Where The Hell Is Sochi, Russia?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Starting to plan for the next winter Olympics? I have to admit, the closing ceremonies sent the ol’ imagination into the stratosphere with the possibilities of getting to the next Winter Games in Sochi. The thing is, I have absolutely no idea where Sochi is. Yeah, I was that guy seeing Sochi all over Vancouver, and trying to play it cool like I knew everything. I’m an idiot . . . but it’s not like Russia is a real compact country. The only likely conclusion I came up with: Google-magic. Here’s what I learned.

Sochi sits wedged between the Black Sea and the snowcapped Caucasus Mountains of southwestern Russia, near the border with Georgia. Its natural beauty, mineral hotsprings, and long stretches of beaches (like 90 miles long), make it a resort destination for Russians and eastern Europeans. But that’s enough fluff for one post, lets get serious, eh?

Trip Advisor only lists eleven things to do in Sochi, most of the natural kind (hikes, waterfalls, etc.). I’ll see if the top three tempt you at all.

  1. Head to the Krasnaya Polyana (Red Meadow), a state reserve boasting the best views of the mountains. The ski area here will be the site of the mountain venues for the Olympics.
  2. Housed in one of Sochi’s oldest buildings, the Matesta Spa sits on the top shelf of Sochi’s hot springs.
  3. Tour the Dagomy’s Tea Plantation, and don’t forget to buy a few bags on your way out.

My go-go-gadget internet detective skills did find something that, all by itself, would convince me to hop on a plane tomorrow: Bikinifest. In July of 2008, Cosmo magazine set a new world record of having over 2,000 bikini-clad girls spelling out the word “Cosmo.ru.” on the Riviera Beach in Sochi. That’s twice the amount of the previous world record, and two thousand times the temptation to check this place out.

I just wonder what the beaches are like in the winter?

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