Borkum Island is the largest of the seven East Frisian Islands in Germany’s Lower Saxony region. A destination known for its beaches, saunas, and rejuvenating coastal activities, it is also home to this unique style of historic beach cart.
In bygone days they were used as mobile changing rooms for a woman to get into her swimming costume. They could also be wheeled to the shoreline so that she could enter the water without exposing her body to the beachside. These “bathing machines” would go all the way into the water, and came equipped with little flags to signal a desire to return to shore.
These days, on Borkum, be mindful of the beach you choose. One of the major beaches—FKK Strand (for Freikörperkultur, or “free body culture”)—is strictly nudist. Dogs and children are welcome. Textiles are not.