Swiss canton bans nude hiking
By Josie Cox
APPENZELL, Switzerland (Reuters) - Hikers will no longer be able to stroll naked through the idylic Alpine countryside of Appenzell Innerrhoden after the conservative Swiss canton banned nude walking there.
Appenzell Innerrhoden has become hugely popular for naked ramblers due to its tranquil, picture-perfect meadows and valleys. But the hordes offended Appenzellers' sensitivities and they voted Sunday to order them to cover up.
"It's ridiculous that Appenzell is getting an international reputation for such a despicable habit," said Peter Schmid, who turned up bearing the canton's traditional long sword to vote against nude hiking at the annual open-air Landsgemeinde.
The Landsgemeide is a popular assembly that takes place in Appenzell town on the last Sunday of April. Participants vote by raising hands to decide on local issues, a privilege reserved to men only until women were admitted in 1990.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 voters, many wearing traditional robes, turned up at this year's Landsgemeinde.
The canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden started earlier this year to take steps to rein in what the local justice and police department called "immoral habits."
In February, the cantonal council began levying naked hikers on-the-spot fines. But this seemed to backfire, raising Appenzell's international profile as a haven for naked hikers.
DANGEROUS HABIT Continued...