D · Angela's experience: Hiking in a dress of light … from the point of view of a woman [28 August 2020]
This year, I participated for the 2nd time in a so-called nude hiking week: First at the WNT (Westfälische Naturisten-Tage) in July, now at the TNT (Thüringer Naturisten-Tage) in August.
These days remain in my very pleasant memory, even though we women were generally very underrepresented: With a number of participants of 20 to 40 only about 5 women “dared” to participate. I was with my partner, so I felt safe in the group. In addition, the size of the group and the self-confidence of some experienced participants gave me enough courage to face dressed people, whom we rarely met on our hikes, but whom we did meet from time to time. Most of them were friendly, understanding, and also curious, but some were also severely irritated.
These made me think, why do I want to walk around nude outside!? To this I say, if the surroundings are right, i.e. it is not in a city or in very populated areas, but rather in areas less frequented by people, then I really enjoy “contact” with nature with all my senses. By this I mean, not only eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hands perceive and feed me with information about my surroundings, but also skin and feet.
If they are “locked up” in clothes and shoes, and this is a large part of our body, they are hindered in their perceptive abilities. I was allowed to notice, that my head was incredibly flooded with additional, mostly very pleasant impulses via skin and feet with the processing! So much, that it seemed almost incidental to me, that me and my fellow hikers were in the nude. The “walking barefoot up to the neck” took on a meditative character, so that I was completely occupied with myself and the impulses of the wonderful nature surrounding me.
So, dear women, have the courage! It doesn't matter at all, how woman looks like, or what others, he or she, might think about that. This is not the topic among naturists (at least it is not made a topic)!
The Thüringer Naturistentage (TNT) 2020 [en: Thuringian Naturist Days 2020]: Free range nakation during 10 days (from Friday to Sunday) of varied, naturist activities in Thuringia and in neighbouring Saxon Vogtland. Base station was the town of Zeulenroda-Triebes, where naturists found their accommodation mainly in the bungalow village Zadelsdorf or in the seaside eco-hotel directly at the Zeulenrodaer Meer – ;as the Zeulenroda Dam is also called in German. Naturists from Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy enjoyed this nakation.
In 2020, initiator Andreas has once again succeeded in presenting naturist visitors from all over Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy with new, first-time nature experience areas in Thuringia as well as in the Vogtland region to hike or cycle in the nude. Thank you very much for all the work – we will be happy to come again!
► Fri 14 Aug: German press reports: Hiker in the buff falls 70 m into the depth
The entire German-language press reported on the fall of a 76-year-old naturist hiker at the Saale Cascade. He slipped on the only 40 cm wide hiking trail, when drizzle started and fell into the depths. At first, two other nude hikers cleared the difficult path down the slope to provide first aid, but soon rescuers, called by cell phone emergency call, arrived at the injured person, who abseiled down to him and finally carried him across the Saale River. A helicopter brought the injured man to the University Hospital of Jena.
► Tue 18 Aug: Green path through a moor
Several of the nude hikes were accompanied – mainly at the end of the hike – by thunderstorms with heavy rain, such as the hike on the first Saturday near Saalbach or on Monday near Muldenberg in the Saxon Vogtland. But also during the moor tour on Tuesday near Bad Klosterlausnitz, the heavens opened their floodgates, so that some people preferred to visit the Kristall Therme [en: Crystal Spa] there already after their midday rest.
► Tue 18 Aug: Natuarally nude into Kristall-Therme in Bad Klosterlausnitz
Already in previous years, some visitors to the thermal baths had already implemented the idea of leaving out their clothes for the 50 or 70 meters from the car park to the changing rooms and buying or showing their tickets without textiles. This time, they just wore a mask and, if necessary, bathing flip-flops, which caused the employees of the thermal bath to smile sympathetically or to say “That's incredible!” with surprise. However, it did work!
► Wed 19 Aug: Choices on rainless Wednesday: Hike or bike and push the bicycle
On rainless Wednesday, you could chose between hiking and biking: A group of 12 hiked their paths, optional not only without clothes, but also without rucksack, without shoes: We had our food and beverages in a previously parked car. The circular hiking trail around the Zeulenrodaer Meer Dam led partly over wooded mountain paths above the dam, partly directly along the shore, through small villages, and to the popular Strandbad [en: Lido] of Zeulenroda. There, most people could not resist taking a refreshing swim in the nude – or to mingle with the textile-wearing foodies at the ice cream booth and queue for an ice cream. On the further way, some more bathing opportunities were used before the group crossed the bungalow village Zadelsdorf shortly before the finish, passed a beer garden and a playground. Here, we encountered, as everywhere else, relaxed people, who kindly returned the greeting of us naturists.
At the same time, 20 nude cycling fans had made their way to Schleiz to take a 40 km round trip from there to the Bleiloch Dam. The tour started and ended on freshly asphalted sections of the "Oberland-Radweg" with mild ascents and descents. At the dam, the naturist bikers overtook for the first time a few families with children, who – when one or the other group had taken a break – met the naturist group from time to time during the further course of the tour and soon got into conversation. Above all, tips were exchanged, when the central part of the route along the dam arms as well as the bypass routes proved to be quite challenging for cyclists: The rain of the past days had partly softened the ground of the field paths, and on the other hand, non-E-bike riders had to push on numerous gradients.
► Thu 20 Aug: All-time high concerning both number of participants and degrees of air temperature
Already during the second hike in the Saxon Vogtland along the Vogtland-Panorama-Weg, 30°C air temperature in the afternoon became a challenge for the over 40 participants. The nude hikers experienced a significant increase to up to 34°C the following day, when they hiked around the Weida Dam.
‘Six people are on stage. Six people with six bodies whose mission it is to become visible as such. […] Today, we offer a special audience zone to naturists!”
Naked audience in Theaterhaus Jena:
Partly unclothed audience members watched the play “Nackt”,
where actors and actresses are partly nude.
We all together – also in the altogether!
Most of the over 50 naturists (roughly half of the total audience of the evening) from Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland took the visit to the theatre in the nude as an occasion to get acquainted with the city of Jena and to combine it with a short holiday in Thuringia.
At night in the Theaterhaus, those, who liked to be nude, had the opportunity to drop their clothes in a separated room. Before the performance began, unclothed and clothed visitors met in the lobby and had some colourful conversations and discussions about being nude and about art.
The undressed spectators were the first to be allowed access to the hall. Theaterhaus had reserved front chair rows for them as “FKK Bereich” [en: “Naturist area”]. Before the performance started, an employee of the theatre took a picture of those nude spectators, for whom being in pictures was not a problem. After this photo session, those spectators, who had not laid off their clothes, were allowed to seek their chairs.
Five actresses, among them the play’s director Lizzy Timmers, and one actor, acted, stood, walked, jumped, and ran on stage – depending on the topic of the scene – sometimes clothed, sometimes half-clothed, and often totally unclothed. Between the various scenes, the cast gave short explanations of the social and historic relations and backgrounds. Mimicry, posture and choice of words of the cast are determined by the played emotions and reactions – e.g. in a scene in which two women, who only wore walking boots, made a short break of their nude hike during which a couple of clothed hikers walked by.
It was an exciting evening, with a play rich in variety and addressing a wide variety of aspects of being in the nude. The performance took two hour – however, it was past before the audience was aware.
After the performance, the visitors of the theatre had the opportunity, to discuss their impressions with members of the cast and with other spectators in the Theatercafé next to Theaterhaus Jena.
In Thuringia, naturist days are always rich in variety: some years mountains, some years lakes and dams in focus. Each year between 9 and 12 days with the option to stay together in a hut. For the Thüringer Naturistentage (TNT) [en: Thuringian Naturist Days] 2019, Andreas had again prepared a varied programme of hiking, cycling, and culture. This year, the central quarter was set up on the camping site in Meyersgrund in the Ilmenau area, where most of the participants settled in bungalows or other typical camping accommodations. Instead, some individualists preferred the comfort of a guesthouse, hotel, or holiday apartment in the surrounding area and met the others at planned meeting points for the events.
As usual, Andreas had described the tours in great detail, with all the highlights and special features, so that everyone could prepare well, for what to encounter on the way. For each hike, he had also thought of laggards and indicated one or two alternative meeting points, if one or the other could not make it to the planned starting point in time.
Of course, destination of most of the hikes were the Thüringer Wald [en: Thuringian Forest] with the Rennweg, the Goethe-Wanderweg, and many other hiking trails, but during the hike on the first sunday, guest initiator Horst led about 40 participating naturists through the nature conservation area Hainich, where numerous art objects could be admired along the Skulpturenpfad [en: Sculpture Path]. From the observation tower at the Generalblick, the view swept over the horizon to the significant silhouette of the Wartburg [en: Wartburg Castle].
Before the beginning of the Tuesday hike, 19 of the naturists visited the Grotte Morassina [en: Morassina Grotto], a former mine, in which various minerals were extracted for about 200 years. The Soviets last tried to find uranium-containing minerals in the 1950s, but without success.
Another visit with an industrial-historical background, the naturists renovated on Friday in Frauenwald. This is where the railway line from Neustadt ended, which in the years from 1913 to 1965 provided the necessary raw material for the local glass industry with quartz sand. On the way back, the railway took the finished glass products with it to the whole world, because the earlier transport with horse-drawn carriages produced breakages far too often due to the many pot-holes in the roads and because of the hardly spring-loaded carriages. The entire village once lived from glass production – today the number of inhabitants is more than halved, and none of the former four food shops is left; also all textile shops and other shops have closed long ago – the concentration to metropolises and Internet mail order services showed first effect in smaller communities. In 20 years, there will be no more shops in Berlin either – Amazon and its associates will displace everything.
During the week, about 30 participants regularly came together for the TNT hikes. Only on Wednesday, we formed several groups with different destinations and activities such as visits to thermal baths, museums, or sightseeing excursions due to the unstable weather with sometimes abundant rain.
Since most of the hikes had the typical ascents of the Thuringian Forest, you could enjoy the fact, that you could lose 2 to 3 kg of your weight due to the hiking activities during the week – even if you went to a restaurant every day after the hikes and enjoyed the offered Thuringian specialities. Hiking makes you slim and healthy – hiking in the buff is additional fun and provides pure nature experience.
D · Participant's report: Vittorio – Recollection on the Thüringer Naturisten-Tage 2018 [6 February 2019]
Vittorio, Italy, participated in the Thüringer Naturisten-Tage [en: Thuringian Naturist Days] 2018. He speaks and writes excellent German from his student days in Berlin in the 70s and 80s and has provided us with his memories of the hiking experiences in Thuringia in 2018.
On the long hikes, in the inns, in the evenings at the accommodation there was constant talk. Thousands of speeches were connected with each other, with one and the other, and with a third.
The people were open, friendly … and I noticed it because I normally don't feel so open. Calm the spirit, carefree, the smile came to the surface and remained constantly in the face. I was happy every time someone talked to me, have a conversation with me. Each respected the other, his way, his habits, his unique nature.
The fact of being nude was a minor matter, it helped however: It made us live in a state of grace, in a special nature of feelings, so that we automatically were living well together.
For ten days, they were extraordinary interpersonal relationships, as if everyone had always been friends, as if they were friends since ever, and each appreciated the other as nothing but good and friendly. We were on vacation, we were all in a good mood, but I brought home the belief that more positive relationships with people are possible.
Naturally, we were not ashamed of ourselves, of our body, and the fact that the word nudity lost all its raison d'être and no longer denoted a state of emergency, that it was no longer classified and embarrassing, helped us on a material level to have no more fears, uncertainties and caution, and tendency to hide. When you feel completely visible in your body, you feel completely transparent in your mind …
In 2018, the Thüringer Naturisten-Tage (TNT) [en: Naturist Days in Thuringia] took place from 14 to 26 July.
► Sat 14 July: First hike in the nude through the gorges below Wartburg Castle [14 July 2018]
The first hike of the TNT led in bright summer weather through some gorges below the Wartburg. 28 participants came together to hike through the accumulated 350 m of altitude.
Their path led them through Landgrafenschlucht [en: Gorges of the Landgraves], the Ludwigsklamm [en: Ludwig's Gorge} and the Dornheckenweg Path, but in between also over a height with a view of the world cultural heritage.
After the hike we went to the mountain restaurant Kleiner Hörselberg for refreshment. In past times, when the A4 still led along there, this was a motorway service area.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Sun 15 July: 38 naturists hike and bathe in the nude at the Hohenwarte Dam [15 July 2018]
The Sunday was also a warm sunny day, so that the varied path in the vicinity of the dam with shade on forest roads and an clear view of the sunny countryside was suitably chosen. The shy dormouses, who have long since established a homey home for a long time in the Mooshäuschen [en: Moss Cot], showed up sprightly and merryly. From the viewpoint, we had a wide view from the meandering turns of the lake to the wooded peaks of the surrounding mountains.
An imaginative floral decoration on a house wall attracted attention, and finally the hikers also found a place on the lake shore that invited them to take a refreshing bath. Not only for the globetrotters raised in South Africa resp. the Netherlands, who had already hiked with us in 2017, and the guests from Italy, it was a happy and eventful day.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Mon 16 July: Above the roofs of the city of Jena – Hiking on the Saale-Horizontale Track [16 July 2018]
The Saale-Horizontale is a 72 km long quality hiking trail on the western and eastern slopes of the Saale River with typical samples of shell limestone. The hike offered constantly varying landscape and lots of views of the city of Jena and the river valley with castles and castle ruins. The 30 naturists hiked in the buff at the edge of Jena on the track close to the city. They had to ascend at the southern end of Jena in order to descend again after numerous turns of the path in the north of the city. A journalist, who writes for the regional daily newspaper “Freies Wort” in Suhl, South Thuringia, and two photographers, who were looking for motif for the German naturist orgaanisation DFK and for a photo book, accompanied the group.
We finished the hike – like in 2016 – at Zum Ziegenhainer. The restaurant's landlord remembered well, that he offered us to dine nude in his beer garden. This time, he asked us to stay dressed, because another group had reserved.
The second group then cancelled by phone, and so again the refreshment could be taken nude in the beer garden. For some residents and passing hikers the fun was obviously already very big when watching!
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Tue 17 July: Close to and within – Hohenwarte Dam from above and from below [17 July 2018]
The hike at the Hohenwarte Dam was the most challeging one due to a length of 19 km and an accumulated difference in altitude of 430 m. The efforts of the ascent and descent were rewarded by numerous views such as from the hang glider airfield at the Hohenleite Dam. The floods of the dam also invited to cool down – an opportunity, that most of the 26 hikers were looking forward because of the warm summer weather.
We finished the hike with a visit of the restaurant Zur Krone in Altenbeuthen, where the landlord served traditional Thuringian style dishes.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Wed 18 July: Enjoy the day on bike or on foot [18 July 2018]
On Wednesday, 20180718 Ten naturists hiking in the buff through the forestsome participants of the Thüringer Naturisten-Tage biked nude near Bad Klosterlausnitz. Afterwards, a visit to Kristall-Therme Spa was on schedule.
Some naturists opted for a hike in the buff: A photo album "10 nude hikers in the Thuringia Forest" reports their tour.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Thu 19 July: Hike in the buff near Burgk Castle [19 July 2018]
North of the Bleiloch Dam, there is the Burgkhammer Dam, and continuing the Walsburg Dam. There, the Saale turns into a normal river again. High above, Burgk Castle is enthroned. Behind a rather simple façade, there are rooms with magnificent and valuable interiors. Hiking in this area means turning your gaze in the direction of the striking castle every now and then – unless small details in the forest, on the side of the path or in the water of the dam attract attention.
40 naturists from France, Germany, Italy, and Luxembourg including the two globetrotters finished the day with perfect summer weather with an ascent onto the Saale Tower and a dinner on the historical restaurant Schlossterasse [en: Castle Terrace] – also the name of a restaurant nearby.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Fri 20 July: Nude paddling day – canoeing on the Hohenwarte Dam [21 July2018]
About 30°C air temperature and only a few clouds were the pleasant conditions – but this caused also a challenge for the water sports fans with regard to sun protection. To cool down, they could spray each other with water or jump into the floods occasionally. Since not everyone is able to climb back into the canoe on the high seas, however, most of the sudden falls into the water took place close to the shore.
– Photos: natfree
► Sat 21 July: Hike at the Bleiloch Dam near Ebersdorf [21 July2018]
At the weekend, even more friends of the naturist hiking arrived at the TNT: 48 participated on Saturday, one of them from Belgium expanded the list of countries even further. A family from Lower Saxony with 16 year old daughter had already participated in the fun of canoing on Friday and hiked now 14 km via the Zoppotener Mühle [en: Zoppoten Mill] und the Heinrichstein. It is likely that the name Heinrichstein refers to the Lords of Reuß, who since the 12th century were all called Heinrich. In any case, the view was worth a visit even before the Saale pondage.
The Bleiloch Dam offered well appreciated opportunities to bathe. The perfect day ended with a barbecue in the restaurant Zur Krone in Ebersdorf.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Sun 22 July: Hike at the Hohenwarte Dam [22 July 2018]
The track with a length of 17.5 km and 570 cumulative meters of difference in altitude was one of TNT's more challenging hikes. For some participants, it was quite convenient, that the sun beams could pass through the atmosphere completely unhindered.
We went to the upper basin, which is pumped full with water from the dam in order to be able to connect additional power plant capacity at times of increased electricity demand. Although pumping up costs more electricity than can be generated afterwards by the water falling down again, the effort is worthwhile because the connection of other peak capacities is much slower (e.g. because of the heating up) and more expensive (because of the amortization costs and the lower power efficiency).
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Mon 23 July: Hike in the buff at the eastern part of the Hohenwarte Dam [23 July 2018]
From Ziegenrück, 25 volunteers started steeply uphill. The destination was the Teufelskanzel [en: Devil's Pulpit], a rock formation on the northern shore of the lake, from which several vantage points open the view of the picturesque Saale arch. Due to the warm summer weather, a cooling bath after descent to the lake shore was a pleasant refreshment. After that, the sweat was running anew, because we went uphill again. The passage over a viaduct of a shut-down railway was still on the agenda. So, we went over a creek burbling (only moderately because of the drought caused by the climate change). Then, we continued through the pleasantly cool darkness of the Hemmkoppen Tunnel. In the past, the trains had to switch on the lights to find their way. For the hiking group, 3 flashlights were enough.
In the restaurant Zur Fernmühle, there is – beside the he-goat – once per hour (more exactly: 3 minutes before the clock hour) a dance of the goats (video) shown – instead of a cuckoo clock a goats' bleating clock.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Tue 24 July: Hiking near Bad Klosternauslitz and relaxation at the spa [24 July 2018]
Today, the hikers explored the Holzland [en: Woodland], where the biking in the nude already took place last Wednesday. Among the 24 participants, there was also a Westphalian schoolgirl, who went on her first hike in the buff with her father. She was happy about the international community of naturists: So, she could immediately put her school English to the test. After a walk around the Roter Pfützensumpf [en: Red Puddle Swamp], which was not swampy at all, the way led further into the Mühltal [en: Mill Valley] to various historical mills, which were driven for centuries by the water of the Rauda Creek. At the Meuschkenmühle, they are preparing for the festival of strong men.
At 31 °C air temperature, the hikers walked the way from the parking lot to the ticket office in the Kristalltherme Bad Klosternauslitz in the buff – why should you cover up to pay, when you are nude apart from that all day? Then, we enjoyed the desired increase in heat of the sauna and a well cooled salad in the spa restaurant as refreshment.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Wed 25 July: Nude through Uhlstädt Heath [25 July 2018]
At Zeutsch, 21 hikers arrived at nearly 30°C, later the air temperature rose to 33°C. We started from the car park aside the railway station for a circuit first to a ruin of a church in the forest near Töpfersdorf. An association Natur und Umwelt [en: Nature and Environment] is missing subsidies for conservation. Already in 1980, active inhabitants of Saalleiten created a nature trail, which they revitalised and redesigned since 2013 as Entdeckerpfad [en: Explorers' Track]. Today, interactive map and geocaching are addtional means to attract people.
At the end of the day there was a stop at the restaurant Sonnenhof in Herschdorf on the edge of the Uhlstädt Heath.
– Report and photos: Rainer
► Thu 26 July: Hike in between the Plothener Teiche [26 July 2018]
The Land of 1000 Ponds near near Plothen is, above all, quite flat: Only 80 m of cumulated difference in altitude had to be climbed during the day. There was a lot to learn: over a pile dwelling at least 300 years old, on a neighbouring nature trail or in the Brehm Museum in Renthendorf.
Jürgen of the FSV Rother Hiehl Association, after reading about the Naturist Days in regional newspaper Ostthüringer Zeitung [en: East Thuringian Newspaper], had invited the hikers in the buff to the association's naturist area – which they of course gladly accepted.
At the end of the last TNT hiking day in 2018, 17 of the naturists stopped at the restaurant Zum Plothenteich in Plothen. We thanked Andreas for the wonderful time and look forward to a reunion with well-known naturists or getting to know other naturists e.g. at the NEWT in Austria, in Saxony, in Westphalia or at the latest in 2019.
– Report and photos: Rainer
D · “Nackedei 3” will be published in 2019 – Norbert Sander collects new impressions at the TNT [17 July 2018]
Norbert Sander, publisher of photo books “Nackedei” and “Nackedei 2”, plans a 3rd volume of his series of books. In search of new ideas and motives, he participated in the TNT hike on Monday on the “Saale-Horizontale”. Here is an excerpt from text and pictures, which Norbert made available to us in advance:
Some people, who looked on Monday from the city of Jena to Kernberge Mountains, nearly did not trust own eyes: Obviously, a group of nude people was moving high above the roofs of Jena on the Saale-Horizontale. Anyone, who thought that was a mirage at the high temperatures, had to understand with a second look the latest, that that was not the case: Yes, actually 31 nude ramblers moved from Radis in the direction to Ziegenhain. The Jena photographer Norbert Sander, publisher of a series of books called “Nackedei”, accompanied the hikers and caught some impressions. They should find their place in the 3rd book of the “Nackedei” series in 2019.
Although men were clearly in the majority, there were also some women. Andreas from the vicinity of Rudolstadt has been initiated the “Thüringer Naturistentage”, which are becoming more and more popular. “There is a base of fans participating regularly. Many plan this very definitely for their holidays.” For example Rita and Dieter from Schmalkalden, who participate almost the whole week. There are such beautiful spots on the doorstep, you don't even have to go far away. This is the tenor of many participants. Nevertheless, naturist hikers from all parts of Germany also take part. They come from Rhineland, Palatinate, Bavaria, and Saarland. And above all from Saxony. There, the “Saxon Nude Hiking Days” will take place at the beginning of August. Participants from England and France also appreciate the nude community.
This year's hikes take place from 14 to 26 July. The routes are mainly completed in the Saale Valley Dam region, in the Thuringian Forest and near Bad Klosterlausnitz. On 18 July, there will be a cycle tour and on 20 July a canoe tour on the Hohenwarte Dam. There is also a central accommodation for those, who take part in several hikes.
Read Norbert's whole text:
“Textilfrei auf der Saalehorizontale – Jenaer Berglandschaft war ein Ziel der Thüringer Naturistentage” (PDF).
In 2017, Andreas once again initiated Thuringian Naturist Days, this time with 10 events from 14 to 23 July.
► Fri 14 July: Nude hiking in the area of the castles “Drei Gleichen” [en: “Three Equals”] [14 July 2017]
14 Jul, “International Day of Nudity”: German radio station MDR had sent us a reporter to our start at the parking lot below the Wachsenburg [en: Wachsen Castle], to carry out a few interviews with nude hikers. These were then broadcast already for the first time in the afternoon program.
The ascent to the Wachsenburg was the first stage for the 17 naturists on our 14 km long hike. Although we had only a brief view into the castle grounds, we could still appreciate its exposed position.
The next stage led towards Gleichen Castle and a vista opened up to give us many photo opportunities in the direction of the south from the Wachsenburg, and the ruin of the Gleichen Castle on the north side of the motorway A4. We then went on to the Mühlenburg [en: Mill Castle]. When we arrived, we entered the castle grounds with its excellent view over Mühlberg to Gotha, climbed the tower, visited the exhibition room and enjoyed a refreshing, delicious, remarkably well presented ice cream.
At the end of the first day of the TNT we enjoyed delicious Western-style food in the restaurant Lasso which was full of (western) character.
► Sat 15 July: Nude hiking in the Schwarzatal [en: Schwarza Valley] near Schwarzberg [15 July 2017]
The first TNT weekend started in chilly conditions with temperatures around 14°C at the meeting point parking lot. However, 21 naturists started the 15 km long hike. As the wind blew a bit uncomfortably, many hikers stayed in warm clothing for a few hours. It was not until noon that the temperature reached 19°C and the sun was able to warm us up. Then all of us were able to hike as we should.
For dinner, the hungry hikers gathered in the restaurant at the railway station in Sitzendorf and enjoyed typical Thuringian cuisine.
► Sun 16 July: Nude hike from Pointersheim to Gölitzwände [en: Gölitz Walls] [16 July 2017]
Our Sunday started with early sunshine and 22°C and over 23°C air temperature throughout the day. The 30 nude hikers went past the mussel limestone walls, the bar-tower, the Fröbeldenkmal [en: Fröbel's memorial] and enjoyed a series of spectacular and memorable views. We had too little time to examine their geological and botanical particularities – for those, who are interested, a hike for more detailed examination will be surely worth the time.
After all, it was a special event when the students give their teacher Barop a lookout tower for the anniversary of his 50 years service. And the hikers could not forget that Friedrich Fröbel entered new territory when he defined the concept of the kindergarten at his children's therapy facility in Weimar in the 19th century.
Today, we welcomed an exceptional hiking couple who had recently arrived from the Netherlands. The lady had spent her youth in Namibia, South Africa, and other African countries. She then met her husband in England and eventually they both moved to France. Today the couple live as cosmopolitan globetrotters, and also as a nude travellers in Thuringia!
For dinner most of us selected Thuringian dumplings with roulade or duck. This tasty Thuringian specialty was available in the small village-restaurant “Zur Liske” in Zeigerheim. However, the simultaneous appearance of 25 hikers was a significant challenge for the restaurant management and the kitchen staff!
► Mon 17 July: Nude hike around the 'Schönbrunn' Dam [17 July 2017]
Monday offered us settled weather up to 23°C, although with sunshine only occasionally. 24 hikers, male and female, met at the parking lot for a circular walk around the Schoenbrunn dam. The route offered some nice views of the lake, but the high vegetation at the edge of the dam made us feel like we were in the Thuringian Forest.
The dam is used for drinking water production, so swimming in the lake and in the tributaries is not allowed.
For dinner we went to the Triniusbaude, a restaurant at the Rennsteig Trail, which was well prepared for our large group of hungry hikers. The western germans among us learned the difference between eastern and western 'Zigeunerschnitzel' [en: Hungarian style escalope, i.e. escalope in spicy sauce with red and green peppers].
► Tue 18 July: Nude hike in the Black Valley near Bad Blankenburg [18 July 2017]
The good weather with summer temperatures (26°C maximum) attracted 31 naturists who wanted to join a challenging hike from Bad Blankenburg. The cumulative ascent and descent were shown to be over 500 m on some maps and over 800 m on others. After a short road stage, the hike route went to the Griesbachfelsen [en: Griesbach Rock] over the Ingoklippe [en: Ingo's Sheer].
The hike continued to the nature reserve station. At the tower we were most impressed by a wasp nest with a more than 2,000 wasps! Afterwards we had to cross the Schwarza Creek, which was not so easy for some hikers, who had difficulty balancing. But all of us, some with a little support, managed to get across.
Then we hiked in the nude over Eberstein [en: Eber Stone], Elisabethfelsen [en: Elisabeth's Rock], and Katzenstein [en: Cat Stone] back to our starting point. From there, we reached the restaurant Schweizerhaus [en: Swiss House] in the Schwarza Valley, where we enjoyed cool drinks and tasty food to finish a very busy day.
► Wed 19 July: Nude hike at the 'Leibis' Dam [19 July 2017]
34 nude hikers, male and female, between the ages of 12 and 75 set off in direct sunshine and 32°C temperatures to hike to the Leibis dam. The initial ascent from 349 m altitude at the foot of the dam to the first resting place at 600 m altitude at the forest edge near Meura was very strenuous due to the steep gradient. And the hardest part of the hike was in temperatures of up to 25°C.
In 'Meura' itself all hikers put on their trousers for a short time. As a reward for this inconvenience, they treated themselves to a few balls of ice cream or a really cold drink at the kiosk.
After leaving the village the hiking group took off the few clothes they had on, and were now much more comfortable in the clearly rising temperatures. After a cooling bath in a stream we approached the dam, which contained very little water, but the route to it gave us a nice view of the dam.
Our day ended with a visit to the restaurant Hirsch [en: Deer] in Unterweißbach, where the varied wishes of the wandering participants were fully met to the satisfaction and enjoyment of all.
► Thu 20 July: Hike or bike tour in the nude near Neuhaus [20 July 2017]
Sixteen cycling fans decided to travel their own way today and set off separately from the 8-person hiking group. Their start was Neuhaus at the Rennweg where some of the cyclists could hire a bike for the day. Others had bike carriers on their cars and had brought along their own bikes.
The trail led upward in a predominantly cloudy sky and 23°C air temperature over the Rennsteig and Panoramaweg towards the west and to the upper basin of the Goldisthal and the Vattenfall pumped-storage power station. From the observation point we could see not only the basin, but also the great panoramic view of the mountains in the northwest.
On the way back the bike group was caught in a heavy thunderstorm. Those who had raincoats tried (in vain) to protect themselves from the torrential downpour. Those who had no coats took off their remaining protective clothing, and allowed the rain to run down their legs into their shoes (if any). However, the temperature had now fallen to 18°C.
In parallel with the cycling tour the hiking group hiked numerous hiking trails which had high-quality moss covering and were comfortable to those hiking barefoot. At the Schwarza source the water has a constant temperature of 6.1°C and rises through a fracture (column source) between slate and sandstone. In our further route we explored a part of the Rennsteig and marvelled especially at its annual use as a marathon course.
In the restaurant Schmelztiegel [en: Melting Pot] in Neuhaus we were able to restore our energies and consumed calories in a very welcome and pleasant manner!
– Report: Rainer; photos: Horst. Translation: John.
► Fri 21 July: Hike along the Schwarza Valley and a mountain railway [21 July 2017]
About half of the 31 naturists travelled by historic motor coach from Schwarzmühle station to Sitzendorf station to the start of the 15 km hike. The historic motor coach had noisy squealing wheels, especially on the curves and cobbles of the old streets. The other half of the group came from Cursdorf to the start by train and cableway.
The naturist hike first went through the forest to the lower station of the mountain railway. The wagons of the railway hang on a common cable, so that the heavier wagon, when descending, pulls the lighter one up. Only in the opposite direction does additional energy have to be expended. Most of the hiking group chose the footpath, which in 900 metres distance gains over 200 metres of altitude. The rest of the group ascended by the convertible mountain railway and waved at the hikers as they passed.
The onward route of the mountain railway from Lichtenhain to Mellenbach offered several beautiful views in the 'Schwarza' valley with sunshine and up to 28°C air temperature. Many of the hikers decided to return by train to Mellenbach. The remaining small group had to make their way to Schwarzmühle and to wait three minutes before the train arrived.
At the end of the day there was a barbecue evening at the Talmühle in Cursdorf, while half-board guests and other foodies gathered for an alternative meal in the hotel restaurant Waldfrieden in Schwarzmühle, which resulted in an unfinished philosophical discussion on the nature of infinity.
► Sat 22 July: Hike at 'Hohe Tanne' near 'Neustadt am Rennsteig' [22 July 2017]
Continuous rain which was predicted by several weather forecasts for the day was a worry. But instead the 30 naturists experienced just cloudy skies and temperatures between 20 and 25°C. There was only rain before the descent and during the stop at the Hotel Hohe Tanne. However, the wind was uncomfortable at the start of the hike.
The 13 km long hike led from Hohe Tanne towards the west over the Vordere Haube and from the Reichelstaler Teich to the Höllteich and back to the starting point. Of course, we used the ponds again for bathing!
► Sun 23 July: Hike to Kickelhahn Mountain (861 m) [23 July 2017]
Today, 20 naturists and one dog were able to experience the tenth and last of these Thuringian naturist excursions. First we went by train to Rennsteig station. An announcement on the train informed us that the last part of the railway track with over 60 per mille could be handled just by powerful motorized locomotives without additional aids such as toothed racks and gears or steel ropes.
Afterwards it was easy for us to handle moderate winds and temperatures between 18 and 20°C. We hiked approximately 16 km with 270 metres of ascent and descent. On the way, we admired a delightful forest with numerous colourful specimens of the local flora and fauna. A curious spider explored one of our hikers by walking on him! Thus, nature came very close to us – pure naturism.
3 km before the end of the hike we returned to the Kickelhahn Mountain (861 m) for some local gastronomy.
We climbed to the 30 m high stone tower on the Kickelhahn. We then had a clear 3 km long descent to our vehicles and on the way had a nude visit to Goethe's hut on the Kickelhahn, which Goethe even visited one day before his 82nd birthday. Following one of his many visits he wrote his famous poem “On all the tops of the trees” on September 6, 1780 shortly after his 31st birthday.
Until 1831, he visited this place again and again. Today, the poem has been translated into several European languages, including Russian, French, Dutch, and many non European languages including Arabic, and is engraved on a glass plate:
(Goethezeitportal – Image of the poem by Goethe on the screen of boards)
- "[…] Already, Goethe wrote “der wahre Mensch ist der nackte Mensch” [en: “the true man is the nude man”]:
The number of the languages, which are spoken in the numerous countries from which visitors have travelled, or where they were born or grew up – France, Germany, Ghana, Luxembourg, Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Zambia (in alphabetical order) – has been nearly as large as the number of languages, into which this poem has been tranlated.
– Report: Rainer; photos: Horst.
Until 2014, Andreas initiated several times weekends of naktivities. In 2015, he offered nine days of naktivities at a time. So, naturists could explore Thuringia more in-depth. Also, this was a motivation for some naturists, to travel from quite far distances and perhaps extend their stay for personal explarations before or after the naturist days.
► Sat 23 July: 14 km hike at Bleiloch Dam [23 July 2016]
At the beginning of the hike, we still took a bath in the dam to cool down. Later, this proved to be unnecessary: Cooling happened through the (involuntary) shower of a partly very hard rain, which determined the second half of the hike. The 37 participants took it easy: The fun on the hike remained untroubled – after all, there was a delicious dinner awaiting us in restaurant Krone in Ebersdorf.
► Sun 24 July: 12 km hiking in the nude around Harra [24 July 2016]
'Harra' is a village at the 'Saale' river in front of its entry into the Bleiloch Dam. We needed therefore some clothes and undress a few metres away from the car park. We had some nice view, could cool down several time by bathing in the dam and the river, because the temperature rose up to 28°C under a sunny sky.
► Mon 25 July: 16 km nude hiking [25 July 2016]
We took a normally scheduled public-transit bus to travel to the starting point at Gräfenwart. From there, we hiked over the barrage of the Bleiloch Dam on the west bank along back to a bus stop in Pöritzsch or in Saalburg. The varied trail offered several times option to bath in the lake to the 25 hikers – the temperature went up to 26°C and we had again a lot of sunshine. Only towards the end of the hike, it overclouded, and three to five drops per m2 fell.
► Tue 26 July: 15 km hiking in the nude near Bad Klosterlausnitz [26 July 2016]
During the arrival, there was a strong rain shower, but it was dry right on time from the start of the hike and it stayed until the evening. 32 naturists had gathered, who did not want to miss the traditional hike. The day was finished in the Kristalltherme spa, whose gastronomy, as usual, provided us with a good dinner.
► Wed 27 July: Nude biking tour near 'Saalburg' [27 July 2016]
The tour started with sparkling wine and a choir singing “Happy Birthday” for one of the nude cyclists. Twenty-two cyclists set off in parallel with a group of seven hikers. Their paths were planned in such a manner, that the two groups met once. Finally, after 26°C and a bright sky, there were a few raindrops, before we could have dinner on the terrace of a local hotel restaurant.
► Thu 28 July: Nude hike starting near Burgkhammer [28 July 2016]
36 hikers formed a grand group, which began their hike at the foot of Burgk Castle to return several times to the Bleiloch Dam and to make use of bathing opportunities. At one of these places, we met a family whose 3-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter were bathing nude in the dam inflow. The three-year-old noticed the 83% male surplus of our walking group and exclaimed: "They all have a willy." Well, not all, but most of them. After 15 km, we hungry hikers enjoyed one of the traditional Thuringian disesh in restaurant Waldhaus in Karolinenfield to rebuild our forces for the next day.
► Fri 29 July: Canoeing or hiking in the nude [29 July 2016]
The choice was between a nude canoe trip on the Bleiloch Dam and a nude hike at the Hohenwarte Dam near Kaltener Schenke. Those, who did not like the paddling on the lake as too unusual or because the water is too deep (up to 40 m), stuck with the power of their own feet. The clear to cloudy weather up to 24°C was very pleasant for both groups, especially since the humidity had decreased significantly compared to the beginning of the week. Also at the end of the day formed the Bleiloch Dam the scenery – for a barbecue on the beach.
► Sat 30 July: Nude hiking in the former borderland [30 July 2016]
Where today the border between Thuringia and Bavaria is, there was no man's land, which was allowed to be entered only under highest stipulations until the demolition of The Wall in 1989. 28 nude hikers crossed today completely unmolested the Green Belt, the former border between the two German states, with a wide view of the country.
► Sun 31 July: Nude hiking on horizontal pathes above Jena [31 July 2016]
On Sunday, the Thuringian Naturist Days 2016 ended with a hike on mostly horizontal paths above Jena with changing views of the city panorama. As closing event of these days, the participants had dinner in the beer garden of the restaurant Zum Ziegenhainer after today's hike. When the landlord noticed, that his guests were nude hikers, he asked, why we had not come in the buff. After a short consultation with their grandmother (“I do not mind!”), he allowed us to undress again and so we enjoyed the excellent Thuringian cuisine naturally in the buff.
Thanks to the TNT initiator Andreas for the many work and the felicitous time!