Last year we reported on a major victory for nudist hiking in Switzerland. A hiker in the conservative Swiss canton of Appenzell got fined for baring all, appealed, and won.
Now that victory has turned into defeat. The BBC reports that Switzerland’s highest court has ruled that local authorities can fine people for hiking in the buff. Naked hiking isn’t illegal per se, but but public indecency is, and if the local authorities decide naked hiking is indecent, well, then you can’t do it. And since this came from the nation’s highest court, it applies to all of Switzerland.
The court stated its ruling was only a “marginal” infringement on personal liberty. Much more marginal than, say, forbidding women to vote, which is what Appenzell did until 1990. This makes me the local authorities aren’t so much concerned with individual rights as they are with a buttoned-up conservatism.
But individual rights are an issue here. In a truly free country, shouldn’t a person have the right to get an all-body tan while hiking? In a truly free country, shouldn’t people who are offended by the sight of naked strangers be able to have a picnic in peace?
Photo courtesy Alain Tanguy.
Nudist activist Steven Gough has been given 657 days in a Scottish prison only a minute after finishing his previous sentence.
The BBC reports that the naked hiker has served numerous terms in jail for public nudity and appearing in court nude. He insists it’s his right to bare all wherever and whenever he wants. His refusal to wear clothes has led to an epic fight with the legal system in which neither side will back down. Every time he’s released from prison in Perth, Scotland, he walks out naked, straight into the arms of waiting policemen. Gough has spent much of the past ten years behind bars.
Gough once walked from Land’s End to John O’Groats in the nude. That’s the longest hike in the British Isles, going from the southwest to northeast tips, a distance of about 1,200 miles.
As an avid hiker and a big fan of Scotland’s and England’s trails, I have to say I’m impressed by anyone who has done this route, with or without clothes. Hiking in the nude is a legal gray area in the UK. Gough is generally arrested for disturbing the peace or contempt of court. While personally I don’t want to see Gough’s man berries while enjoying a view of the Highlands, I have to ask just who is he hurting? At a time when many thugs from the recent riots are getting lighter sentences, the persecution of Steven Gough seems a spiteful response from a legal system that doesn’t like to be laughed at.
[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. The man pictured is not Steven Gough.]
There are only 22 spaces available for a unique eWaterways cruise. The best part of the fun offering from his London tour operator is that you won’t have to pack much: the catch is that its central theme is nudity. Hope you get a ticket with 21 other hotties, and dash off for seven days of feeling the sun and breeze against your entire body. As you explore the Croatian coastline, make some time to enjoy the scenery onboard, too.
The first cruise will hit the seas in August 2011 at a price of £500. eWaterways says it’s the first company to offer a nudist cruise in the Adriatic. According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Naturist holidays are popular and Croatia has a lot of nudist
beaches – so it’s a great match,” said a spokeswoman. “Passengers will get undressed for swimming and sunbathing, but will be clothed for dinner.”
Smart move: buy two tickets instead of one, and stack the deck in your favor. I already have my short list in place!
All he wanted to do was hike naked.
The 46 year-old man headed out, sans habillement, through the Swiss canton of Appenzell Inner-Rhodes to enjoy the scenery. He passed by a public barbecue area, keeping a safe distance so as not to get his wiener cooked, and near a Christian retirement home. Somebody complained, he got fined, and he went to court, this time wearing clothes.
Appenzell is very conservative (it only gave women the right to vote in 1990) and while it’s not a crime to hike nude in Switzerland, the canton recently made it an offense. The judge ruled that this was contrary to Swiss law and that nude hiking isn’t indecent.
Appenzell has become a popular destination for naturists and the fine was supposed to discourage that. Now that the new law has been shot down the first time it was enforced, it looks like there will be more nude walking in the future, providing alternatives to the traditional nude beaches and resorts.
Photo courtesy Richinud via Wikimedia Commons.
The UK association of travel agents (ABTA) has just released its predictions for 2010 – and they are mostly in line with what everyone else expects.
They see Dubai becoming a hot destination, thanks to massive drops in prices. They also predict that charity and volunteer vacations (voluntourism) will be big.
So far, so good. Then we get to the one that really stands out – naked cruising. Apparently, the tourist industry is going to actively target naturists, and cruise companies will play an important role in attracting new naked customers.
I really don’t know what to make of this, but I’m also not a naturist myself. I can imagine that walking around naked on a cruise ship could be a relaxing thing to do. I just hope they use plastic covers on the seats, as the idea of sitting down for dinner on a dining room seat that was previously used by a fat nude bloke just doesn’t thrill me too much.
A quick Google search shows that none of the major cruise lines have jumped on this naked trend just yet, and I have not heard from any of my cruise PR contacts that they plan to introduce nude cruises. Still, 2010 isn’t here yet, so we may be in for a surprise.
How about you — Would you like to take a naked cruise?