Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Olympic Park

It's another gorgeous morning here in Sochi. We got a bit of a late start today. I think we still had a wee bit o jet lag last night. We had a blast watching the pairs figure skating final but we were both almost falling asleep all the way through. We're definitely packing the days full of activities, usually up and out by 8am and not getting back to our hotel until almost midnight. So much fun. 

Currently, we're siting right near the Olympic torch, listening to the sound crew do a very loud sound check and planning out the afternoon, waiting to go to Restaurant. 

The Olympic Park is very large, probably about 20% too big. I think that's mostly what's contributing to the sometimes "empty" feeling. It's not that there aren't people here its that this place is huge (and mostly everyone gets here after noon). Today is the first day that we've arrived well after 10, closer to 11, and our bus was over packed this morning. 

All of these buildings are huge (except the curling center).

This is the Skating Palace where we saw figure skating last night. It's almost as big as The Staples Center, and it's not the biggest building here. It's my favorite exterior and decently designed inside as well. 

Fisht Stadium is huge. I don't think we'll get to go inside. It looks impressive from what we've seen outside though. 

The Bolshoy is probably the biggest building here and is where the hockey finals will be decided. We're trying to get tickets to a game here but with so many curling draws our schedule is pretty full. 

We're going here (Adler Arena) on Saturday and we're very excited. I never thought about how big a speed skating venue would be but "big" is the answer. It looks really great on the outside, I hope the seats are better than The Ice Cube seats (have I mentioned how terrible and uncomfortable they are?).  

The park also has wandering minstrels and theatre acts at various places and times. Sometimes they play to no one, other times there is a decent crowd. 

Each country has a house in the park as well. We've been to the "House of Switzerland" the NBC USA house and we tried to go into the Canada house but we were somewhat rudely asked to leave. We are not friends or family of Canada, apparently. That's ok, I've got enough maple syrup back home. 

Then there is the amusement park, attached to the Olympic park. Our little guide book says its open but it really looks deserted or, more likely, unfinished.   Either way, we're not adventurous enough to get on a Russian roller coaster. 

There are lots of other buildings too. VW, Audi and Samsung all have places. Microsoft too, when went by this morning they were doing some kind if yoga dance thing. Oh, and then there's the Coca Cola experience. 

Coke is by far the most prevalent US company her both inside and outside the park. 

To give you guys a sense of how big the park is, here is a map. We enter each day at the top right and walk all the way to the bottom left. It's supposed to be 1.6 Km from the entrance to the curling venue but I think that's too short. It's a brisk 20 minute walk and I do mean brisk. At a regular walking pace it's better than 30 minutes. We are for sure getting our exercise. We must be walking 6 or 7 miles a day. Maybe that's why we are so exhausted at the end of each day. 

The music choices in the park are also interesting. If your a fan of Ke$ha then you'd fit in fine. Though you better speak some Russian because both her and Timberlake are half English half Russisn. Marion 5 and Nicki Minaj are also in rotation but in full English. There are a few other artists, Linkin Park I think, but Ke$ha is by far the most played. Go USA pop culture?

Marissa has the hiccups so I think we should go get a beer and rest before we watch more curling. 



  1. Aw, don't worry about the Canadians... they're just angry that we're trying to send Justin Bieber home to them!

  2. What's wrong with your face Colander? Besides the obvious I mean. You look redder than usual--vix

  3. Chris, when we were watching Skating on TV the music seemed unusually thin in the bottom end...was the sound system during the event sounding ok?