The XXXII annual ALPE-ADRIA Naturist Meeting, the largest regional gathering all over Europe, was held from 2 to 6 June 2004 at the holiday centre of Monsena, 4km north-east of the picturesque town of Rovinj in Croatia.
Despite inclement weather, continuous rainstorm, strong winds, low temperature for late May and short breaks of sunshine, 330 participants from 8 countries –the lowest number since 1991- attended and enjoyed the four-day event, greeted friends and restored their strength following a really hard winter in Europe. Those present included the INF president Wolfgang Weinreich, Ladislaus and Sieglinde Ivo of Austria, Walter and Christa Neußbaumer of the Bavarian Naturist Association, the latecomer but extremely popular INF general secretary Mireille Choin, Judit Halász of Hungary, and Gianfranco Ribolzi of Italy.
There were, however, notable abstentions from previous years, specially of old people, while four countries, Czechia, Russia, Slovakia and the Ukraine did not send any delegate!
There was live music throughout the meeting, with a local band playing popular tunes and good choreography. Josip Ružić and Aleksandra Rojnić, the new reservations manager, a woman of vision, had done everything to provide their guests with. Aleksandra had taken over every detail of the programme, and she had got a lot of matters to attend to. No doubt, her enthusiasm will boost Monsena’s position in the near future and help meetings win back their former glory.
To cope with the increased feeding of numerous guests they had built in record time an entirely new restaurant by the pool, in the position of previous pizzeria, to serve as many as 600 guests at a time. The old mountain restaurant had closed down due to urgent refurbishment and renovation. Food and drink in abundance, with dishes of local and international cuisine, salads, pastries, ice cream, sharpened the guests’ appetite, who lined up, for the first time, in front of the tastefully decorated buffets. All dishes were mentioned in four languages, the wine and drink list also printed on coated paper and the personnel’s attendance satisfactory. Breakfast was served from 7.30 to 11am and dinner from 7 to 11pm. A questionnaire in several languages was delivered to guests who were asked to fill in properly and hand it over to the reception. The questionnaire included useful points regarding the services offered and all remarks would be taken over by the management. Another questionnaire was also filled in regarding general questions about the surrounding area, Istria, the frequency of visits and so on. The mini market, entirely renewed and enriched with items of daily use, accessible to guests seven days a week, at reasonable prices compared to those of Rovinj.
An ATM had been installed at the front desk to help guests cash their credit cards. The special notice boards outside the reception and the new restaurant provided all details regarding the going-on in five languages.
Monsena as well as Koversada had not printed their own separate price lists; instead the new company, Alpe Adria d.oo, supplied a combined list for 2004. The surrounding area was clean and tidy. New plants had been planted strategically all over the area, bushes had been trimmed, trails had been cleared, and signposts had been repainted in vivid colours.
The sports events did not differ from last year. The sports committee once more headed by the multi-lingual Anamarija Horvat. The award of 71 trophies and medals started on Saturday evening, at 9.30, with unexpected delay and confusion in pronouncing winners’ correct names. Men, women and children competed in 9 events, beach volley, chess, children’s games, cross, petanque, table tennis, tennis, tug-of-war, and volleyball.
The INF president did his best to address the guests in German without simultaneous translation into other languages, while the award ceremony had not been completed! Camera phones and digital cameras flashed. What a hullabaloo! The INF decided to supply all trophies from the next meeting, therefore its role would be upgraded. So far, it has offered the special INF prestigious cup to the winning volleyball team since 1989. Monsena also agreed to set up an info-kiosk manned by sports experts throughout the period, and Aleksandra announced to the round table meeting of June 6 that special rates would be valid from 21 May to 6 June 2005.
On June 6, 26 naturists –23 Hungarians, 1 German and 1 British, with 3 children, boarded the 1938-built but fully reconditioned M/B HARPUN for a six-hour boat trip to FKK Solaris and Poreč. Angelos Mimikopoulos of Greece, in co-operation with the owner of the boat, Vladimir Bertonja, had organized the trip ahead of time. All guests were offered a fish picnic of fresh sardines, local meatballs, salad, rolls of bread and plenty of drink, including Greek ouzo.
At FKK Solaris, the second largest naturist settlement of Croatia, guests were given a pack of promotional material in their own languages, and were treated to a traditional welcome party at the Galeb restaurant by the recently awarded blue flag of the long pebbly beach under the same name. Solaris had been the first naturist campsite in Yugoslavia that had hosted the Alps Adriatic Meeting in 1975. Other meetings were also held in 1978, 1979, 1983 and 1984. On the way back, with clear sky and reduced wind, we stopped over at Poreč, where we bought a jumbo pizza!
We look forward to meeting you at the 33rd Alps Adriatic Meeting from 26 to 29 May 2005, with special prices for the entire family, and the incomparable Croatian hospitality. Monsena has been doing everything to keep their guests happy since 1985. Twenty years of service to over 11,720 participants has been a remarkable record.
Since 2005 Monsena, under its new name Camp Amarin, has been operated as a textile settlement by Adria Resorts, the company that also owns Koversada Naturist Park.