Kiev Commonwealth of Naturists

"The Australian Naturist" #17,"Naturally"  #45

KCN Summer tours 2002

By Peter H. Dietrich

  So many plans, made during the long, cold Ukrainian winter, and then suddenly it's summer, and only one month left before our first departure, and the familiar last-minute panic sets in as time runs out. Will we find the much-needed minibus? Will all the interested participants be able to leave with us? Will the new cameras work okay in the field?

"The Australian Naturist" #17,"Naturally"  #45

   And, of course, will we be able to create new and interesting films for all the customers who are waiting for our new videos, after seeing last summer's trilogy Crimea Revisited! There were so many questions and doubts, and so little time it it all in motion. The (secondhand) minibus is bought, 1, and ready to go. Our partici­pants are found, packed, and ready to go. Cameras checked, cleaned and ready to go. So, what to do, but go?

   We leave Kiev at dawn — 12 of us — some old friends, some new, heading south to discover new places, new adventures, and new experiences. Our group consists of Andrii, our president, and his wife, Natasha; Volodia and his 18-year-old daughter, Lesia; Sonia and Lida, two sisters aged 11 and 12, Andrii's goddaughters; Dima and Lena, who were with us on last year's trip, now a couple and again traveling in Dima's car; Diana, an 11-year-old from Kiev, who is to join her mother in the Crimea; Pavlik, our little "Mowgl 12 years old and traveling for the first time without his mother, Gala, who ' unable to be with us this year because of work; Victor, who is getting a lift with us to Fiyodosiya, where he has a new summer job awaiting him; and lastly, myself.

   After two previous Crimean trips, I wonder if this third trip will be as exciting and interesting as were the others, but as we plan to visit the eastern end of the Crimean Peninsula and get our first taste of the largely unknown Azov Sea, I am pretty hopeful.

 Filming begins almost instantly as the minibus creates problems before we even get out of Kiev. The heavily charged roof rack moves dangerously at each braking, so we stop and fix it before continuing our long drive. Once on our way, various stops provide natural backdrops for a few short scenes: a cornfield, a river, cows being driven home after a day's grazing, sunflower plantations, the Crimean Canal. We reach Fiyodosiya on the evening of the second day, and camp on the beach just outside the busy resort. The Black Sea is as warm and as inviting as ever in July, and every­one enjoys a swim despite the approaching night.

   The following dawn, a surpris­ing and unexpected visitor inter­rupts my morning wash in the sea: a solitary swan. Perhaps lost on its way to some mysterious land? It seems interested in us, and Pavlik wakes in time to feed it some bread. My camera is also awake, capturing another unique and beautiful scene for my growing natural repertoire. Then, during breakfast, a herd of cows ambles toward us, giving the girls an opportunity to try out their round­up skills. Not too successfully, as the cows run off. Perhaps because it is the first time that they have ever been herded by a trio of naked girls!

   Leaving the Black Sea coast, we travel north to our new destination, Cap Kazantip, situated on the northeastern coast of the Crimean Peninsula, and so yielding to the Azov Sea. We meet up with 25 of our friends from Moscow at Lavander, the first official naturist holiday campsite in Ukraine. Lavander is an ancient pioneer camp from the Soviet era, now a first experiment in the tourist industry where we join with the Muscovites to form a modest group of around 35. Not enormous, but perhaps enough to introduce a new tradition in holidaymaking.

  The camp itself is very basic and rather primitive, when com­pared to western standards. Used in the past to house schoolchildren during summer holidays in Soviet times, nothing has been altered or added to house the naturist families, so we get a taste of what life was like for the younger generation during their annual "indoctrina­tion." But, as ever, a group of naturists create their own ambience, and we are soon making new friends and discussing ideas to animate our week-long stay.

"The Australian Naturist" #17,"Naturally"  #45

The open-air "restaurant" provides delicious tartar dishes, cooked by Ahmed, a local Tartar chef, and the Azov Sea is wonderful — blue, warm, and quite shallow along the shoreline, making it safe even for toddlers to splash around in. The beach is golden sand, and clearly marked with "NUDISTKI" signs to keep the curious textiles at bay, although a few wander by to get a peep!

 Our last evening at Lavander was marked by the ancient pagan festival of Ivan Kopala, during which participants leap over and through the "flames of a life" to purify their souls for the coming year, which lasted well into the early hours of the morning. Then we moved on, with visits to familiar places, such as Koktabel, where our bus underwent more repairs, and of course, Fox Bay, where we met up with many old friends, and where we celebrated the first birthday of little Vanya, who was born in the sea at that very spot last year, and who is featured in last year's film. Now he is a big and bustling baby boy, and he gave voice to his energy as we filmed his family singing songs.

The Crimean filming mostly done, I returned to Kiev to begin editing and to prepare for our second trip to Rumania and Bulgaria, where we were invited to film the annual Sea festival at Varna. Andrii and the others went on to tour the mountains in central Crimea, then they joined me in Kiev, and preparations were finalized.

Six of us left for Bulgaria, in our faithful minibus: Andrii and Natasha, Lesia and her mother, Tanya, and myself. Various adventures marked the trip, including emergency repairs of the front brakes, my own visa problems on the Moldovan border (You need a transit visa to go one kilometer through Moldovan territory!), and bad weather in Rumania; so it took us four days to travel to Varna.

   But we made it, and were met by Veselin Dimitrov, the local naturist representative, who booked us into a small private hotel, just 10 min­utes away from the naturist beach at Golden Sands, 17 km from Varna. The heavy rain made the planned festival appear doubtful, but Veselin was opti­mistic; and he was proven right.

  On the planned day the sun rose at dawn, and it was a clear blue sky that greeted the many naturist families who came for this one-day annual event. Veselin and his friends rushed around frantically in last-minute preparations, and then it was kick-off time. All kinds of games and competitions for adults and children, a lottery, body painting, and the famous "Miss Nudist" contest saw the day fly along, while a large crowd gathered for the celebration of these events. It was a fantastic and friendly atmosphere, and we made so many new friends it's impossible to list them all here.

   And no one objected to the presence of our cameras, once Veselin had   I announced we were there officially to record the happy events. And when our own Lesia  won the "Best Foreign Girl" crown, she was very proud and pleased, as was her mother.

   We stayed a short week in Bulgaria, visiting several other naturist beaches and a few natural sites that became backdrops for our project. Veselin celebrated his 50th birthday with a small party on one naturist beach, and time just flew by as we enjoyed every day to the fullest. All too soon it was time to leave, with a promise to return next summer, and hopefully to stay longer and visit other interesting places in this friendly and mostly unexplored country, with so much potential for naturist holiday-makers to enjoy.

  And so back to Kiev, where much work awaits us dow,  us we review the summer's rashes and plan the new films from the raw material.

"The Australian Naturist" #17,"Naturally"  #45 

 All in all, it had been a very interesting and fruitful summer, both personally and professionally, and once again the KCN summer tours had passed without crises, only many little adventures and great experiences that have been captured by our cameras. We invite you to judge for yourselves as our new films become available, and the invitation to join us next year still stands, as KCN continues to propagate a genuine family naturist lifestyle.

For details about KCN, please contact:

Andrii Litovchenko kcn@i.kiev.ua KCN website: www.naturism.kiev.ua The video films about the KCN summer tours arc available through Internaturaily, Inc. Phone: (973) 697-3552 or visit www.Internaturallycom.               

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