NEWT now also in Spain since October 2019.
Richard Foley (England, than Germany, now Spain) founded NEWT (Naked European Walking Tour) in Austrian Alps. First backpacking, it turned then into a hut stay in Austrian Alps.
During the Austrian Naked European Walking Tour (NEWT) in July 2019, Jane and Nick (England) developed the idea of a similar week in Spain. Clarisse and Pascal (France) made it happen and initiated a week of hikes in the buff in October 2019 in the surroundings of the naturist campsite “Sierra Natura” in Spanish mountains southwest of Valencia on a height of approx. 800 m above sea level.
They offered a couple of hikes in the buff in the surroundings of this naturist campsite. It became the first Spanish NEWT and, thanks to the active participation of naturists from five countries (France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands), it was already international again.
Also in 2019, the Westfälische Naturisten-Tage (WNT) [en: Westphalian Naturist Days] will again be the largest naturist event, which lasts several days, in western Münsterland and its surroundings up to the Teutoburger Wald Forest is the destination of 9 consecutive days of hikes in the buff, nude cycling tours and other naturist activities such as a nude visit to the Dülmen Ponies. Regional daily newspaper Halterner Zeitung had already prepared its readers in advance for the fact, that again more nude hikers and other active naturists will be on their way in the surroundings. In Westphalia, naturist days are meanwhile commonplace. Encounters with dressed people are as normal, as it would be, when we would be dressed. We get a lot of thumbs up!
The weather initially welcomed the naturists with violent gusts of wind, drizzle and showers as well as cool temperatures. Some tested their physical robustness in the rain, others the protective effect of their rain jackets. Results: The tolerance of the unclad human body against the cooling effect of wind and rain can be astonishingly high, but is quite different in individual cases. One was content with an umbrella and remained undressed until the end, but with shoes, another went barefoot and undressed, then dried himself under the last bridge with a t-shirt and put on a warming jacket. Two of us walked barefoot, while another, who otherwise likes to walk barefoot, stayed in shoes due to concern to get cold feet on the soaked floor – only to find out later, that he now had cold feet, because his shoes and socks were soaked from rain in the meantime.
Don’t worry: From now on, it's improving: A little warmer every day!
In fact, the late summer weather increased to the announced 32°C on the final Sunday, after the previous days had already offered midsummer weather conditions with blue skies. So, the initial clouds and cool winds were quickly forgotten.
The increased appearance of naturists in forests and fields triggered a benevolent interest of the population in Münsterland – the naturist sports enthusiasts had numerous encounters with locals and were able to answer many frequently asked questions: "Is that really allowed? – Of course! Nature is not forbidden anywhere. | Aren't you cold – Nope, not at all! Twice, however, uninformed fellow citizens, who obviously couldn't classify hiking in the buff properly, called the police. The police officers stated briefly and succinctly, that we are just nude hikers and wished us to still have a nice hike. It is a pity, that there are still people suffering from their own bad fantasies, who distract the police with their unnecessary calls from more important police operations.
The local gastronomy offered good Münsterland cuisine to the hungry naturists after their ventures, which the hikers got as reward for hikes from 15 to 19 km long, the cyclists for tours about 50 km long. The active naturists went from many German states, the Netherlands, and France. They stayed partly on camping sites, partly in hotels, guesthouses, or holiday apartments. On some of the WNT days, more than 30 participants gathered for nudevents, i.e. activities in the nude. They hope, that WNT will remain a permanent institution in the naturist annual calendar of naktivitities.
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.
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.
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:
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)
“Naked Hiking Day” at summer solstice is at least in Vermont a common practice since longe time. Encounters with clothed hikers, families, rangers proceed relaxed and positive. We got a report by John P. about a Naked Hiking Day event.
The Solstice hike in Vermont took place as usual on the section of the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail between Wallingford and Mt Tabor. This year there were 11 participants in spite of the dubious weather, with a forecast calling for "a couple of morning showers and then some sunshine", which was pretty much what occurred. Rain the previous day meant that the proposed campout at Grout Pond didn't happen, but my friend Dan and I did camp at the Big Branch shelter near the hike's starting point, walking in under a misty drizzle. Because of that rain (and a wet week in general) the trails were muddy and flooded in places, and streams were running full. Nevertheless we were able to get by everywhere, and it was even possible to keep one's feet dry.
There were a few incidents along the way, all favorable. We passed several long-distance hikers, all clothed except one, who all greeted us politely and smiled when we reminded them that it was Nude Hiking Day. The one person we met who was celebrating the day was a woman who was wearing just boots and a bra.
Little Rock Pond is near the end of the usual Solstice hike, and it's a lovely lake with a camping area. Because it's just over 2 miles in from the road over a level trail (but rocky and bumpy!) it gets a fair number of visitors coming in just to camp, and a caretaker lives there in a tent during the summer. He wasn't there when we passed by, but we met him out on the trail with tools to create drainage ditches, and we exchanged a few words with him, nudity not being a topic for argument. Then a short while later we passed two women and some small children, and one of the ladies said to the kids, “That's 8 naked people so far, right?” and to us, “Have fun, everyone”. Finally just a few yards from the end, I passed a couple I'd guess to be in their 40s, walking entirely naked with big smiles. Apparently they'd met the first section of our group in the parking lot, a conversation about Naked Hiking Day had occurred, and this couple decided that walking naked would be a fine thing to do!
Most of us finished up at Sal's South restaurant in Wallingford, where we had a meal before heading home. Because of the size of our group, they seated us in the back room, but the waitress didn't accept a suggestion that we should dine nude. Perhaps that could be changed if we asked in advance?
– Report and photos: John P., USA. Source: Report on freerangenaturism.com, courtesy of John P
Origan is known to naturists as a place to be in between incredibly scaped mountains near Nizza. We enjoyed nude hikes, skinny dips in the Var River, and regional cuisine – also in nude. A group of naturists had chosen Origan in the southern French Alps as their domicile for almost two weeks. They went on their daily hikes in the buff in front of majestic Alpine peaks. In addition, natural attractions such as the longest and deepest gorge in the Alps (Gorges du Verdon) were the destinations of their excursions. And at the end of the day, French cuisine awaited the tired hikers with culinary surprises and wines full of character.
The network of hiking trails in the french South-Alps didn't make it easy to find circular hikes, so that sometimes a one-way hike was the solution – with 2 cars no problem, but because of the many serpentines quite time-consuming. Also, the texture of hiking trails in the Alps needed to get used to it – not only for barefoot hikers.
However, the view of bare rock walls in different colours and rock types, lightly wooded or snow-covered peaks or deeply cut valleys compensated for this time and again. Brown slate is the distinctive rock in the Gorges de Daluis.
Even on the highest hike at more than 2,000 m altitude (near Allos), the sun accompanied the hiking group at 24°C air temperature to the Cascades du Chaloudin and other nearby waterfalls and rapids. The activities at less high height took place at up to 32°C – it was a very successful early summer holiday.
The naturist village offered the opportunity to be nude around the clock – you were among naturists and you had all opportunity to feel comfortable. Only temperatures below 20°C early in the morning caused some to wear a T-shirt, but soon after the sun won again. The pool and restaurant were in the immediate vicinity, so that everything was set up perfectly for the textile-free enjoyment by all senses.
Birgeler Urwald [en: Birgelen Primeval Forest] is a natural naturist area in the “Nature Reserve Maas-Schwalm-Nette” between the rivers of that names in Western Germany and the Limburg District of The Netherlands.
Four of us had registered first for Herbert's nude hike in the Vulkaneifel Mountains and were looking forward to be actively nude there again, to see well-known naturists again and to get to know new ones. However, in view of the forecast of thunderstorms in that hiking area, we decided at short notice, not to take the long drive to get there, and hiked instead in Birgelen Primeval Forest.
This choice gave us pleasant May weather with sun, weak wind, and air temperature above 20°C as well as a pleasant refreshing swim in a pond in the primeval forest.
We enjoyed bright, fresh green of spring, singing birds, and croaking frogs as many other hiking and cycling people did in the nature park. On the horizon, it became sometimes dark – there were probably thunderstorms or rain. The rain did not arrive until we had finished our hike and were on our way home. We had probably made the right choice!
– Report and photos / videos: Rainer
“Nude Zealand” is more than a pun: It expresses our experience as naturists in NZ, that inhabitants and tourists took our lifestyle as naturally normal. Milt (USA) reports from his point of view. He was one of the very early birds at NEWT. Since 2009, he joined several NEWT groups for naturist hiking weeks in Austria. In 2019, Nude Zealand was on the agenda. We could simply participate and enjoy the NZ tour, because Milt did a great preparation work. Now, we have got his report about our nude exploring of New Zealand in 2019:
I’ve been meaning for weeks to put together a brief report for you about Dan, John, Rainer and Milt’s Excellent Adventure looking for naturist opportunities in New Zealand. I would have to rate our efforts a grand success. We were nude more often than we might have reasonably expected.
► 6 to 10 Feb 2019: Te Anau
After Dan, John and Rainer arrived in Auckland early in February, we soon flew down to the South Island, where the Southern Alps in Fiordland National Park are famous for stunning scenery. Our first day out from our base at Te Anau, we crossed a river on a walk wire, a kind of minimalist suspension bridge, guaranteed to keep the average out-of-shape textile tourist away. Later we hiked nude up a stream looking for an elusive waterfall. All in all a good start.
The next day was cool and rainy, but we climbed up to a gorgeous alpine lake in a hanging valley and went for a skinny dip in its chilly waters.
On the third day we made a special arrangement with a water taxi to take us across a river to a beautiful circuit hike to a high lookout. Our special arrangement gave us an hour’s head start over others who came on the regular ferry schedule, so we were able to do essentially the whole circuit nude. Late in the day we managed a skinny-dip in nearby Lake Manapouri. And since it was late in the day, we walked nude back to the car along part of the famous Kepler Track (one of New Zealand’s “Great Walks”) while running into very few late walkers.
On the fourth day we took the textile boat tour of Milford Sound in the morning, but in the afternoon we climbed up to Key Summit east of the Sound, and then had a great nude adventure following the ridge to the south of the Summit. The weird “Hobbit trees” of the patchy forest and the expansive views of several alpine lakes made that one of the most memorable of our excursions. Once again, thanks to our late-in-the-day timing, we (or at least the less cold-averse among us) were able to hike nude back to the car following part of another of the “Great Walks”, this one the Routeburn Track.
The Westphalian Beginning of May is a small spring preview of the “Westfälische Naturisten Tage” [en: “Westphalian Naturist Days”] in summer, which usually takes place during 9 consecutive days. Hiking in the buff is always a substantial part ot these naktivities. Also, nude cycling, swimming in the nude, and other naktivities are often on schedule.
► 1 May: Hiking or biking near Lintel
The Westphalian beginning of May 2019 began cool at 9°C, light wind around 10 km/h and closed cloud cover. Nevertheless, 17 naturists wanted to move in nature. So, 8 started by bike and 9 on foot.
While we waited dressed at the starting place due to these weather conditions, about 50 people passed by on bicycles. Since everyone had to pass through a bottleneck provided by a small gate in a fence, there was a traffic jam due to the size of this group. A female cyclist approached us and asked, if we were the nude hikers. When we confirmed this, she reacted happily – she and some of the group then shouted on their leave: “Have a good one!”. This was further evidence that our naturist lifestyle has arrived in society as a normal aspect of everyday life.
After approx. hiking 3 km on foot resp. 10 km on bycicle, we all were warm enough, to get rid of our clothes. In keeping with this, the wind had calmed down and the clouds had made way for the sun's rays – a beautiful beginning of May with sunshine and about 16°C air temperature.
Residents, car drivers, and excursionists on foot and often by bicycle returned our greetings, were pleased, or greeted us themselves at first. The most frequent remarks were: “Aren't you cold?” and “Oops! Barefoot, too!”. Two ladies, who went for a walk in the woods with their wheeled walkers on this beautiful afternoon returned our greetings. Then, one of them shouted to the other: “I used to do naturism, too". Maybe, we should initiate a nude wheeled walk?
When the hikers passed the restaurant Lintels Kotten, where we sat down afterwards, in the buff about 1 km before their destination, many guests had their experience of the day and reacted joyfully active: Souvenir photos taken by some of the guests are a gladly accepted tool to make our nude life-style further known.
► 2 May: Nude hiking in the water catchment area Hohe Ward
The weather forecast – a bit cooler, windier, and cloudier than the day before – had deterred some of the hikers. The 10 remaining naturists were not discouraged, started with winds of 15 km/h, closed cloud cover and 11°C air. Soon, they were rewarded with sun and rising temperatures, got rid of their clothes and could enjoy the day.
Shortly before the announced arrival of a rain front, the group reached their hiking destination – instead of rain, however, the front delivered only dark clouds and a few drops.
The encounters with clothed people were relaxed and friendly as usual. We were able to answer the witty question “Are motto days just taking place?” with a smile: “Yes, living active and as naturists is our style of life.”
Later, when sitting down in the restaurant Zur Prinzenbrücke with attentive service and a good offer of food and drinks, we could let the beautiful day end.
Meanwhile, a light rain shower actually fell – but far too little to compensate significantly for the precipitation deficit since 2018 and to save the currently fresh, strong green in the water catchment area Hohe Ward over the summer.
► 3 May: Clothed hike in the Baumberge Mountains
Today, the announced flow of polar cold air was serious: A nasty wind blew persistently, and the measured 9°C air temperature was felt to be 4°C cold. Dressed, we still hiked 17 km and about 400 meters difference in altitude in the Baumberge Mountains near Nottuln.
The Baumberge Mountains […] a kind of wedge, especially between the rivers Rhine and Ems. Due to their proximity to the sea, the mountain range contributes to the catchment areas of some rivers. The Hagenbach Creek and the Stever River flowing to the south are tributaries of the Lippe River, which in turn belongs to the Rhine River. The Münstersche Aa flowing to the east belongs to the Ems River system. The Vechte Creek, which rises near Darfeld at the foot of the Baumberge and flows northwest in direction to the Netherlands, forms its own small river system with the Dinkel Creek. The westbound Berkel Creek flows into the Dutch IJssel.
– Translated cit. from: de.wikipedia.org
Single sunbeams cheered up our mood and even warmed us physically for a short time. Nevertheless, the wind remained impressive. In the beer garden at the Longinus Tower, a few climate testers sat outside in front of a cold beer. We preferred to walk on quickly and warmed up afterwards with hot drinks and food at the Hotel-Gasthaus Stevertal.
► 4 May: Breakfast buffet and ninepins in the nude
20 naturists met at the restaurant Zum neuen Herd for breakfast buffet, for chatting and afterwards for a sporting event on a ninepins alley.
It was still cold outside. Through the windows, we could see bushes, trees, and garden umbrellas moved by the cold wind, rain showers enriched the weather spectrum. Even the dog of the house, who was on the way in the yard before, got too much and hid himself.
We gave up our plan to do a short hike of about 10 km afterwards and preferred to continue our conversation with an improvised coffee gossip at a warm oven.
Quite simple: To see friends from the USA again and to do something together with them, to get to know new things, to meet people and to speak with them, to finally report about it. New Zealand is famous for being a world of its own on Earth, offering a lot of different landscapes and many options to enjoy nature. A German experienced that together with naturists from USA.
And that's how it turned out:
► 01: From Austria via Florida …
In 2017, 48 naturists from 10 countries got to know each other during NEWT. One evening, Milt presented nude hiking in the USA. Afterwards he informed us, that he would be in Florida in February and March and that interested naturists could visit him there. That was a great offer. Horst and I visited him in the naturist club "Sunsport Gardens" in Florida, met other naturists there and explored the quite wide surroundings.
During our visit we learned, that Milt wanted to explore New Zealand nude in February 2019 with Dan and John (also USA). That was the next temptation.
► 02: … to Aotearoa
From 6 February to 5 March 2019, Dan, John and I were able to explore New Zealand with Milt – well prepared and relaxed thanks to his precisely elaborated planning. We travelled 10 days on the South Island, then on the North Island.
The Southern Alps, Fiords – "Fjord" is written "Fiord" here – and Sounds, an extensive network of well-marked hiking routes, water-rich rivers, numerous waterfalls, lonely beaches and much more are to be emphasised. Particularly impressive were giant ferns (trunk height up to 8 m; leaf length up to 3 m), cold rain forests with lush vegetation, columnar Kauri trees and redwoods, which need a group of several people to embrace on of them, geothermal energy around Roturua, boiling lakes and bubbling hot mud holes even in the middle of the city park, thermal bathing opportunities in approx. 39 to – in the "Hot and Cold Water Pool" next to a country road – approx. 46°C hot streams. The "Hot and Cold Water Pool" was very special – especially hot from an inflowing stream, cool in the main current. So it was very easy, to create a pleasant mixing temperature by gently moving back and forth or to feel two temperatures at the same time.
We travelled between Auckland on the north island and Queenstown on the south island.
Our activities are associated with many memories:
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 …