In 2020, the SNT offered for the first time the option to stay together in a hut during these naturist days. Also, it went more international with participants from several regions in Germany, England, France, and Czech Republic. So, after Austria and Spain, now also Saxon Switzerland in Germany is a NEWT-alike region thanks to Christian, Erik, Martin, Matthias, and Torsten.
► Thu 23 Jul: First hike in the buff from Kirnitzschtal Valley to Kuhstall Lookout and along the Flößersteig [23 July 2020]
The initial hike began at Beuthenfall in Kirnitzschtal Valley and led over clearly ascending paths and finally over ladders and stairs up to Kuhstall, where originally the stately seat of the Beuthen Nobles was enthroned, but of whose splendour nothing remains. The view of several strikingly towering stones in the surroundings compensated a little.
Afterwards the 31 naturist hikers reached the upper floor of the Kuhstall (Neuer Wildenstein) via the 35 cm wide Himmelsleiter, which is built into a narrow stone crevice. Here too, clothed groups and numerous families were in the majority, and many of them asked us questions with interest, so that several rounds of discussions about our way of hiking developed. Many remembered easily our verbal description of the URL of the natury website “nackt minus wandern punkt de” for German speakers and “hiking minus in minus buff dot info” for English speakers, to read more about it later.
Even if one or the other of them didn't want to leave the Heavenly Floor at all, they all finally cleared the terrain via the Erden-Treppe and met up again at the Schneiderloch.
The rafting trail along the Kirnitzsch then demonstrated, how paths in the forest can look like: Tree roots form the scaffolding between which the forest floor provides gentle tread and soft support – no trace of gravel or other artificial fortifications! The other 80% of the hiking trails were much more technical, so that vehicles could also pass through.
The day ended with a visit to the restaurant Lichtenhainer Wasserfall in Kirnitzschtal Valley.
► Fri 24 Jul: Through Wilde Hölle and Schlupfloch towards Idagrotte [24 July 2020]
The Friday hike should start at Nasser Grund in Kirnitschtal Valley and should have a much more demanding route than the day before. First of all, everyone, who had arrived at the starting parking lot, had to wait for the participants from the hut in Ottendorf, who had decided to park at the Beuthenfall car park and hike additional 1.5 km distance to Nasser Grund and back.
The further way led to Wilde Hölle. Before entering Wilde Hölle, four of the 40 hikers decided to choose a moderate route to Idagrotte. The other 36 took a few climbing sections over large stones and narrow footpaths, which required many big steps and strength, and on their way they faced some impressive views and several “real” climbing stones along the way.
On the mostly narrow paths, the nude hiking group of 36 people met again and again with oncoming groups and families, so that there were regularly small traffic jams to let the oncoming ones pass. Most of the time there were also conversations and two young ladies with dogs were even interested in the possibility to join one of the walks of the next days. A crawling through a hole in a stone wall at Affensteinpromenade shortly before Idagrotte, through which the official hiking trail led, offered one last test with which one had finally earned the refreshment.
The approach to spend the lunch break together with the four hikers of the moderate route at the Idagrotte postponed lunch break for some time.
Just as Just as steadily as the hike led uphill at the beginning, a long, partly steep descent followed – after a last, spectacular 270-degree view, which only 4 or 5 of the hikers wanted to see. After about 10 km, one could look forward to a tasty refreshment in the restaurant Zur Schloßbastei in Bad Schandau.
► Sat 25 Jul: Ascent to the Arnstein and to the Kleinstein with the Kleinsteinhöhle [25 July 2020]
For the Saturday hike, 38 naturists gathered in Ottendorf at our hut, from where we hiked the first kilometre covered onto the edge of the village. Afterwards, we hiked naturally in the nude upwards to the nearby Arnstein. The partly steep ascent contained a few passages, where you had to make yourself small and slim or use your arms to reach your destination.
The medieval past as a castle still reveals a square cistern, from which, however, nobody wants to drink water today. The existing sandstone platform provided an opportunity for a lunch break and a view of the surrounding countryside. The unobstructed view to the west leads via the Raubsteiner Taufe, the Yeti, the Großstein, and the Hausberg.
Kleinstein and Kleinsteinhöhle were further destinations with a view and the opportunity to rest. On the continuing way, many observers noticed that whole arable fields were blooming with cornflowers, blood clover, cinquefoil, and various other multicolored flowering plants.
After a good 12 km, the hikers returned and could prepare for dinner at the restaurant Ottendorfer Hütte.
► Sun 26 Jul: Shelter against rain in a cave at Hintere Raubschloss and then warmth again by sun at Marienhöhle [26 July 2020]
On Sunday, a four-day series of nude hikes ended, during which the hiking group got to know former retreats of robber barons in the 15th century. The previous evenings, Martin had explained his findings about them and their connections to the Czech noble family of the Berken von Dubá.
Rain accompanied the ascent to the Winterstein, which is also called Hinteres Raubschloss. In a cave, we found a dry resting place with a view. There, we got into conversation with some young people, who tried to get dry again after the ascent with clothes and rain protection. “Yes, you are doing it right. We'd also like to hike in the nude, but there's no place to store our clothes.” Textile wearers: When it comes to nude hiking, they're not at a loss for excuses.
The rain gradually receded and made way for the first sunrays. In the course of the afternoon, more and more sunshine was present. We still passed the Marienhöhle and then ascended to the Bärfangkegel. Along the mountain ridge there were further views of neighbouring stone formations.
The inn Neumannmühle offered at the end of the day deserved refreshments and a cosy get-together.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Mon 27 Jul: Paddling in the nude on the Elbe River [29 July 2020]
Already in 2018 and 2019, the opportunity to explore the Elbe valley from the water by paddling nude was gladly accepted. This time, 25 naturists were interested and travelled from the hut by public bus to Bad Schandau. 24 of them were distributed to three inflatable boats, one preferred a kayak.
We experienced a hot day with many breaks for swimming and thoroughly nice encounters with numerous groups, families, or couples in boats on the Elbe and many more on the banks and on ships. Shortly before the reaction ferry at Kurort Rathen, the excitement rose, if the ice cream booth with “the best ice cream on the way from here to Italy” (that's their advertising slogan) there at the Elbe cycle path would have opened. We were lucky and could enjoy the cold goodies there again in the nude.
Shortly before Stadt Wehlen, we landed on the right, put on some clothes and bought refreshments at a kiosk. Then, we returned to the boats and undressed again for the last, short stage. After landing on the left side of the Elbe, we returned the boats and sunbathed on the meadow until the train left for Pirna and on to Pirna-Copitz.
We enjoyed the evening after a short walk in the micro-brewery Zum Giesser in Pirna-Copitz. A chartered bus later brought us back to Ottendorf. Thanks for the wonderful day!
– Report: Rainer; photos: Martin
► Tue 28 Jul: Via Hohe Liebe to Schrammsteine and Königsnase [29 July 2020]
We hiked on unknown paths and trails to one of our favourite destinations in Saxon Switzerland to discover new things along the way: Via Hohe Liebe we reached the Schrammsteine.
The group that had chosen the easier hiking variant spent the lunch break at the Frühstücksplatz with a view of the second group's climbing.
We spent the evening together again in the inn Lichtenhainer Wasserfall at the terminal stop of the historic tram in the Kirnitzschtal with excellent service, food, and beverages.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Wed 29 Jul: From Altendorf through the Sebnitztal Valley [30 July 2020]
A fence blocked a meadow path around Altendorf on our way back. So we hiked nude through the small village, as we had done in 2019 on another hike.
We discovered, that the local history association of the village had announced our nude hikes around the Kirnitzschtal on its information board with the slogan "Finally something's happening". Reference was made to an article “Die Nacktwanderer sind wieder unterwegs” (saechsische.de) in the regional daily newspaper Sächsische Zeitung.
In the evening, Clarisse (France) and Jane (England) thanked Christian, Erik, Martin, Matthias, and Torsten in German and English for the joint activities. They were happy and expressed their hope, that all of us will not only be back in 2021.
– Report and photos: Rainer
In Saxony, naturist days offer hiking in sandstone formations, like walking through a series of theatre sceneries. Steps and ladders enable you to “climb” without being trained to really climb. The nude hiking days in Saxon Switzerland 2019 from 22 to 31 July offered a lot of hikes in the buff to the participants, as well as a nude cycling tour along the Elbe River into the Czech Republic and a nude paddling tour on the Elbe River from Königsstein downstream to Pirna.
The initiators Martin and Torsten could welcome Milt and Dan from the USA as new international participants as well as – like already in 2018 – John from Ireland and Lim from Singapore, who had already taken part in the NEWT (Naked European Walking Tour) in Austria again one week before.
This year, the weather was particularly good, temperature up to 36°C and bright sunshine. So, it was perfectly clear to everyone, that it was best to travel without clothes – clothes would have only absorbed and stored the sweat. With moist sticky textiles on your body, you would have spoiled any hiking fun. So, there was a widespread awareness among the many hikers, who we met dressed up: “You're doing it right!” But, none decided to follow that insight spontaneously.
Sun protection was mainly provided by the canopy in the forest, but due to some sections of the route with unhindered sunlight, sun cream was not to be renounced. Depending on the skin type, a parasol also offered protection against too intensive UV radiation.
Among the hikes, there were tried and tested routes via Schrammsteine and Falkenstein, through the climbing paradise of the Bielatal Valley with Sachsenstein and the Herkulestürme, or through the tranquil Polenztal Valley, where the hikers could stop off nude in a forest restaurant there.
But also routes offered for the first time at the SNW, such as the Panoramaweg, which on the first day offered the hikers* an overview of some of the destinations of the next few days, were on the programme. With a cumulative ascent of 250 metres in altitude, this was the ideal introductory hike for participants used to the quite flat the Münsterland region, especially because the way back through the the Kirnitzschtal Valley could be made by tram to Bad Schandau. Alternatively, with an 8 km additional route, you could also climb back along the Kirnitzschtal Creek with a few climbings in between following the Flößersteig Track.
For the first time we walked a circular path near Cunnersdorf over the Maus and the Katzsteinfels (which is no rock at all but like all stones here made of sandstone). This route was shortened from 11 km to 6 km because of the good weather (sunshine, clear view, pleasant warm air), so that the view to the Czech Schneeberg Mountain did not let us feel cold.
For almost all hikes, there were alternative or additional offers to the easier route for those, who are a little more enthusiastic about climbing or prefer more challenging trails, which usually Andreas guided.
All in all, Martin and Torsten had put together a rich and varied programme, which offered every day special highlights and attractions. For the first time, they made descriptions and track files of the planned hikes available to the participants on the Internet, so that you could find out very precisely in advance about the course and requirements of the planned activity.
At the end of each day, the local gastronomy provided us about 30 (at weekends around 40) participants with local and international dishes as well as urgently requested, cool drinks.
Also, regional daily newspaper Sächsische Zeitung was able to report on the nude activities in the Elbe Valley and Saxon Switzerland thanks to the attentive photographer Daniel Schäfer, who was able to get his camera in position quickly enough on the banks of the Elbe in the town of Stadt Wehlen to photograph nude cyclists riding by.
In the region, naturist ventures on foot, by bike, and by boat are not a new development, but the continuation of a good, old tradition.
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)
For the 3rd time, the “Maze of Senses” in Kohren-Sahlis (between the cities Leipzig and Chemnitz) offered a naturist day on 19 August. Visitors experience with a number of experiments, how easy mental delusion may take place – and how well they can recognise facts, when they consciously and critically observe visual, acoustic, and sensory facts. Of course this is best done in the nude – focused on the essential, without any distraction of the senses. Some participants of the nude hiking days in Saxon Switzerland had already visited the Maze of Senses in 2017.
This time again, the photographer of nude hikers Norbert Sander, who recently accompanied us at the Thuringian Naturis Days, will be present. He offers his two books “Bühne frei: Nackedei” and “Nackedei 2” and will also take on request individual naturist photos of visitors of the maze. Perhaps, he can socialise with more naturists, in order to find some interested to appear in his third book planned for 2019 – or to work with him for other of his photo projects.
Sächsische Nacktwander-Woche (SNW) [en: Week of Nude Hikes in Saxon Switzerland] attracted naturists from several parts of Germany as well as from some other countries in 2018. It took place from 4 to 12 August.
► Sat 4 Aug: Hike in the nude to the Gohrisch and the Papststein [5 August 2018]
The Gohrisch (falsely also Gohrischstein) is located about four kilometres southeast of Königstein in the middle of a plateau called Ebenheit, which is still dominated by further rocky mountains. Surrounding mountains are Papststein [en: Pope's Stone], Kleinhennersdorfer Stein [en: Kleinhennersdorf Stone] and the Lasensteine. At the foot of the Gohrisch, there are the small towns Gohrisch (same name as one of the stones) and Papstdorf, which belong to the municipality of Gohrisch. On the eastern side, there is the Specksteinstollen [en: Soapstone Gallery], a witness of earlier mining experiments. In the immediate vicinity, there is a small, overgrown quarry, in which basalt was mined as road gravel.
As early as 1780, Papststein was opened up by a path (Alter Weg [en: Old Path]), which, however, is no longer accessible today. The gorge on the eastern climb was made accessible in 1845. In 1858, a wooden pavilion was erected on the summit, then in 1862 a mountain inn, which still exists today.
A team of British TV station ITV accompanied a group of nude hikers. Thus, the approach of hiking in the buff is also becoming more widespread internationally.
► Sun 5 Aug: Bernhardstein and Labyrinth - Highlights near Bielatal Valley [5 August 2018]
“I have rarely been so enthusiastic about a panorama of a relatively unknown mountain in Saxon Switzerland, as I was about the Bernhardstein. The mountain of a height of 424 m above sea level, formerly known as Kegelstein, got its name from a Hermsdorf manor owner, who promoted the touristic development of the mountain. After its development, the mountain became a popular look-out into the Bielatal Valley and into the ‘world of stones’.”
– Translated cit. by “Matthias, the Saxon, who explores here everything.”
► Tue 7 Aug: Hike at Hockstein or ride an inflatable boat on the Elbe River [7 August 2018]
On Tuesday, we had the choice between a hike in the nude or to ride an inflatable boat on the Elbe. 10 naturists rode the boat from Königstein to Pirna. In between, we took a rest near the ferry at the town Kurort Rathen [en: Spa Town Rathen], to refresh ourselves in the nude together with textile-wearing people – mostly families – by licking icecream or drinking cool buttermilk-elderberry beverages.
17 participants opted for a classical hike in the nude, which we started at a car park near the Hockstein. Later, we had a impressive look-out to Hohnstein Castle. The following descent led over ladders worked adventurously into narrow stone gaps. Due to the sunshine, the temperature went up to over 30°C, only in the caves and the Gautschhöhle [en: Gautsch Grotto], the air was clearly cooler. In the beer garden at Waltersdorfer Mühle [en: Waltersdorf Mill], we could rest in the buff to enjoy coffee, ice, sausages, and beer. Other dressed guests were very interested in our way of hiking and started detailed conversations. Finally we went up the Polenztal Valley and arrived after a difficult final climb at the Hockstein.
► Wed 8 Aug: Hiking near Radebeul or on the Hoher Schneeberg [10 August 2018]
As an alternative, Helmut “natury” chose a short hike of a length of 5.5 km – but with 200 m ascent on a 2 km track – with the goal of the Hundewand near Hoher Schneeberg in Bohemian Switzerland, from where a broad panorama view into the valley of the Elbe and the city of Decin was available. At the inn at the look-out tower, he had an ice cream and Viennese coffee.
► Thu 9 Aug: Schrammsteine and Breite Kluft – Shadow in the forest before arrival of a cold front [10 August 2018]
28 Participants first descended from Ostrau to the Zahnsgrund [en: Bottom of the Tooth], where the wetness of the previous evening's rain remained in the foggy air, which made the ascent to the Schrammtor extremely sweaty. On top of the Schrammsteine [en: Scratchy Stones], meanwhile a light, dry wind blew again, which quickly made forget the strain of the ascent.
Once again, the temperate went up to 34°C, so that everyone was glad, that the way led us predominantly through half shade of the forest. Nevertheless, we enjoyed further look-outs like at the Breite Kluft [en: Wide Gap]. We splitted into two groups: A fast group, because they had to pick up a repaired car at a garage in the afternoon before close of business, and a slow group without such time constraints.
► Sun 12 Aug: From Kirnitzschtal Valley to Affensteine and Carolafelsen [12 August 2018]
A young couple took the opportunity, to hike in clothes with us and to get an idea of our community. While he had to return early, she accompanied us until the end of the hike and told us, that she enjoyed it so much, that she would like to accompany us again.
Shortly before our return to the Kirnitzsch Creek, another young couple showed interest in nude hiking and our naturist lifestyle. The conversation soon changed from German to English, when it became clear, that she understood English better. They accompanied us to our bathing place. Both did not hesitate long to our invitation from the water “Come in. It is refreshing.”: They undressed and came into the Kirnitzsch. She answered the question “Where are you from?” with “Columbia, Bogotá.” Her friend from Hanover, where both now live, had met her during his studies in Spain. She is now learning German as her next language.
Also in 2017, Wolfgang and Andreas, tireless initiators of nude hikes, invited to participate in their tours in Saxon Switzerland.
► 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.
► 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.
► 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 'Kirnitzsch' 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.
► 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.
► Fri 11 Aug: Saxon newspaper reported, hiking in the rain on the 'Lilienstein' [en: Lily Stone] [11 August 2017]
On Friday, the newspaper 'Sächsische 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.
► 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.
► 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.
► 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 the town named Kurort 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 Bad Schandauer Brücke [en: Bad Schandau Bridge] to continue the journey on the north bank of the Elbe. In 'önigstein, 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.
► Tue 15 Aug: Nude walk between the town of 'Stadt 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.
– Photos: Roberto. Translation: John.
► 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.
– Report: Rainer; photos: Martin. Translation: John.
Saxon Switzerland is very special. It has got its name from wonderful formed sandstone, which attracts hikers and climbers as well. Pls do not confuse it with Switzerland in European Alps. Saxon Switzerland is a part of Saxony, which is a so-called Bundesland, one of the federal parts of Germany with an own regional parliament.
► Sun 31 Jul: Nude hiking to Affensteine area [1 August 2016]
Six hikers began a continuous ascent to the the Affensteine [en: Monkeys' Stones], from where you have a magnificent view. We continued on a demanding route to further locations like 'da Grotte, where we met a group of 28 young women. We defered to them waiting at the side of the road. Continuing on a descent back to the parking lot, a thunderstorm with moderate rainfall accompanied us for about an hour, so we had to scrub ourselves dry with towels at first before entering the car. The evening, we spent comfortably at Albert's home at Elbe River. A successful, but also quite demanding kick-off, with 750 m of ascent and decent and numerous challenges during the hike!
► Mon 1 Aug: From the Schrammsteine to Hohe Liebe [2 August 2016]
Twenty-two hikers arrived to ascent to Schrammsteine via Wildschütz Climb and to enjoy the magnificent view. We continued on a challenging path to Affensteine [en: Monkeys' Stones] with a hardly less spectacular view and after a descent and a further ascent to Hohe Liebe Mountain [en: High Love] Mountain. So, we made cumulative 472 m of ascent and descend again and got the reward of views from three summits. A beautiful tour, but to be cope with because of long climbs.
► Tue 2 Aug: Rauenstein and Bärensteine [3 August 2016]
Today, 21 participants started to ascent onto three summits. Rauenstein with a view to Bastei was the first, then we went to a restaurant on top of the hill for lunch. The weather remained overcast, only a few drops fell, while we were in the restaurant.
► Wed 3 Aug: Pfaffensteine [4 August 2016]
We reached the village Pfaffendorf, from where 23 naturists climbed Pfaffensteine and visited the numerous attractions of this rock formation. In between, we had cake or ice cream in the restaurant on top of the mountain, where we could experience excellent service – clothed, indeed.
► Thu 4 Aug: Bike tour to the Czech Republic for dumplings [5 August 2016]
Cycle Route along the river Elbe in Königstein
35 km of nude cycling to the Czech Republic was a pleasure for the 21 participants at temperature of up to 30°C and lots of sunshine, especially as a lot of people waved us on this Elbe Cycle Route and from excursion boats. On the spot, we had lunch in a restaurant, i.e. roasted pork with sauerkraut and Bohemian dumplings for 5.30 Euro. Then we went back without any breakdown back to Pirna.
► Sat 6 Aug: Hike in the nude from Gohrisch via Papststein to Kleinhennersdorferstein [7 August 2016]
After one day being a rainy break, the weather continued on Saturday with warm (24°C) and partly cloudy weather. 25 participants hiked in the nude initially on Gohrisch, continued to the Papststein, and then finally to the Kleinhennersdorferstein. They could explore several caves. The three peaks are not far from each other and the altitude to climb in total was easy to handle. Several wide views rewarded us.
► Sun 7 Aug: From Bielatal to a plenty of lookouts [8 August 2016]
24 naturists began the hike in the Bielatal [en: Biela Valley] and went up to numerous viewpoints such as Sachsenstein, Johanniskopf' and Kanzelstein' The highlight, however, was certainly the passage to Herkules-Steine [en: Samson's Stones] (cf. photo), where several climbing teams tried to find their path. At the end of the day, the labyrinth was on the program. At up to 26°C and lots of sunshine, it was an impressive nude hike.
► Mon 8 Aug: Steep paths to climb or to hike on normal paths [9 August 2016]
This day, the aficionados of climbing should get there desired fun. 13 of a total of 22 naturists started with Zwillings-Stiege [en: Twins' Climb], continuing through Hentschel-Stiege [en: Hentschel's Climb] (lower part and chimney) and finally through Rübezahl-Stiege [en: Rübezahl Climb]. The hikers climbed through Hohe Hölle up to Carolastein – also this ascent had some challenging passages. Again, it was warm up to 28°C in bright sunshine, so that we did not want to miss of a bath in the Kirnitzsch at the end.
Photo: A look upwards through the chimney, the upper part of the Hentschel-Stiege. You must take off your rucksack and carry it in front of you, to get through a real “between rock and a hard place” situation, but at the upper end, daylight lures.