A naked hike along the banks of the Isar

The Saturday dawned with fluffy grey clouds, a cool-ish breeze, and
the promise of light showers. Tania and I had decided on a naked hike
along the Isar, a river running through and to the south of Munich in
Bavaria, Germany, and even though the weather forecast was not ideal,
we set off in high spirits. We left the S-Bahn (underground) station
at Hoellriegelskreuth, 7 stops south of the main Hauptbahnhof station
at about 10:00 in the morning, and followed a steep trail down to the
bridge over the river below. We both stripped off as soon as we had
reached the path which followed the river bank, and it was a great
feeling to simply be naked once more and, flanked by trees on the one
side, with the not-so swiftly flowing river on the other, we strode
purposely south. Our route followed the river, the sandy trail weaving
through the occassional storm-broken tree lying haphazardly prone here
and there, where it had fallen. The weather slowly warmed, as the day
wore on, and we passed several places on the river banks where
scattered people were quietly bathing naked, as is the custom all over
Germany. Of course we met several people walking and cycling along the
trail too, this is after all not far from the centre of Munich city
and a popular recreational area. One couple of women stopped, and
greeting this naked man and woman they unexpectedly met in the forest,
in a friendly manner, asked us the usual whether-we-were-cold
question. Of course not, we replied, in fact we probably felt warmer
than they did. As they left, one of the women then said that naked
hiking looked like a very pleasant thing to do. We stopped at the
river side for a rest and a bite to eat, crossing a small rivulet to
gain access to a stony river bank. A favourite sport on weekends in
Munich is to hire a raft, made of tied together tree trunks, and to
travel up the canal which runs parallel to the Isar from
Wolfratshausen into the centre of Munich, drinking beer and taking in
the ubiquitous local brass band music. Sure enough, here came a raft,
crowded with perhaps 30 or 40 people in the large flat wooden centre,
with an oarsman at either end. As the raft passed we heard several
wolf-whistles directed at us and a shout of “stand up, stand up!” came
over the water. I stood up, as the shouts became more excited, and
took a photo of Tania waving to the people on the raft. The rafters
thought this a marvelous side-line entertainment while they were
slowly drifting downriver, and were very friendly. We saw three rafts
in all.

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