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The Atmosphere Around Sochi


SkiFreak
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It's actually really nice outside the venues. Part of that is the great (for me, not the skiers) weather. There's a street alongside the river up in the mountains where all the shops and hotels are. Very fun and festive. Lots of "piva" (important Russian word). But you can see it's almost all new construction, not all of which is finished.

Khosta is a neat little town to explore, feels like Spain or something. After spending a few days in Moscow, I don't understand why every Russian doesn't move here. Then again, February isn't really the nicest time to visit Moscow.

Olympic park is in Adler,which based off my view from the train isn't that interesting. Hope to see the city of Sochi itself today.

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After having seen the pictures and hearing the commentators about the conditions in Sochi, I have one question. Who reversed the order of the games? I was in London and now get the impression that Sochi is hosting the summer games while London had winter...

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*correction -- these are Cossacks, police reserves, not actual police. But still - you bring in law enforcement for an Olympic Games you should expect them to be jacked up peasants who beat up women for no legitimate reason.

Brave men...................

...............NOT!!!!

:angry:

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After having seen the pictures and hearing the commentators about the conditions in Sochi, I have one question. Who reversed the order of the games? I was in London and now get the impression that Sochi is hosting the summer games while London had winter...

That was quite a good British summer. I got myself a tan, did you see snow?

On another note, bit over the top bully boy behavior in that video, probably going to make more publicity because of the over the top reaction.

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That was quite a good British summer. I got myself a tan, did you see snow?

I thought it was said to be one of the wettest. I didn't see any snow but almost froze my butt off at night. There isn't any snow in balmy Sochi either and even in the mountains it's mostly artificial and people are getting a tan there.

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I really enjoyed my days in Sochi. Very good and clever organization. I stayed at the Port of Sochi/Norwegian Jade which was not exactly a good idea due to the additional safety controls there, compared to a classical hotel.

First contact with Sochi was immigration, and this was the smoothest immigration experience I ever had in Russia. No queue, no hassle. When you compare to my previous experiences in Sheremetyevo...

Transfer times were long, I had the impression that everything was two hours long (hotel to Olympic park, hotel to Rosa Khutor, Rosa Khutor to Olympic Park). The brand new sleek Siemens trains were very slow, running at 50-60 km/h most of the time, stopping to cross other trains at the level of the single track sections. The only location where they were fast was in the tunnels, I was in a train which reached 120 km/h there. Only way to beat that was taxi. If you find a good one you could reduce the travel time to 40 minutes. 2000 roubles from Sochi to Olympic Park, or 2500, or 3000, or... depending from your bargaining talents.

I am very impressed by the way the security was handled efficiently but without being a hassle. Their concept of security bubble which includes the railway stations was good. You pass a security check at the station, once, but from that point you never meet such a control again till you are in your seat in the venue. Example of Russian pragmatism: putting a seal on the busses doors to make sure they have not been opened during the transfer.

There was no queue at security, with a lot of control stations at the Olympic park for the ones who were arriving by bus or by other means (no control if you arrive by train). Generally speaking I never queued due to security. But you had to queue really a lot at the Olympic/Bosco super store, and also at the House of Switzerland or of Korea. You had also to queue at the mobility golf cart stations, which luckily I did not have to use. Contrary to London 2012, where you had to have a real disability to use these shuttles, the Russian were not very strict on the criteria to access these cars - you just needed to have a child with you - which explains the queues.

Huge crowds, very happy Russians everywhere. Fewer foreigners I think than in previous editions of the Games.

I liked that there were a lot of families, with small children and even babies. You had a lot of young families, with twenty something proud Russian dads who obviously wanted to show the Games to their sons and daughters, even if they where only three...

Venues were very good and nice looking. It is hard for me to believe that Iceberg is a temporary venue that will be dismantled. The only wrong thing is the ugly rectangular hangar which is a kind of protuberance of the Fisht stadium.

The only scary aspect was Russian driving. I now understand these youtube videos with the onboard cameras.

What else... Did I mention the ethereal beauty of Russian women ?

Edited by hektor
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This is just an observation from watching on TV but although undoubtedly the games have been very well run and the sport has been excellent they've come across as a bit souless on TV - the atmosphere doesn't shine through the screen. Maybe it's because nothing will compare to London, but despite the warm weather it's all been a bit cold really.

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