Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

Bare and beautiful in Bulgaria

by Peter H. Dietrich

Recovered from our recent Azov Sea and Crimean trip, we were invited by the local  representative of Bulgarian naturism, Veselin Dimitrov, to make a film about the annual Sea festival in Varna, Bulgaria. It's always good to visit new places, and our hopes were high as we left Kiev for the long drive through Rumania and Bulgaria. There were only five of us this time: Andrii and his wife Natasha, Lesia and her mother, Tanya, and me.

 

We spent the first night in Odessa, where our old friend Vadim made us very welcome and next morning we set off with another passenger, Sophia. Her grandparents live in a large house close to the border, and we gave her a lift. Our bus starts playing up the front brakes are overheating. Still on Ukrainian territory, we find a workshop and get a quick diagnosis: we need to change the metal brake plates at once! Another unscheduled four-hour stop, lunch is shared with a few local dogs, and time ticks slowly on.

 We set off again with brand new brakes, but it's too late to cross into Rumania, so Sophie invites us to stay the night at her grandparents' Dacha. We accept with gratitude. They are elderly, and are overwhelmed by this unexpected visit. The large house is home to many domestic animals, including ducks, chickens and a large pig, all of which this fantastic couple looks after themselves, despite their age. Another splendid dinner, with many stories and many toasts, and a good sleep.

 

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

 

A big problem arises at the Moldovan border. To cross one kilometre of this small country, I need a transit visa! We have already crossed two Moldovan roads with no problems, but this is the serious frontier with Ukraine and the customs officer is adamant: no visa, no crossing. The nearest Moldovan consul is back in Kiev. Catastrophe. I have already left Ukraine, and am stuck in no man's land, like in a Kafka story. One solution is to return to Odessa and take a ferryboat to Varna, but this would mean missing the festival we want to film. Andrii finds a solution: he will go to the nearest Moldovan town and buy an emergency transit visa from a local consul. I must sit on' the border and wait. Andrii and the others drive away with my passport, and I am not reassured, to say the least. One of the border officers speaks English and we discuss politics and life in Moldova. Five hours later Andrii appears and all is okay. My visa is stamped and we cross through this piece of Moldovan territory and pass into Rumania. Whew! Unwary travelers beware - check on all necessary visas before leaving. I certainly learned my lesson.

Small hotel

We spent that night at a small hotel in Galati, exhausted by the day's adventures. Early the next morning we drove through Rumania with little trouble, apart from the torrential rain that greeted us as we neared the Bulgarian border. An ominous foreboding as I had visions of the planned festival being rained off. We crossed into Bulgaria at 5pm and headed for Varna, some 105 km away down the coast. The rain was heavy by now, and as we met Veselin Dimitrov it was a cloudburst. "Well, at least it's warm!" Veselin said with a smile - a foretaste of his sense of humor.

We drove out the 17km to Golden Sands, the resort in which the oddly named "Journalist" naturist beach is to be found. Veselin introduced us to Ivan and his wife Stefka -our hosts for this stay. They have built a three-storey villa hotel in their lush garden, with eight double rooms plus a restaurant kitchen for guests' use. At $7 per person per day, it proved a very reasonable option, and as they are naturists it was no problem for us to wander around naked most of the time. The rooms were light and airy, all tiled, and the balconies overlook the sea, just 150 metres below with the naturist beach a ten-minute walk away. Recommended to all visiting naturists.

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

 

The next morning the sun rose over the sea at 6 am, and the day announced itself hot and sunny. Great filming weather. The naturist beach is a small sandy strip between rocks and old bunkers, and is quickly crowded on hot days in the summer. Locals and visitors flock to soak up the sun and the warm Black Sea, and we were soon introduced to several families who frequent the beach, and one family who camped inside one of the bunkers for their holidays, mother, father and two sons, all tanned and smiling.

 Veselin acted as our guide and mentor. The following day was the Festival Day, which he was organizing with other friends. The flags were erected on the stage and

someone had even brought along a Union Jack, although I think I was the only British subject present. Lenin too stared out at us naturists from one flag, a bleak reminder of days not so long gone in this country! But politics were the last thing on everyone's mind, a huge crowd had gathered by midday and the festival fun and games got under way. Sack races, wheelbarrow races, body painting contest, water-melon eating contest for the children, raffle, tug-of-war, music, dancing, and the now-famous "Miss Nudist" contest in which our own Lesia won the best foreign girl prize and crown - much to her delight. A great festival, with great people, great weather, and a fabulous atmosphere, all of which I captured in my film. 

 

The next few days were also great fun, with great weather, and with Veselin guiding us to various other naturist beaches and fascinating places that all added interest to the film project. We celebrated his 50th birthday on Panorama Beach, where an abandoned restaurant served us well, and we visited a natural site where great rock formations reminded us of a kind of wild Stonehenge.

 After a week that seemed to fly by, it was time for us to leave and head back home to Kiev, so we said our farewells to Veselin, Ivan, Stefka and the many friends we had made during this visit. And when Veselin made us promise to return next year we knew we would. Bulgaria is a beautiful and friendly country for naturists and I hope this article and my film portrays a little of what we experienced in our all-too-brief visit.

 

 

 

"H&E Naturist" November 2002

For details of visits to Bulgaria and the Varna naturist beach contact:

Mr.  Veselin Dimitrov, Bul. Osmi Primorski - polk. N 75, BG-9002 VARNA, Bulgaria.

The KCN Productions video film BARE & BEAUTIFUL IN BULGARIA will shortly be available in the UK through Tower Productions.

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