With no apparent sense of humour and their excessive speed when securing sunloungers, the German people and their country have had a terrible reputation among the British since time immemorial (or 1914). So, going where very few travel-writers and holidaymakers have gone before, Ben Donald has visited Germany in order to overturn stereotypes and, at the same time, fall back in love with travel.
From the massed ranks on the nudist beaches of Germany's north coast (they have a reputation for liking uniform, but they'd much rather be naked), via intimate encounters in the steam-rooms of Baden-Baden and the brothels of Hamburg (where he makes his excuses and leaves), to the rite of passage that is wearing Lederhosen to the Oktoberfest (which takes place in September), the author has put his body and his dignity on the line to get beneath the skin of this most maligned of countries. He even goes to see a German stand-up comedian. In - where else? - England.
And what emerges is a Germany that will surprise many who thought they knew the country and its people; an eye-opener in other words - especially those nudist beaches.
Ben Donald lives in West London with his wife and two children. He works for the BBC. He does not advocate public nudity other than in exceptional circumstances.