Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DÉLEGYHÁZA 2003: TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE TO NATURISTS


The once known as Hungary’s nude city in the early eighties celebrated its twentieth anniversary on August 20, 2003, by holding a number of sport and cultural events, organized by the Union of Hungarian Naturists (MNE).

Délegyháza, a small village of 2,460 inhabitants, 27 km south-east of Budapest, became famous all over the world in the summer of 1987 when the Naturist Society of USA together with MNE held the Second Congress on Nude Beaches and Recreation Areas, or East-West Friendship Meeting. Shortly after the liberalization of the regime and the introduction of western type democracy in late autumn of 1989, naturism lost its momentum and the membership dwindled. Former members joined local associations just established or frequented nude beaches without police harassment.


In 2003 the paid-up membership amounted to 587 units over 18, who had either built bungalows with nice little gardens or transformed their trailers into summer cottages, with all modern conveniences.


Judit Halász and I visited the grounds twice on the 16th and 20th of August and we met with József Vida, a member of the Union since 1988, and an elected vice-president since 1998. József received us at his well-kept trailer at the top of a hill overlooking Lake Five and Classifying where he lives all year round with his wife and daughter.


The entire area of 34 hectares –29 water and 5 land- had been divided into 13 districts; each district had been named after a particular road name of Budapest, and numbering in Latin. A member of the Union was responsible for each district, sometimes assisted by four or five deputies.


The main sunbathing clearing and beach were located on the left side as you entered the grounds. Signposts had been placed all over the grounds. Numerous trees and trimmed bushes provided shade to guests. Though the level of the water on all three lakes receded due to a prolonged drought in the summer of 2003 bathers should be aware of the lakes floating depth.


Dustbins were provided, and the sewage system worked satisfactorily. Sanitary blocks with hot water showers were well-maintained. In general, the staff was friendly and helpful, with a good command of the German language. Regretfully, promotional material such as brochures, maps, postcards and T-shirts had been sold out at the time of our visit.


The Sport büfé by the ex-volleyball court now turned into a tennis court, and Sóder bar at the centre of the grounds offered a variety of Hungarian dishes and drinks at reasonable prices.


The Flóra guesthouse with eight single and double rooms fully refurbished, with attractive surroundings, overlooking both Lake Five and Classifying and Lake Four, under new management, provided half and full-board to guests all year round.


The Naturist Oázis Camping, as Délegyháza grounds are known these days, is open to all naturists regardless of affiliation. Non-members pay an entrance fee of 800 HUF per person and members of domestic and foreign clubs, on production of the INF passport only 550 HUF per person. For readers' information, the Hungarian Forint (HUF) was devaluated against € in the summer of 2003, the exchange rate being 253-257 HUF to 1€.


The number of foreign holidaymakers has been steadily decreased since the mid-90s. Dutch, Belgians, Germans and Austrians have been the prevailing nationalities.


Since 1991 the Union has been publishing a newsletter for internal use, called
Nudi Hírek (Nude News).

Ferenc Bolyós, a retired army officer, has been president since 1997. Thanks to his strenuous efforts he has held together the Union. Two women have been elected to the Board of Directors, including Krisztina Elekes, the PRO and editor of the Union’s newsletter.


The 20th anniversary of the Union escaped notice in the press. There were no journalists invited to cover that remarkable event, only brief speeches and greetings from a representative of the local council. With some 100 naturists in attendance, Ferenc Bolyós, unveiled the commemorative plaque, with a lapidary inscription, laid a wreath of flowers and kissed the plaque. In his short but moving speech he referred to the lack of liberty in Hungary 20 years ago and paid tribute to the pioneers. Judit Halász of the Napóra Club, the first PRO of the Union (1984-88) attended, too. Former presidents and members of the Board of Directors, and committees, did not show up. Hungary’s national anthem was played, and a young lady recited a poem. An official photographer covered the event, as photography and video recording had been banned throughout the grounds. The August 20th programme included volleyball, field and track events, children’s games, extreme sports and so on.


A buggy drawn by two short-haired black horses, with Krisztina Elekes and a couple of young boys playing Hungarian festive tunes, made some stops on the way to the Sport büfé, and they offered a kind of local brandy (palinka) to guests. A goulash party with a really long queue of hungry members was held at Bermuda square, the centre of the grounds, the traditional custom of cutting up the new bread and the ever popular beauty contests for children, men and women concluded the celebration. Krisztina Benké, a young blonde girl, among 6 contestants, was elected Miss Natura for 2003. In all, 18 children, 14 men and 7 overweight women vied for the respective titles. MNE and the Napóra Club provided trophies and gifts. Prior to the beginning of the beauty contests, Judit Halász referred to the origins of MNE and looked back on the distant 60s when Gustzáv Streitz had organized the first unofficial Union of Hungarian Nudists, with small grounds at Lorév near Budapest.


Délegyháza was affected by the invasion of textile naturists. Men in shorts, women wrapped in towels and pareos, adults partially clothed, constituted the majority of the day visitors. It seemed that nudity had not been enforced on all despite signposts and polite recommendation from the vice-president.


Délegyháza, an administrative community since 1949, has developed to a great extent since the change of the regime in the late 80s. A popular destination for week-enders and holidaymakers has had 3 camping sites, one huge Water Park and 1,100 rooms to rent. However, it still lacks a taxi rank and easy access to the lakes and camping sites for those without private cars.


HOW TO GET THERE
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By train
: a 50-minute run from Eastern Railway Station (Keleti pu), with a round trip fare of  HUF
560 per person. The grounds are located another 5 km from the station. No visible signposts, only a small “FKK” sign in the beginning of the manor house.

By suburban bus
: From Szigethalom terminal (end station of the blue bus no. 38 starting from district XXI (Csepel). Regular service but not recommended.


By car
: From the Pest abutment of Petőfi Bridge you take along E5 road until you find a fork of E5-51. Hence take E51 toward Baja. Between the kilometre marks 31-32 you fall in with a road marking signing the access road to Délegyháza. Turning to the left you will reach the railway station. Turn right and follow the Árpád Road. After an “S”-shaped road without name, pass the tree nursery and turn left, pass the farmers’ co-operative grounds (TSZ) where is the only visible FKK sign and reach a manor-house on your right. Crossing the manor-house go ahead on a dirt road that leads to the entrance of Naturista Oázis Camping.
angmimik

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