January 30, 2009

Suddenly, the Swiss are inundated with nudist hikers, many from Germany.

It's called "FKK" — "free body culture."

Can you imagine a bunch of Germans arriving in America, thinking it would be okay to traipse about in the nude?

IN THE COMMENTS: bill says:
They're not wearing shorts, so they should get Althouse points for that.

62 comments:

Ron said...

If we could tie it in with paintball somehow, it could be like the Running of The Bulls...

Lem said...

I cant find this in the stimulus ;)

Buford Gooch said...

They get high enough in the
Alps and you'll be able to hear them yodel from here.

Irene said...

Perhaps the naked German tourists should head to the rain forests. They could help fertilize the new 50 or so acres planted each year.

AJ Lynch said...

"Inundated" in the NY Times means "we heard it may have happened once but we are not absolutely certain they were Germans".

SteveR said...

At Typhoon Lagoon at DisneyWorld a few years ago, I witness a very similar phenomenon. Complete with body hair and a lack of deodorant, so I would not look forward to it coming to America.

John K. said...

I think I may have shared this story before, but when I was hiking the Appalachian Trail during the summer before law school I came across a butt naked hiker (in his 20s) leading a group of boys in the other direction on the trail. One other adult male was also leading the group, but as I recall that guy was clothed, as were (thank God) all the boys. We exchanged "pleasantries" (though I found the encounter none too pleasant), and I think some reference was made to the fact that he was naked, and one of the boys commented that he was crazy or something like that. All in all, a very odd encounter. The naked guy sounded American and not German, btw.

john said...

SteveR -

Is this the fraulein you saw? Understandable.

John K. said...

On the other hand, I have to attest to seeing many very comely young German lasses sunbathing topless in the public parks in Frankfort, Germany, even though they did not tend to shave their legs.

Jason (the commenter) said...

The link isn't working. I want pictures :(

mcg said...

The link is not working for some reason.

I'm kind of torn. The problem I have with the concept of nudism is that I just don't find the average human form of either gender all that attractive. For every naked body I might enjoy seeing or at least be neutral about, there are plenty I'd really rather do without. Spare me a lecture on body acceptance; I accept my imperfect body just fine, thanks, it's yours I don't want to be forced to accept :)

On the other hand, maybe nude hikers are as a class more fit than your average nudist. The balance might shift.

I have the same problem with sushi, really. I like some types of sushi, but the percentage just isn't high enough to make me want to seek it out. I know there's a joke there somewhere.

Now, in the U.S., we might not have nude hikers, and our nudist colonies tend to be private, but we do have a certain phenomenon where people (particularly women) who would not typically be considered attractive can shed any sense of modesty and flaunt their bodies with feature-exaggerating attire.

I'm talking, of course, about Renaissance festivals.

JohnAnnArbor said...

If they're wearing shoes, are they really naked?

AJ Lynch said...

MCG:

Don't forget the great numbers of high school girls who are 50 lbs overweight and wear spillover jeans and midriffs.

Or spandex stuffers. Jeez you'd think they were being paid to see how far the fabric can be stretched.

XWL said...

That might be enough of an impetus for Switzerland to abandon a few centuries of neutrality, beware the Swiss Army, you naked Germans, they may come after you with their versatile little knives.

The link is missing a final "m", here's the working link (complete with man ass)

Those most likely to be nudist are those you'd least likely want to see.

(unless you are Polish, it seems)

Jason (the commenter) said...

Add an "m" to the end of the link and it will work.

Something I did not think of: hikers have good butts. We need a law requiring all hikers from Europe to hike in the nude. That is stimulus I could get behind.

Also the BBC photo made me think of the new Sigur Ros cover, which is also tastefully hot.

mcg said...

AJ, you are right. I do think it ought to be a crime to wear spandex without a license.

Ann Althouse said...

I've redone the link. Don't know why the BBC is hassling me over this, but I hope it works for everyone now.

Ann Althouse said...

I've redone the link. Don't know why the BBC is hassling me over this, but I hope it works for everyone now.

Revenant said...

Can you imagine a bunch of Germans arriving in America, thinking it would be okay to traipse about in the nude?

Imagine it? I *own* that movie!

mcg said...

Damn those Wikipedians don't waste time

MayBee said...

If they are German, they are almost certainly wearing dark socks and shoes with their nakedness.

rcocean said...

I've seen a lot Fraulines running around Yosemite that I'd enjoy seeing nude.

blake said...

This is dumb. The picture makes it apparent how dumb.

These guys are covered to mid-calf, then their entire backs are covered, and obviously the straps go around the front of their body.

That's not naked. That's dressing to chafe.

TitusLovesLife! said...

I am watching Sweet Bird of Youth on TCM. Paul Newman was fucking beautiful. Geraldine Page tour de force.

Wow, there was a time when movies actually had some amazing dialog.

MayBee said...

Oh no!
I didn't look at the picture before I mentioned the black socks. I knew they would be there from my days living near a beach that was popular with German tourists.

Donna B. said...

Mosquitoes. Are there no mosquitoes in Switzerland?

mydismalswamp said...

I was in Puerto Vallarta a few years ago and there was a European woman topless sunbathing on the beach. Someone from the resort told her it wasn't allowed and she threw a screaming fit. For the life of me I couldn't see why in the world THAT lady would have wanted to topless sunbath in the first place. Poor delusional lady... My wife said it best: "Come on. Nobody wants to see THAT."

Tibore said...

"Suddenly, the Swiss are inundated with nudist hikers, many from Germany."

Um, mosquitos? Chiggers? Yellow Jackets and biting flies? Hello-o??

And temperatures in some places? Look, I'm fully aware some places you can go without clothing and be perfectly comfortable temperature-wise (if not modesty-wise), but many places farther north - like, say SWITZERLAND!!! - might be just a taaaaaad nippy at times, don't'cha think? Especially at elevation, like up IN THE MOUNTAINS??!! Homo sapiens developed clothes for a reason, you know. Why go back on the human invention that allowed such exceptional advancement?

For the record, a research team - from Germany, ironically - determined that humans started wearing clothes around 72,000 years ago. And look, they had to have had a reason. I'm telling you, this is contrary to evolution, pure and simple. Evolution and human development.

Oh, and asthetic sense. My GOD! No clothes with black socks! That is a pure assault on the eyes, especially when contrasted against such... whiiiiite (*shudders*)... bodies. Yeeeeech...

Tibore said...

Actually, wait... Switzerland is not that far north after all, just above Italy and roughly the same latitude as south-central France. So it's not like it's a Nordic country... but still... up in the mountains?? How warm can that be?

Yeech...

Tibore said...

"Can you imagine a bunch of Germans arriving in America, thinking it would be okay to traipse about in the nude?"

Pfff... in some places they'd just think it was some sort of obscure, weird-ass European performance art.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Tibore: Homo sapiens developed clothes for a reason, you know.

Look, if they get cold, they can wear a hat.

As for the rest of your rant, well, methinks the lady doth protest too much.

John Burgess said...

Tibore: I don't know where you're from, but the Alps, in summer, can be awfully hot, particularly if you're exercising. Then there's the sun factor. In my case, that means more clothing, but that's not the case for all.

I think the beaches in Goa have it about right. Those directly in front of the hotels have the full-dressed bathers--women in saris; men in long shorts and shirts. As you move farther from the hotels, the attire becomes more attenuated. By the time you're a mile down the beach, the bathing suits are on the towels, ready to be donned when it's time to go back to the hotel.

Again, the strength of the sun militates against my exposing much of my fair Celtic skin. I got serious second-degree burns in 10 minutes on the beach there.

I do agree that those wearing Spandex [TM] should be required to obtain a license to do so.

John Burgess said...

Oh... and please remember the rule:

"Just because they make it your size doesn't mean you should wear it."

Tibore said...

"As for the rest of your rant, well, methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Tryin' to say I post while naked? You can prove NOTHING!!

(*Checks blinds, unplugs webcam... checks blinds again...*)

Lem said...

This "remote access" thing is amazing. I'm logged on to my computer at work right now.

I dont have to go to the office and yet it seems we have to face each other..

The Germans, as allways, take things to extremes.

former law student said...

Good article in Stern (auf Deutsch, natuerlich) on the rebirth of the FKK. Can 800,000 Germans be wrong?

Apparently nude hiking in the Swiss Alps is nothing new -- it was popular in the first flush of German nudism in the early 20th Century.
http://www.stern.de/lifestyle/mode/:FKK-Lifestyle-Die-Nackten/638106.html

Apparently one source of inspiration for the FKK movement was British Lord Monboddo, a Scottish judge, who went nude around his house and garden, taking showers on his front porch.

As far as nudism in America, the article cites naked yoga practitioner Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the World Naked Bike Ride (Chicago ride coming up again this June; Madison ride needs an organizer.)

http://www.worldnakedbikeride.org/

Here's a list of nude beach dos and don'ts from the Bay Area Naturists:

http://www.bayareanaturists.org/etiq.html

Lem said...

Maybe we can send Joe the plumber to... cover them ;)

Jib said...

"Can you imagine a bunch of Germans arriving in America, thinking it would be okay to traipse about in the nude?"

Wouldn't that be Mazomanie, Wisconsin?

chickenlittle said...

Gives new meaning to the Schwietzerdeutsch phrase:

Greuzi, meat-in-hand!

Paul said...

"Can 800,000 Germans be wrong?"

Ah now THAT is funny!

From now on I'm never hiking without a slingshot.

Bob said...

Colin Fletcher used to advocate nude hiking in his famous guidebooks (famous to hikers, anyway) The Complete Walker.

It's an opportunity for a new roadside game, too. When you see these German hikers you can play helmet/anteater while inspecting the men, and carpet/linoleum while inspecting the ladies. Winner buys dinner.

Alex said...

The only Swiss I care about right now is Roger Federer attempting to tie Pete Sampras' mark of 14 grand slam titles on Sunday.

m00se said...

Thinking, thinking...

Dunno. Which is worse? German men in those gay little capris or naked...

Ah, hell. they're still Germans.

Sitzenpizel...

bill said...

They're not wearing shorts, so they should get Althouse points for that.

bearbee said...

Well, if you don't want to contend with bugs, how about flying?

"It's an unusual gap in the market."

traditionalguy said...

The next thing you know the Germans will be attending Broadway musicals in the nude, maybe the new revival of Hair. But this is a really good human interest story. This year may be the young germans last chance to completely enjoy Alpine warmth before the coming Global Freeze sends in the glaciers again.

Crimso said...

I can imagine it, I just don't dare to hope for it.

Joe said...

Visit sunny Iowa, nudist hikers!

commenter said...

i saw enough nude germans in turkey.

Think was i was wearing a bathing suit and this older German man, with a big beer belly, stood about 10 meters from me testing the sea water, and he just stared at me. It was so freak. Put then Germans don't Zeige with the finger, they just stare tremendously.

They are still a nice bunch of people anyway. They have more nerve than me, I wouldn't take off my top on the beach even though i could and even wanted to get my boobs tan.

Dr, Ellen said...

When I was at the Grand Canyon, there were ample supplies of German and Japanese tourists doing dumb things in defiance of gravity. It doesn't surprise me that some of the same would do dumb things in defiance of Alpine solar radiation, mosquitoes, or whatever.

class-factotum said...

I wouldn't take off my top on the beach even though i could and even wanted to get my boobs tan.

It's easy to get naked in front of strangers. It's taking the top off in front of the friends you're traveling with that's difficult.

rhhardin said...

I'd think they'd be easy to ignore, but I don't know the Swiss.

Clyde said...

Most of the people who are nudists are not the people you would want to see sans clothing. It's usually a sausage-fest, like the nude beach scene in Eurotrip. Usually people who are old or flabby, with leathery football-like skin from years in the sun. Very few of the hot frauleins that you'd want to see.

Although I do remember one visit to the beach at the Wannsee in Berlin, and a lovely madchen wearing nothing but a smile...

John Burgess said...

Clyde: Your age-ism is showing...

Older bodies can certainly be attractive bodies. They've been worn, to be sure. Perhaps there are scars or stretch marks. So what?

Female beauty is not confined to the 16-26-year-old set, as I'm sure you'll discover once you get a few reminders of wear and tear on your body.

Ralph said...

As long as you keep moving, the mosquitoes can't catch you. Also, if there's any breeze. They're not very fast, about 1.5 mph.

blake said...

The Food Network did a bit on the dining at a nudist colony.

Let that soak in for a moment.

The dining room.

It a fair-sized room with a bunch of round tables in it. They were kind of packed in. And the nudists were not, on the whole, a diminutive people.

So, when they were packed in...

OK, I'm done describing this.

Ralph said...

Blake, so what? Unless they have glass tabletops.

Jennifer said...

In the fourth grade, we went on a class trip to the Big Island that included a lot of hiking. On one trip out, we came across a native Hawaiian woman who had taken to the hills and reverted to living old school style. Traditionally, Native Hawaiians wore no tops. You can imagine the nervous titillation of a group of 9 year olds from the suburbs.

blake said...

Ralph--

The paradox to me is that it seemed unappetizing, which one would think would help reduce the collective weights (nope!).

I think it's a personal space issue, actually. An uninvited naked person invades your personal visual space.

Kev said...

As far as nudism in America, the article cites naked yoga practitioner Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the World Naked Bike Ride (Chicago ride coming up again this June; Madison ride needs an organizer.)

I've encountered this ride in Burlington, Vermont on two occasion; it tends to happen in tandem--bike pun not intended--with the summer jazz festival up there.

My general impression? Too many dudes. Still, it was funny when we were stopped at a traffic light and the ride came right in front of us. And this past year, near the starting point, I couldn't believe how many people were taking pictures.

John K. said...

That's asking just too much of one's bicycle seat. This wasn't in their job description.

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