Sochi Before the Olympics – Coastal Cluster

Russia’s winter is approaching and the crews are working round the clock to finish preparations for the Olympics. There was no security other than at the immediate construction sites for the main venues of the Coastal Cluster, so I took a stroll.

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The principal buildings are taking shape. Landscaping presumably will follow.

Other than the Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Center, Sochi, nothing in the area is open. Adler town is about 3 km away and is choked by traffic exacerbated by construction. Adler town is cluttered and down market, as are many of the guest house stretching along the lengthy coast to Sochi. Closer to Sochi, nearly 40 km away, there are more nice hotels. The other direction there is a nicer new town along with two cathedrals that no doubt will have elaborate stories featured in TV coverage. Further east quickly reachs the Georgia (Abkhazia) border and who knows if that will even be open during the Olympics.

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It will be interesting to see how it comes together.

Next post I cover the Mountain Cluster.

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  • Mr. Cool


  • asar

    doesn’t seem like a very attractive destination

  • Joey

    Still loads of work needs to be done! How was the Radisson?

  • @Joey – I will do a quick post on it, they showed me a room. Nice hotel, stupendous view. There is also a Park Inn soom to open a little outside the main cluster. Plus the properties up in the mountains.

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  • JB

    Better bring a tent and subzero sleeping bag.
    Hardest part about going to winter Olympics… getting the visa. Priceless.

  • @JB – an important point about Russian visas that I forgot and almost burned me is that if you say you are entering on X date the visa starts X date. Not like many countries that the visa starts from date of issue. So if people think they might need to move their plans forward they should request the earlier possible date on their visa.

    There are all kinds of quirks to the process, I need to do a post on it. For instance with the 3-year multiple entry tourist visa for US citizens they do not list on the visa the inviting company even though a letter of invitation is required for the visa. At Moscow this was no issue, but at the Sochi/Georgia (Abkhazia) border they grilled me over and over about the company.

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  • Andrew Kavesh

    Stevem — hey, it’s Andrew Kavesh (your DPRK co-traveler). I don’t have your regular email address. Can you send to me. I leave for Sarajevo-Srebrenica-Mostar-Belgrade on Friday. Have you been to any of these places? If so, would love your insights. Thx.– hope all is well. And I still have your photos for you. Andrew