This year, 48 nude travellers from USA, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, and Singapore met in Austria. A large farmhouse (the Hut) in the Wildschönau region of the Tyrol offered accommodation. Languages in use included English, German and French, but Flemish, Dutch and Slovakian were in use as well. We were able to greet others in their native tongue and to answer their questions. When required, some could also offer Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Russian.
Some of the hikers carried paragliding gear in a particularly large rucksack from the upper station of the Markbachjoch cable car a few hundred metres to the take-off area. From the Rosskopf, another 300m of height could be added. This effort was rewarded by a gliding flight over the beautiful landscape amid the impressive mountain panorama.
Ten hikers (the Tent group) slept in tents on alternate nights on the lawn in front of the farmhouse or in the mountains. Every second day they returned to the Hut group to eat together, spend the evening talking, and exchange experiences and ideas. One evening photos of nudist walks were presented from the USA and Europe.
On each of the six hiking days, we explored the beautiful surroundings, walking up to various peaks to enjoy impressive panoramas. We had distant glimpses of the Wilder Kaiser range and even of far-off peaks glinting with snow. There were mountain lakes and rushing streams to refresh us. We hiked for a total of about 75km, climbing and descending some 4,300m.
Once we were surprised by a thunderstorm on a dirt road: not for very long but with heavy rain. Even rucksacks with integrated rain protection let in some damp. On returning to the Hut, the sun was already shining from a blue sky and anything damp quickly dried when spread out in the yard, thanks to the warmth of the paving.
Conversation with locals revealed that our nudist walks were by now well known in the valley of the Wildschönau and beyond.
Children who met us in groups with their teachers or parents laughed merrily, and clearly had a lot of fun from seeing us and no doubt telling others about us afterwards.
We spent a long time talking to an alpine dairymaid that we met on her pasture. She happily asked us to convey her greetings to our landlady at the Hut.
Another time a couple stopped near us in their car and we exchanged a friendly greeting. But shortly after, the car stopped, a woman got out and asked for a photo to remember the moment, which we gladly gave her. From her we learned that a herdsman had seen us and called her. Her husband had asked her whether “they should be in the nude today (while cheese making)”. She thought the idea was great, but was not sure if this would be compatible with hygiene regulations.
Our landlady happily took a printed exemplar of the German version of our ‘Broschüre’ (English version: brochure) and told us at our farewell that we were good guests and that we would be welcome to return at any time.
– Report: Rainer; photos: Horst. Translation: Bernard.