The Local Germany (7 August 2015)
Would-be naked ramblers faced disappointment in Brandenburg this week – as plans for a nudist walking route were put on hold.
Walking around Germany has been a bit of a sweaty affair in recent weeks, with temperatures soaring to over 35C in some areas.
It can almost be tempting to strip off and bare all in an attempt to combat the heat – and in the small town of Trebbin, Brandenburg, plans were recently afoot to allow just that.
10km of nudity
Earlier this year, the town announced plans to create Brandenburg’s first nudist walking route, reports Berliner Morgenpost.
Walkers would be allowed to strip off and enjoy a naked ramble for 10km, it was planned.
The idea was initiated by a passionate naked rambler from the nearby town of Beelitz – who worked with the town to organize a sample nude walk.
Around 85 walkers gathered from across Germany to take part, wearing nothing but rucksacks.
A ‘unique selling point’
At present, nudist trails exist only in Germany’s Harz mountain range and Lüneburg Heath.
Mayor Thomas Berger campaigned strongly for the idea in Trebbin – and garnered plenty of support.
The experience of walking without irksome clothes chafing, allowing walkers to feel at one with nature would be a “unique selling point for the town,” Berger said.
Although he claims he wouldn’t want to ramble naked himself, the mayor said: “you have to be open to new ideas, and take risks.”
“It seemed as if everything was going to go smoothly,” said Beate Ranzsch, tourism officer of the city council.
The culture committee had approved the project, and a route had been laid out.
However, not all local property owners were happy about the idea – and after an MDR television report aired on July 22nd labeled the Trebbin plans “naked madness,” criticism spiked.
During the television report, critics confirmed the beliefs of those who already felt sceptical of the plans.
Yet Ranzsch stressed: “we always planned to be considerate of sensitivities.”
“Ramblers wouldn’t be allowed to walk naked through the town centre.”
The town planned to install lockable wardrobes at the start of the route, Ranzsch explained – adding that these would be “several hundred metres away from the nearest houses.”
However, the TV report spelled the end of the project.
“Eventually even the biggest supporters weren’t interested any longer,” said Ranzsch.
Despite failing to create a naked paradise for ramblers, Trebbin continues to draw walkers from across Germany.
The region’s “Fläming Walk” – a network of 63 signposted walks across and around nearby Fläming Heath – offers 450km of walkways through forest and meadows.
The town also has plans to create numerous new routes for walkers – as long as they keep their clothes on.