Many people think of Europe when they hear the words "nude beach" — but as the Calgary Nude Recreation group points out, a number of North American cities also have accepted spots for clothing-optional recreation. They range from the most popular, Haulover Beach in Miami, which sees as many as , nudist visitors a year, to well-known sites in Canada such as Hanlan's Point in Toronto or Wreck Beach in Vancouver. The latter sees up to 14, visitors on busy summer days, according to the Wreck Beach Preservation Society. But many Calgarians are unaware that nude beaches also exist in the city — at least two, according to Calgary Nude Recreation. Freelance photojournalist Christina Ryan recently trekked out to the two beaches to find out more about who is using them and why, taking all of the images in this photo essay.
Europeans on nudity: Just grin and bare it
11 Best Nude Beaches in Europe - Fun Clothing Optional Beaches to Visit
But, as the saying kind of goes, you never forget your first time confronted by public nudity. Later, after speaking with friends and acquiring a fairly questionable Google search history, I found out that stumbling across an au naturel enclave in a city park or beach is practically a rite of passage in Berlin. And unlike, say, taking off your top at a beach in Spain, FKK encompasses a broader German movement with a distinct spirit, where stripping down to your essence in the natural world has historically been an act of both resistance and relief. According to Hanno Hochmuth, a historian at the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam , this reform movement took particular hold in larger cities, including Berlin, despite its romanticising of country living. In , Alfred Koch founded the Berlin School of Nudism to encourage mixed-gender nudist exercise, continuing the belief that outdoor nudity promoted harmony with nature and wellness benefits. Hochmuth, who visited nude beaches with his parents as a child growing up in East Berlin agrees. Since East Germany merged with the larger West in and restrictions lifted in the former communist state, FKK culture has declined.
11 of Europe's Best Nude Beaches
Adamski, a police officer in Berlin who investigates organized crime, first started going to a nudist camp at a lake outside Berlin after he met his wife, whose family owned a cabin there. One weekend, when he had just about gotten used to stripping in front of his in-laws, he bumped into the highest-ranking colonel in his precinct — who promptly challenged him to a game of table tennis. Adamski said as he prepared to join a triathlon where the swimming and running portions of the race were naked.
Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German.