Last summer I rediscovered the capital of my homeland, Ukraine. I’ve spent most of my adult life outside Ukraine, in Moscow, Berlin and now New York, all of which have accessible naturist beaches, so I was pleased to find that Kiev has its own beautiful naturist beaches in the very centre of the city! Kiev boasts the mighty Dnieper River with some forested islands, that are luckily protected and not used for mansions of the nouveau riche. A couple of neighboring clothing-optional beaches at Hydropark (Gidropark) are located most centrally and have pretty amazing views.
This is how it looks from the bridge on the way from Gidropark subway station.
You cannot really see if it is a nudist beach at the other bank of the river, but trust me, it is! So after the bridge you need to continue till one of the typical city style beaches and take a “canoe-ferry” for 5 hryvnias (approx. 50 cents); from there, you can already see where you should head to ;-)
First time I went there on a weekday, so it was relatively empty, and I stayed at the part known as a local gay beach, as my friend advised (he was at work that day).
It was nice and relaxing, except that the music from the opposite beach bar was quite loud, but I actually liked it. It is also possible to go a little upstream and find some small secluded spots.
There is a shaded kiosk where you can buy beverages without having to put on clothes. In the afternoon, I decided to explore the area a little more and went to the southern tip of the island, and it turned out to be clothing-optional too!
I actually liked that part more, as it was more spacious and had a great view with some of Kiev’s landmarks: Motherland monument, Kiev Pechersk Lavra (monastery), and a restaurant styled as Noah’s Ark.
So when I went to Gidropark beach next time with my friends Sergey and Sveta, we headed directly to the tip part. I couldn’t resist mocking the Motherland monument by posing with a bottle of water instead of the sword and a frisbee instead of the shield :-)
Since it actually was the Independence Day, main themes were quite patriotic and Ukraine-inspired. I had our coat of arms (trident) painted on my chest, but frankly, Sergey did not do a great job, so you can hardly see it on photos.
Sergey himself had sunflowers painted saying ‘Support homegrown’, which referred to Ukraine being the biggest exporter of sunflower oil.
Sveta had hearts colored as the national flag and altogether looked very artistic.
And Petya was arguably the most popular model with the watermelon painted on his buttocks :p The “price-tag” said that the watermelon was sold at 2 hryvnias per hour (whatever that meant!) and that it did not contain GMO :-)
Having a real knife in the not-so-real watermelon, Petya was probably the most daring model too!
So instead of wishing a Happy Independence Day, it read ‘Happy Inability Day’, as Ukraine is hardly able to cope with its economic challenges (I could translate it as ‘impotence’ as well, but I assure that is not our problem).
But on such a day, it was hard to think of anything gloomy, so the optimistic side took over!