From Sochi With Love
THE UNIVERSE ALIGNED! (Praise the Lord, Hallelujah). For some miraculous reason the universe aligned and I got to spend a few days having an absolute blast with a great group of girls (and one guy) in SOCHI, RUSSIA (!!!), for the 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS!
We arrived in Adler, the former marshland that was built up from nothing to host the 2014 Olympics, on the 22th. The Russian girl in our group had been trying for months to get tickets to the games. (Yes, I realize that for the Olympics months in advance is like way too late.) Hoping that once we got to Sochi, our luck would change, we stopped at the ticket booth right outside the airport. Sadly we were wrong.
We made our way from the airport to our hotel. I was hoping for the best, as Twitter images of brown water flowing from the taps floated through my mind. We were greeted with a lovely brand spanking new hotel, that was offering free vodka and “pelmeni” (Russian dumplings) tasting. Things were looking up!
We went back to our rooms, freshened up a bit, and was back in the lobby for the tasting. Two shots of vodka and 18 dumplings later I was ready to go look for tickets at the Olympic Park.
On the train to the park, we met a great Russian guy that became our honorary tour guide and friend. Standing near the park’s ticket counter scalpers approached us offering tickets 10 times the original price (then Russian police arrived and shooed them away). All the while our now two Russian friends were hard at work looking for tickets. Around 9pm, about 45 minutes arriving at the park, we had tickets and our passports. YEAH!
From then until 2am, we, the happy group, I’m pretty sure the Russians were calling ‘The Loud Americans’ roamed the Olympic Park. We stopped at the various booths, stared at the Olympic torch (that I swear looks like a phallic object),
watched a medal award ceremony, drank some Russian beer, and took countless photos with massive amounts of complete strangers that stopped us asking for photographs (which I think goes to prove the big divide between world politics, and everyday ‘normal’ people).
The next day we took the train that travelled parallel to the Black Sea from Adler to Sochi. I’m so glad we went. The city is beautiful!
It was a warm 60 degrees and sunny. In the background we could see the snowcapped mountains, raising up behind Sochi’s palm trees. Which goes to explain this year’s catch phrase is “Hot, Cool, Yours”
As we walked from the train station to the boardwalk, we came across a few cute little cafes and restaurants. My favorite by far was Mou Kope or My Coffee or “Moj Kofe” (the last being how they spell it on Tripadvisor)…