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Sochi Ready for Tourists After Games End

Published: February 25, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • People enjoying the sun in Sochi, where the Winter Paralympics will be held next month.
    Photo: For SPT

With the end of the Olympics, the number of volunteers and Russian sports fans in Sochi has fallen, but crowds of foreign visitors still flooded Sochi on Monday, making the city look like more of an international tourist destination than it was during the Games.

While considerably more people can now be seen in Sochi cafes and streets, the most popular place is still the official Olympics shop, with people having to wait in line for more than an hour just to get inside.

Many foreign visitors decided to stay in the city after the Games to break out of the Olympic bubble they had been living in during the Games. They ventured into central Sochi from Adler, where the Olympic Park is, and Krasnaya Polyana, where the ski resorts are located.

Related: Elegant Ceremony Brings Winter Olympics to a Close in Sochi

"I decided to stay in Sochi three more days after the ames to explore the city itself," said Kerry James, 41, an investment advisor from Canada.

"All the Olympic events were in clusters, so I did not have a chance to see Sochi before," he said while standing in line for the Olympic store, adding that he had stayed in Adler during the Games.

People who came to work at the Games also got a chance to explore Sochi after the end of the Olympics.

"I have been in Sochi from the beginning of the Games but this is my first time in the city itself. I had not even been to Adler until Saturday night, since my schedule during the games was very tough. The city looks lovely, I finally got a chance to see it," said Ed Willes, a journalist with Canadian news agency Postmedia News.

Related: Sochi Risks Fumbling its Olympic Tourism Opportunity

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in “Downton Abbey” if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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