There! That’s got your attention, especially if you are a stereotypically repressed, prudish Brit…
And for those who are into puns, let me explain the title of this post.
- FKK: German word, Freikörperkultur – literally, “free body culture”, or naturist.
- Eck: shortened form of “Ecke”, German word for “corner”.
- My Dad was a regular customer of a German pub called “Danziger Eck”.
- There is a flower shop in Düsseldorf called “Blumen Eck”, which must belong to an Anglophile, “Blumen” the German word for “flowers,” and the shop name being a pun on “Blooming heck” (much beloved of Coronation Street characters).
Soooo, back to the topic…
Today I finally went to Unterbacher See, a local open-air swimming area, typical of Germany: an artificial lake with a park, artificial beaches, changing rooms, toilets, play park, etc, etc. I’d been meaning to go for the past five summers. Today I got my swimming kit and a couple of books and headed off there.
It turns out the Unterbacher See also has an FKK area, also known as a “textilfrei” area at the southern end of the area. I decided to throw caution to the wind and my clothes to the ground. I headed off to that section, five minutes stroll from the entrance. My observations:
- There were hundreds of people there, of all shapes and sizes. Most people made me feel anorexic, and the average age was 40+. I’m guessing that once you’ve hit 40, most people’s pride and vanity have already gone.
- There were couples there, there were families there, there were single people there.
- Pretty much everyone was reading a book. Many were reading newspapers. I guess the newspapers provided better cover against the intense sun.
- Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid as the sunbathers strolled around in their birthday suits, heading into the lake for a dip. Likewise, nobody seemed be looking anyone else up and down. And even if they had, well, a 46-year-old naked big-bellied German (or Brit) is not exactly erotic.
- Even the staff at at the nearby kiosk did not react at all to the queue of Germans in the buff. Let me just state here and now: I ordered a Cornetto ice cream. I could not bring myself to order a bratwurst.
Two hours and two chapters of Blogging for Creatives later, I showered, dressed and headed back to the city centre, a slightly redder shade of pink, including parts of my “whitey from Blighty” body that do not normally see sunshine.
Would I go again? Well, put it this way, I won’t be booking two weeks in a naturist resort. On the other hand, sunbathing among a bunch of salad-dodging middle-aged Germans is actually a pretty mundane experience. Mostly I would stick to clothing-on areas, rather than head for the FKK area. At least now I can say, “Been there, done it, not worn the t-shirt.”
Have a textilfrei day, won’t you!