Sochi, Russia: Winter Olympics on the Sea
How did I come up with the idea to visit this subtropical resort city? A friend of mine told me that he had visited Sochi four times and that it’s a wonderful place for a summer vacation. I could not resist and spent my holiday in the South of Russia 🙂
The city of Sochi is more than just a popular tourist center, although more than six million tourists come every year. It is also home to many amazing places with architectural and historical sights that every visitor should be eager to see.
The Sochi Arboretum is a real paradise, where more than 2,000 species of subtropical plants grow. The area of the arboretum is about 49 hectares. The park was founded by the famous journalist and public figure, S. Khudekov, in 1892. The owner of the park built a beautiful villa, Nadezhda (“Hope”), for his wife in 1899. The plants and trees that grow in the arboretum were specially brought in from all over the world. The gardens in the Sochi arboretum follow strict geometric lines, which can be clearly seen from the cabin of the cable car running along the entire perimeter of the park. The flowers will amaze you with their diversity and colors, plus there are many entertaining bronze sculptures in each part of the park. The territory of the park is well-groomed and it is a nice place to walk and enjoy nature.
The lower part of the arboretum is very beautiful and picturesque. Here you can see a large aquarium, the volume of which is 150 m3. Various forms of marine life are represented behind the glass walls of the aquarium. Ducks and a rare species of black swan swim in a large pond in the center of the lower part of the park. Bronze sculptures beautifully accentuate the landscaping of this part of the Arboretum. The legendary Sochi rose garden, where more than 70 kinds of roses grow, is located near the pond. The Sochi Arboretum is one of the most popular city attractions, and is definitely worth a visit.
Everyone who has visited Sochi has certainly visited the park Riviera. This park covers an area of 14.7 hectares and is the most popular amusement park in the city. Here you will find entertainment for every taste. There are numerous attractions for adults and children: a cafe, oceanarium, dolphinarium, stage for concerts, numerous statues and fountains. The main attraction of the Riviera is the “Glade of Friendship,” an alley with magnolias planted by cosmonauts (Gagarin, Leonov) and politicians (Maurice Torez). There are busts of great writers: Pushkin, Krylov, Nekrasov, Lomonosov, Shevchenko, Tolstoy and others near the fountain. In 2005, the fountain and the love bench appeared in the park, where, according to tradition, newlyweds stage a photoshoot. At night the park’s appearance changes, lights come on all around the perimeter, each palm is hung with garlands and gleams with different shades. I recommend a walk in the park at night if you are lucky enough to visit Sochi.
Olympic Park of Sochi
The Olympic Park of Sochi was one of the main sport venues of the 2014 Winter Olympics. The complex was built in 2007-2013. It is located in the Adler district, on the territory of the Imereti lowland. The Olympic Park of Sochi is a special place for the city. Indeed, thanks to the Olympic Park, the resort capital of Russia became known to the whole world as the capital of the Winter Olympic Games. Here were held competitions in figure skating, hockey, speed skating, curling and other sports. One of the most grandiose of the Olympic venues, Fisht stadium, served as the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the XXII Olympic Games. It was unprecedented in scale and entertainment.
You can rent roller skates, bikes and electric carts to ride around the Olympic Park and see the stadiums and other sport facilities. You can also watch an ice skating performance – Karmen on Ice – and an F1 race, walk the Imeretinskaya Embankment and swim in the sea.
The singing fountain is located in the heart of the Olympic Park and is made in the form of a Firebird with swan neck, huge crest and fiery wings. The highlight of our visit to the Olympic Park was the musical light fountain show. It was fabulous!
There is so much more to Sochi than what I can cover in one post. If you want to know more, I wrote article about my Sochi summer vacation in the Lazarevskoye sea resort, its attractions – Mamedov and Crabs Gorges – and the mysterious phenomena of dolmens.
For more, head just a bit south of the border and get lost in the woods of Birvtisi Georgia.