end, because the destination of our hike was still far away. A short time later, we discovered a marmot on a ramble through the meadows of the Alps. Horst, Pascal and some fellow hikers at the end of the group had the opportunity to watch the small rodent's goings-on. A few minutes later we had the luck again to get one of these little guys in front of the lens, and I could get as close as two meters without frightening the rodent …
From this small visit to the fauna of the Alps, we continued in a downhill direction, not without first capturing the panorama of the impressive landscape on digital film. The last big panorama of the day was finally a few meters away, which I will show you later.
Until the end of the hike it was only a few more kilometres, which led us past an alpine hut – including a herd of cows – and over stony paths in the direction of the valley. The third day's hike promised so many beautiful photos, which I can't present to you all in one article, so a video
► Day 3: The one with the quintessence of life … [16 July 2019]
The third day was to be one of the highlights of the whole Naked European Walking Tour '19 for me – not only that I tested the limits of the app “Spectre”, but also that the landscape we saw this day will remain a good memory for a long time to come …
Beautiful things don't ask for attention.
According to Sean O'Connell's quote from the film “The Amazing Life of Walter Mitty”, this is how it was as we drove to the starting point of the hike at the Ursprungalm, not having expected anything special. But that was after we again financed the robbers who control this private toll road uuuh… the Styrians and their “well constructed sand roads” … So we started with 13 degrees and a cool wind, in order to make the first climb of almost 350 meters over a distance of about two kilometers. On our way along the Ursprungalm we saw some strange looking stairs as well as a lot of textile hikers.
For H. and me there were plenty of opportunities on the way up to about 1,900 metres to photograph the flora of the Alps – for him on good old analogue film and for me on the digital version of the iPhone.
Arriving at the first highlight of the day, we saw the valley below us, until we went on and passed a wall of snow. Since Andreas and I were a bit annoyed in the meantime to always have to keep our clothes on, Andreas even toyed with the idea of leaving the NEWT sooner – but only if Rainer and I would see it the same way. This attitude might change again in the evening.
When we finally left the main road, we could finally put our clothes in our backpacks – whoever wanted to, because the wind was still not really playing along.
But at some point the sun showed up and it made nude hiking more attractive – our friends from the USA, especially Dan, already a bit ahead of us …
Passing the first lake, we passed an alpine hut to feel the next meters of altitude under our feet. Some paths reminded of Saxon Switzerland, even if the sharp-edged rock did not correspond to the sandstone there. After another short climbing tour, I decided to make the above panorama of the lake in the valley.
For the next kilometre we followed the path, which always led us along the slope, past countless photo opportunities, like path markings and our hiking friends. I don't remember when, but after some time we suddenly reached a small hill at an altitude of about 2,150 meters, which I climbed up and stopped for a moment …
At places like this, beauty doesn't ask for attention. She's just there. So at first I hesitated to pull out the camera to press the shutter button, because sometimes it's Sean O'Connell who goes through my head with his quotations …
If I like a moment, … me personally, then I don't want the camera to interrupt me.
I've seldom lost my touch in recent years. This day, this 16th June 2019 was such a day. So it is not surprising that I remember the motto of the magazine LIFE:
To see the world, to dare something,
look behind facades, come closer to each other,
to find and feel each other.
This is the meaning of life.
But now enough about Sean O'Connell, LIFE and Walter Mitty, even if this film plays a very special role in my ( photographic ) life.
A short time later we arrived at a larger snowfield, which had already been used by Milton for some sliding. He offered me his jacket (which is his sled for such occasions), gave me some starting tips and immediately I was going down the slope – I don't have to tell you that this was a lot of fun. Meanwhile Dan decided to take a bath in one of the adjacent lakes – at about five to eight degrees water temperature this is definitely just for tough guys, which also led to some applause among us.
Since we were travelling in relatively hilly terrain, it was also a good idea to explore the surrounding area and so we again found a view of the above panorama, this time from a slightly different angle. At the same time Pascal decided that we would divide the group and change the hike a little – reason was the somewhat too slow speed, as we were a little over two hours behind schedule. So it was decided that after a group photo a part of the group would wait where we were, while the bigger part of the group would continue to climb the mountain …
Shortly before this group photo I decided to do the same as Dan and also take a bath in the nearby lake, which Andreas recorded on video.
So we followed a path up the mountainside; over numerous larger snow fields we steadily approached the level of 2,200 meters. A few meters before this we saw a lake, which was used again to capture some photos on digital film. On this lake also numerous ice floes were found. From this lake we had to walk a few hundred meters via a narrow path along a slope until we decided to take the way back …
Shortly before our departure I decided to take a photo of a very special kind. At the end I took another photo with the app “Spectre”, which served as a test for the next days. On the way back I took some panoramas and some closeups of the flora of the Alps, which also needed to be captured. After a long hike we reached the parking lot where our cars were.
► Day 4: The one in which I wished to be a mountain goat … [17 July 2019]
The first three days of the Naked European Walking Tour '19 are behind us. Half time. On the fourth day Pascal planned a medium hike, which became a little challenge even for experienced hikers like Andreas and me. But we started off at the Felseralm, a youth hotel, which amused us with free roaming alpacas in the parking lot. Hubert, Hermann and Enzo were quite tame and seemed to have no problem with the many people who photographed them and called their names.
By the way, we should start by mentioning the tent group – whose luggage was a good 10 kilograms heavier than ours. It was all the more astonishing that these seven hikers overtook us several times during our common tour.
But for me it was also the opportunity to talk a little with Andreas from Thuringia. But already on the first ascent the wheat separated from the chaff and so I was astonished that Andreas hastened away from all of us – by the way the same applied to Roland from the Netherlands, the organizer of the tent group.
Our hike led us on the first part along a slope, which reminded us a little of Saxon Switzerland. However, the steep slopes were missing – at least it was a safe place, and for some of our fellow hikers, this small passage was a challenge. Reason enough for me to take some photos of the closer and farther surroundings and to fill the memory of the iPhone with it further …
After we had mastered the first small challenge of the day, we headed towards the forest, not without first capturing the impressive panorama. From time to time I also decided to set up my tripod and step in front of the lens myself.
Some hundred meters later we encountered a small stile, which separated the cattle pasture from the rest of the forest and so after a short climb the time had come to take a common group photo on film – the hut group, united with the tent group. It is not easy to get 35 people in one photo, but considering that not everyone wanted to be in the photo, we were 38 naturists from 10 countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, France, the United States, Slovakia, Ireland, Austria and Singapore.
At the end of this small photo session we followed the path until we reached the first alpine hut on our way, which was being visited by a group of children sent out by the Upper Austrian Children's Cancer Foundation. A few meters before that, a photo was taken, which can be called a cliché …
Alpine meadows. Mountains. Cows. What more does an Austrian want? Or rather: What do his guests require for their satisfaction?
Our common way led on and brought us to the first break shared between the hut group and the backpackers. Here Andreas from Thuringia unpacked his gas cooker and prepared himself a bag of “Chicken Curry”. Since Lim was on a photo safari, I joined him and took some very nice photos, with the unique landscape in the background. Afterwards the way led us steeply up the slope – an achievement for all participants of the tent group, but this ascent was a challenge to everyone. The thought arose that this way is more suitable for mountain goats than for humans.
A few meters before the end of the ascent, I decided to use the snow again for a little cooling and softening of my light sunburn. Unfortunately we could only take a short break, but at the end of the ascent Horst decided to climb a small slope, a few minutes later H. and I were also there and a photo of the three conquerors of the summit was taken.
Further on, the hike went along the ridge and gave us a view, more beautiful than the other one – but this time without thinking about Walter Mitty and his film. The tent group was slightly behind after the common break, but their speed allowed them to catch up, and so we were reunited after scarcely one hour again, before we had to climb the next steep ascent … I already mentioned the mountain goat character of these paths? This ascent was no different and I made an offer to Andreas to carry his 15 kilogram backpack, which he kindly refused.
So a few minutes later we found ourselves at the end of the mountain goat ascent, but after a short look into the distance we decided that there was still a small slope to be climbed. After the first few meters the slope was a bit steeper and when I thought the end was reached, a small slope appeared behind it, which was no longer a problem – even if it was exhausting to climb it, ambition won. But in the end a fantastic panorama was visible, which was captured by Joost from the Netherlands …
After some small jumps we went down the slope towards the Wildsee, not without taking some pictures of some views on digital film. Arriving at the Wildsee, it was said at first, whoever wants to swim can climb down another 30 meters, and then – after bathing in water at around 5 degrees – climb up again.
The rest of the hike led us down 700 meters of altitude over another mountain goat path paved with uncomfortable loose rock, until we reached the Felseralm, where Pascal invited us to decide if we wanted to visit the Johannes Waterfall or not. One part of the group decided to drive immediately toward the hut, while the other part of the group explored the waterfall …
When I was just about to make the ascent back from the waterfall, I thought that a geocache would be a natural thing to find there and, as chance would have it, such was the case. So, the Johannes Waterfall was transformed into a smiley during the golden hour of late afternoon.
► Day 5: The one where I'm really okay … [18 July 2019]
On the fifth day, after the previous day's efforts, Horst, Rainer, and I decided to take a break. Since Jane and Nick from Great Britain also longed for a day off, we decided to take a short walk a few kilometres away from our hut. So we walked about seven kilometres over normal forest paths, for which we did not need a “mountain goat licence”, as was the case on the fourth day …
During the hike we saw not only our hut, but also the so-called “Skywalk” on the top of the Dachstein, including the suspension bridge. As someone familiar with Saxon Switzerland this reminded me a little of the Bastei and its touristic development. By simple ways, which we used the whole week, we managed to talk with one another and to get to know each other better. Jane, Nick and Theo were three English-speaking friends that day, so Rainer, Regina, Udo and I also decided to speak English, and we translated some things for the benefit of S., our youngest fellow wanderer.
With rain just beginning, we reached our cars and could return dry-footed to the accommodation where Horst and Anton were waiting for us. For dinner we had spinach soup, which was prepared with love by Jane and Nick.
► Day 6: The one that's supposed to be over by now? [19 July 2019]
Our last day of the Naked European Walking Tour – alternatively the sixth day – took us to the Rittisberg, after Pascal decided to offer only an easy walk. So we started directly from our accommodation and went to the neighbouring hill, which we could already see at the start of the hike.
Of course we had to master some meters of altitude right at the beginning of the hike, so that an “easy” walk quickly became a challenge – especially considering that some hikes were already behind us. But when I arrived at the first stop, I decided to unpack the tripod and take a seat in the picture. Lim replied that it was not wrong to have a tripod with you! Since this hike was to be the last of our hiking week, we took the usual group photo – since Stephan, the backpacker, was also part of the group, he was also allowed to get in front of the camera once. From the view in the direction of the Dachstein we went further toward the top of the Rittisberg, on which an observation tower was erected, which also houses a geocache ( you don't need to ask yourself if I collected it or not ?? ).
The observation tower was not only used by me for photos, but also by numerous textile hikers who enjoyed the view of the Dachstein. So we could get into some conversations and exchange thoughts until Andreas came up to me and asked for a business card for a man who came from Zwickau. What happiness such a simple greeting can provide.
But each lunch break knows an end and after the cache was found, the way took us down the Rittisberg. On the way downhill our youngest member S. decided to drop her clothes. She said the day before that she didn't want to become a naturist – less than 24 hours later she was naked in the group and walked with us through the Styrian forests and mountains. In the end this even led to her saying that shortly before reaching the “Clothing Point”, i.e. the point at which we had to get dressed again, she would have preferred not to put on her clothes anymore, as she was so warm!
But our hike wasn't over yet: Pascal suggested that we could visit a small lake only two kilometres away. I don't know whether he deliberately concealed the altitude difference or whether Pascal didn't see it on the map, because the path led us down a forest path a good 100 metres before we could jump into the cool mountain lake, which was created to run a hydroelectric power station. We also crossed a bridge to cross one of the mountain rivers to take a dip in it afterwards …
S.'s father needed a little encouragement to let himself fall into the ( estimated ) eight degree cold water – what can you do for your daughter! It wasn't that easy for me either, but if my feet are already in the water to take a picture of the bridge and the whitewater stream, then the rest of me can get wet as well. After a short break we went back on our way to welcome the tent hiking group in our accommodation that evening.
In the end, this easy walk was a good 22 kilometres with about 400 metres of altitude difference – as I said, it was an “easy” walk.
► Tent group: Only the tough ones come over the Dachstein … [20 July 2019]
In addition to the "normal" day hikes, Roland from the Netherlands had again gathered a small group of intrepid hikers around him, who set off on two three-day hikes in the Alps, each with tent and rucksack. For the first three days cool weather was announced and thus for the first two overnight stays two huts were rented, up at 2,100 meters height.
On the first day, the weather was sometimes poor and the first climb was a steep one. After a rest on a mountain pasture the weather improved considerably and we walked in a good mood to the Südwandhütte. Walking naked was only possible to a limited extent, but the panorama of the Dachstein was magnificent again and again. On the second day we took the cable car to the Dachstein up to 2,700 meters. Up there, at three degrees and 2.90 meters snow depth, winter clothing was the order of the day. I have Roland's words “we are just going down" still well in memory, when we went with cool temperatures first through fresh snow and then over innumerable snow fields and much rubble slowly downhill. At some places we had to work our way down in mountaineering style with 15 kilograms of luggage on our backs. Even if the whole thing had little to do with a naked hike, this descent was nevertheless an unforgettable adventure. We spent a nice evening in the Guttenberghaus at an altitude of 2,146 metres before we went down to Ramsau on the third day and back to the hut on the Panoramaweg.
On the fourth day we hiked together with the hut group to the Wildsee in the best naked hiking weather. While the group started their way into the valley, we pitched our tents, which were then ready in time for the thunderstorms. The night was then also a kind of adventure, but everyone survived it somehow, and the next morning we were more or less rested again and ready to walk. The weather was also beautiful on the last two days, so that we took the efforts of the hikes gladly, in order to enjoy again and again the marvellous alpine panorama. In the end everybody was happy to have reached the cars again. As a crowning conclusion there was then still a small hike without luggage to the Johanneswasserfall.
► Departure: The last one? [20 July 2019]
The last day in Austria brought the question of whether the event should be in Austria again, because of the "scandal" on the day of arrival, when the owner's sister demanded that we should keep clothes on in the hut. The idea arose to organize NEWT next year in Germany or Spain. What is the outcome of this development? We don't know, but we hope that the NEWT will continue to exist – even if Spain is too far for us, for our friends from afar this is certainly no problem …
So we said goodbye and like 2017, I made many new friends during this NEWT, like H. and his daughter S., but also Jane and Nick from Great Britain, Ernst from Austria, Joost from the Netherlands and many more. I hope we will see each other again in two years, when the destination will be set towards the biggest, most international and most beautiful nude hiking week in Europe.
With the last hike, the Naked European Walking Tour 2019 came to a worthy end and we – as a circle of Saxon naturist friends – can only thank Pascal, Clarisse, and Roland for the great organisation and realisation. Without them, there would have been no NEWT in the last years after Richard Foley's witdrawal, and even if the walks were exhausting at the beginning, Pascal always ensured that our group mastered all tours. We thank you so much for that.
Your Andreas and Martin
– Report and photos: Martin (hut group) and Andreas (tent group), Germany; translation: John P, USA. Courtesy of Andreas and Martin: Naked European Walking Tour ’19" (nacktwanderfreunde.de)
We got a participant's report by Lim, Singapore.
► “NEWT 2018: a week-long nude hiking on the Tyrolean Alps
Having been to NEWT every year since my first participation in 2016, this third NEWT of mine was a lovely time of meeting old friends and making new ones. There is an enchanting attraction in Alpine hiking that is quite indescribable and makes it irresistible for hikers to return each year almost religiously but while the views are always stunning and breathtaking, one must not forget that the mountains are untamed and can at times be quite unforgiving. Having slipped and fallen on a cattle grid last year which resulted in a badly bruised knee, I was determined this year to be much more careful and sure enough, everything went on smoothly. […]
It was a lovely sunny day and we hiked up to Ahornstein. On our way, we came across quite a few non-naturist hikers with whom we exchanged greetings and pleasantries. There were horses too which, to a selfie-addict like me, were nothing less than an invitation to take more photos. […]
All the hiking left us pretty much hungry and thirsty and it was such a joy when we stumbled upon a tavern called Konigsbergalm 1300. This was the same place we stopped at in NEWT 2016. The owner was perfectly naturist-friendly and a handful of guests he had at his pub were very friendly. It’s moments like this that make me regret not knowing how to converse in German. Before we left, the owner and staff asked if we minded having a group photo taken at his pub. We were more than delighted to oblige. […]”
Read the full report (PDF) with more photos.
► “Saxony Active Naturist Week 2018
This was the first time I participated in the Saxony event. Previously, although I had heard of it, I was under the impression that it was an exclusively German affair. After all, the international participants of NEWT did not go to Saxony after NEWT. But last year, John (of Dublin) and I discussed the prospect of attending this event this year and the thought that there would at least be one non German-speaking Irishman somehow emboldened me. And boy, am I glad I went!
First, many of the participants of the Saxony event were people I already knew and had met in the previous NEWT events. Even those who were new to me were friendly and warm as all naturists tend to be. There were people from other countries too, and at least two other persons (quite apart from John and me) who did not speak German. It may not have as large an international community as NEWT but it’s getting there. And the activities are incredibly enjoyable and varied. After the gruelling hiking at NEWT which exhausted me quite a bit, I was relieved to see that the Saxony hiking wasn’t so strenuous. The area is a huge national park with unique rock formations and the hike involved a lot of climbing up ladders, steps and rocks and squeezing through crevices in rocks and going into labyrinths of tunnels and meandering paths that nature has blessed this area with. It’s for me very much like the Disneyland of nude hiking. Apart from hiking, we went boating in the river and yes, we cycled for 40 km into the Czech Republic and we cycled the same distance back, all by the Elbe River. […]
The international crowd from NEWT should also attend the Saxony activities just as the Saxony folks should attend NEWT. If you get to know people better, you will find that there is so much you can talk about with people who speak a different language. I spent many a pleasant hour discussing English grammar with Horst and Rainer – something I could never do with English-speaking people who universally don’t know much about grammar. There’s something truly amazing about the German people that made me decide to learn the German tongue but sadly, I just gave it up after my first lesson. Some things are just impossible. Hope to see everyone again next year!”
Read the full report (PDF) with more photos.
– Report and photos: Lim, Singapore
We got a participant's report by John, Ireland.
► “SAXONY ACTIVE NATURIST WEEK, impressions of a visitor
This was my first time to hike in the Saxon Switzerland landscape. It is a most attractive national park. The river Elbe adds to the attractions of the hiking areas. We were never far from the river which looked very benign in the pleasant summer conditions. We know, of course, that it can be very menacing in flood conditions.
The hiking was of a good standard, fairly strenuous in the summer heat, but not as difficult as at NEWT. Naturism seemed to be acceptable almost everywhere, and yet the only naturists I saw were the members of our own group. Most clothed hikers, cyclists, ice cream vendors, etc, seemed to regard us as not exceptional.
Hiking through the caves and on the vertical ladders were a new and, at first, a somewhat frightening experience for me …”
Read the full report (PDF, with more photos).
► “NEWT 2018, a week of naturist Alpine hiking, impressions of a visitor
Alpine hiking, clothed or naked, is very strenuous because of the ascent and descent in mountainous terrain. Non hikers do not appreciate how difficult coming downhill can be. The ground is uneven and the hikers generally tired. Most hiking accidents occur coming downhill. When hiking naked more of the body is exposed to possible injury. Being careful is essential.
NEWT 2018 was just as difficult as NEWT 2017 …”
Read the full report (PDF, with more photos).
– Reports and photos: John (Ireland)
In 2018, NEWT (short for: Naked European Walking Tour) took place from 29 July to 2 August.
► Sun 29 Jul: Warm-up hike to the Ahornstein [29 July 2018]
46 Naturists from USA, Ireland, England, the Nederlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Slovakia, and Singapore gathered for the week of nude hikes in the Austrian Alps. Ten of them made use of tents (backpacking trips lasting two days each), the others return daily to the base of the rented holiday home.
A school girl and her father from Westphalia, who had completed their first nude hike last week in Thuringia, have taken so much pleasure in nude mountain hiking, that the two now also participate in the NEWT.
The warm-up hike on Sunday went to the Ahornstein (1,855 m), where we made the official NEWT photo with view onto the Hochkönig (2,941 m) in the Tauern Mountains. Lim then sent a group photo of the rest at the alp to natury. Many thanks for that!
► Mon 30 Jul: To the bottom of the Torsäule [30 July 2018]
According to FIFA rules, the goalpost is 2.44 m high. Its big sister, the Austrian mountain Torsäule [en: Goalpost], is much higher: 500 m. It is a very steep limestone formation on the eastern flank of the Hochkönig in the Berchtesgarden Alps. The summit is 2,588 m above sea level – but the naturists did not want to climb this far, as the last 500 m rise almost vertically and can only be climbed with at least level 8. Their target was at the foot of the limestone column, where a huge amount of crumbled stones had accumulated. For this, too, a total of 800 height meters (hiking) had to be overcome.
► Tue 31 Jul: Once on the Hochkeil [31 July 2018]
After yesterday's 800 m it should be a bit more relaxed today: only 600 m ascent to the summit of the Hochkeil were on the agenda. The mountain, which gave the name to the surrounding family ski area, leaves the imposing panorama of the Mandlwände [en: Mandl Walls] always in view, and the Hochkönigsstock as a meteorological divide ensures safe snow conditions and stable weather suitable for holidays.
After 14 km at 31°C, 30 naturists finished their day trip as minimally dressed guests on the alp. On the subject of naturist hiking, the landlords as well as other guests were able to talk to them personally and to inform themselves by means of our brochure. So far, they only knew that by hearsay.
► Wed 1 Aug: Via the Marathon Trail to the Jagglalm [1 August 2018]
Anyone, who sets off on a marathon route in the mountains, has to reckon with inclinations. If you want to win the “Hochkönig Man” race, you should keep your running pace – not like the hikers in the nude, some of whom leaned on walking sticks!
After 610 m difference in altitude and 7 km distance, we took our midday's rest at the Jagglalm. The bare mountain slopes all around showed the traces of the winter sports business in the "family ski area".
► Thu 2 Aug: Short trip to the alpine shower facility [2 August 2018]
In view of a rather long hiking day yesterday and a thunderstorm to be expected this afternoon, we only made a short hike to the waterfall, which we had already visited the day before yesterday. We didn't have to sweat today at 20°C, closed cloud cover and weak wind.
The schoolgirl and her father from Westphalia had, like many of us, a lot of fun at the waterfall and in the natural bathtubs. On Tue 31 Jul, when we were there already, the two had taken a day off.
In view of a rather long hiking day yesterday and an expected thunderstorm this afternoon, we only made a short hike to the waterfall, which we had already visited the day before yesterday. We didn't have to sweat today at 20°C, closed cloud cover and light wind. On the path, we discoverved a saga: “SAGENWEG: DER VERLORENE BROTLAIB” [en: “PATH OF SAGAS: THE LOST LOAF OF BREAD”]
After that, we split up: Some continued the hike. The tent group went back. Some had decided to spend the afternoon in the ALPENTHERME GASTEIN [en: ALPS SPA GASTEIN]. There, they enjoyed the pleasure of bathing, sat in dry saunas or outside in a hot whirlpool with their heads in cooling rain. Others also returned, experienced an opening cloud cover, increasing sunshine and enjoyed again food and beverages at the same mountain alp minimally dressed as on 31 July.
Some of the English naturists visited the town of Bischofshofen and witnessed bicycle races for children, adults, music, and dance. They bought for money, which we had collected before by asking group members for a voluntarily donation, very nice, personal little gifts. In the evening, when we sat together after the jointly prepared and consumed dinner, they presented the gifts to the initiators to say thank you for the voluntary, labor-intensive preparation and the time experienced together.
Since four of us from Germany, Ireland, and Singapore go to Saxon Switzerland on Friday after breakfast to participate in the nudevents over there, Allan (England) and Antonis (Greece) have announced, to send pictures of the last hike of NEWT 2018 to natury.
We would like to thank the iniators (France), who made this time together possible for the second time in place of Richard Foley, and the longtime leader of the tent group (Netherlands). The latter has learned original Indonesian cuisine from his Indonesian-born mother and coddles us with it one evening at each NEWT. We look forward to an international reunion by 2019 at the latest.
– Rainer, Lim
A · Participant's report about a nude hike and an encounter with police during NEWT 2016 [20 January 2018]
Roberto reports about a day of nude hiking in the Alps and a relaxed encounter with Austrian police.
22 international participants of the NEWT (Naked European Walking Tour) drove by car from their shared accommodation, an old farmhouse in Pongau, a region of the Salzburger Land, on Sunday, 10 July 2016, to the starting point of their first joint mountain hike in the buff to Weng-Goldegg. The cars neatly lined up, they parked there their 5 cars from Italy, Germany, and France for a few hours at the side of a road. And very decent, but lightly clothed according to the sunny weather, the hikers stood around in small groups and studied their hiking maps.
This first tour was supposed to be easy, yet we expected already a lot. We hiked through the village 'Enkerbichl', where a young woman in the garden of the house No. 14 practised fast alpine music on concertina. We continued our hike always uphill into the sun drenched 'Weng' forest.
Finally, we were able to pack away our last clothes and continue to hike uphill with naturst verve.
Somewhere above the dense edge of the forest, most of the participants needed a longer break. So we rested on an alpine meadow, between boulders and alpine flowers, in the shade of a group of trees.
Also, we enjoyed the already fantastic view to the south – the Tauern Mountains were in front of us in its full splendour.
According to plan, we wanted to hike along the alpine path through upper pastures towards Schneebergkreuz Mountain (1938 m), with the intermediate peaks Gamskögerl (1746 m) and Hochegg (1817 m). But we realised soon, that we had to take care not to overdo hiking further uphill at this first day. We had to recognise, that the planned route was not possible today for our large group.
So we chose a way back, which past a country homestead at the wayside. The wooden building was locked, it seemed empty. A few friendly cattle threw a glance after us.
In the meantime, our hiking group had been significantly pulled apart: everyone enjoyed this wonderful Sunday individually.
Maybe because I was tempted to take pictures of every second Alpine flower in this varied nature, I was suddenly the last along with a British hiking friend, who had the task to take care, that none of uns would get lost. Quite a good idea because of large number of persons and languages, and because some of them had no experience in hiking through the Alps.
Anyway, my slowness proved to be an advantage for the moment, when just two police officers were approaching us:
“Stop, police, stop – what are you doing here?”
Well, my companion did not understand a single word of German, let alone the local dialect in the Pongau area. So, I served the two officers my way:
“He is from England and does not understand German at all. We are naturists, we hike in the nude. We are a group of about 25 people from several countries. We are here together for a week to hike in the Alps. Here, where you live, it is so beautiful! Because we cannot make to hike up to the summit today, we are now on our way back to our cars.”
“So, these are your cars down in Goldegg?”
“And your are going to hike naked to the cars?”
“No, we don't do that, when we arrive at villages, we get dressed a little.”
“Then your're lucky, otherwise, we would have to take you all to the police station! Who is the leader of the group?”
“His name is Richard Foley, he is also an Englishman. Certainly, he is already hiking a kilometer further ahead.”
“Where are you all accommodated?”
“We rented a big house, at Dienten near Hochkönig Mountain.”
“Where exactly? … Oh yes, We know it. […] How do you all make it to gather for such an event?”
“Today, that's quite simple: via Internet → www.naktiv.net”
“The owner of the property up there called us by phone. He was worried, because you are all naked. Of course, we have to to drive here and assure ourselves what's going on.”
“Sure, no problem.”
“So, have a nice holiday!”
“Thank you very much!”
Great, I thought, just a pity, that my companion did not understand a word…
Now, to close the gap between the group, the forest path down to the group was not entirely safe for me as a barefoot hiker. But my wish to talk and inform the other hikers of the “Have a nice holiday!” by the police was reason enough to hike as fast as I could.
However, this was easier than expected: A "cold shower" by means of a small waterfall, just as if been ordered in advance. Some of us jumped around like happy little children.
Much earlier than scheduled, but fairly satisfied, we finished our first day of hiking in our community centre with a fantastic dinner prepared by some NEWT participants, who were burning to cook. That beautiful, a nude holiday can be!
– Report and photos: Roberto
A · YouTube videos concerning weeks of naked walking in the Austrian Alps during NEWT [12 December 2017]
In summer 2017, the Naked European Walking Tour (NEWT) took place again in the Austrian Alps.
Two videos on YouTube about naked wandering during NEWT 2017, part 1 and 2 (HD, approx. 15 min each), may give you an idea of how exciting the nude hikes were.
Another video on YouTube (HD, 60 min) describes the course of events during a week of hikes in the nude during NEWT 2013.
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.
– Report: Rainer; photos: Horst. Translation: Bernard.
© Leopold Museum Vienna
Nude men in art
With the slogan NACKT ZU DEN NACKTEN MÄNNERN [en: NUDE TO THE NUDE MEN], the Leopold Museum in Vienna invited the public to four guided tours in the nude on 18 February 2013. Altogether, almost 300 female and male visitors in the altogether gathered. For the statisitcs: Visitors aged beetwen 20 and 70, 15 % of them female.
Strolling around the museum nude, appreciating and understanding art: This was the order of the day in the middle of February at the Leopold Museum in Vienna. »Nackte Männer in der Kunst« was the title of the exhibition, which presented top-class exhibits depicting nude men from ancient Egypt to the present, a period of 6.000 years.
Several groups of naturists had gathered among all the portraits of nude men, to be guided through the exhibition being nude, too. Thus, one felt being nude at the right place and faced the rigid pose of an Egyptian ruler not disguised but at eye level, or you even strike thea pose of the seductively graceful posture of a bronze, Greek youth – as well as you could, because the idealised elegance and grace of classical statues are rarely achieved by living people.
The fact, that the exhibition "Der nackte Mann" [en: The Naked Man] was successful, too, with a very similar objective in the Lentos Art Museum in Linz, only 150 km away from Vienna, speaks in favour of the relevance of the theme: Nudity is topical and is picked out as a central theme, perhaps even male nudity as a secondary success of the emancipatory movement. Also, nudity is present in art and in everyday life.
Both exhibitions make it plain to the visitors, that the performing arts have always preferred the female body, but portraits of nude men could always be found next to it. With the new awakening of nature awareness and the invention of naturism around the turn of the 19th century into the 20th century, but above all through the industrial distribution in advertising and the illustrated press, the depictions of nude people increased sharply overall – even though art stayed increasingly behind. But even today, you can still find in all areas far more presentations of female bodies than of nude men.
Both exhibitions conveyed this development in a qualified guided tour from early art history to the present, which was repeatedly marked by changing phases of greater artistic freedom or massive rigour in the depiction of nudity. In modern naturism, nudity can finally be experienced and lived as a matter of course again, but the prudery spilling over from the USA or by religious dress regulations still threaten this regained natural freedom of people.
Without clothes, our art tour guide would have misremembered his text – he says.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung's quite sceptically criticises the exhibition in Linz, expressing regret: "Nobody (of the visitors) follows the spontaneous impulse to take off the clothes. We have at least refuted that and acted out the "modern adult dream" described by Sigmund Freud.
The range of exhibits in Linz as well as in Vienna is also aptly described by the Süddeutsche: "Thus one goes out in a post-Freudian mood and knows that the man without clothes is both: a culture-forming force and a laughing stock." The exhibition in Linz, which somehow emphasised the phallus, was probably the reason for this ambivalent assessment. We naturists, however, do not accept this: We are just people in the conscious tradition of several millions of years of nude human history.
Links to reports regarding the evening in the nude at a museum:
- "Nacktführung im Leopold Museum" (orf.at)
- "Nackte Männer: Hunderte bei Nudistenabend im Leopold Museum" (krone.at)
- "Leopold: »Nackte Männer« für nacktes Publikum" (diepresse.com)
- "Nackte Männer und angezogene Medien im Leopold-Museum"
Even football would be much fairer in the nude:
No one could hold the opposite number unfair on the jersey!