After waking up from a much needed nap on my first day in Sochi, I ventured out to explore a bit. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish on this first day, since I didn’t have any events scheduled until Day 3:
1. Pick up my media badge at the Sochi Media Centre
2. Get a SIM card for my phone
3. Buy the postcards that I had promised to my Kickstarter backers
The city of Sochi is about an hour’s train ride from Adler and the Olympic Park. I left the hotel, hoping to find a bus to the train station, but there were no bus routes nearby. The nearest bus stop was a 20 minute walk away. So off I went to find it from the broken Russian directions I got from the hotel’s front desk. I finally found a bus that took me to the train station, where I caught my very excited first glimpse of the Olympic Park and Bolshoy Arena from the train platform!
It was a gorgeous day, which made for a beautiful train ride along the Black Sea.
My first task was to find a SIM card for my phone. From my research before arriving, I had decided to go with the Megafon Olympics package for only 400 Rubles (about $12) giving me 5GB of data. I found it and I was in business!
From there I met up with a lovely Canadian, who I had met on the Canadians to Sochi Facebook group, for lunch and we exchanged travel stories and information. She had taken a 24 hour train from Moscow to Sochi! Wow!
My new friend knew exactly where the Sochi Media Centre was, so she led me there after lunch. I was really surprised to find that no one in the media centre spoke English. I communicated completely through my phone’s Google Translate app and after about 20 minutes, walked out with my pass.
Next, I walked around Sochi looking for postcards, Olympic landmarks and fun touristy stuff. I never found the postcards that day, but I did find these:
Sochi was a beautiful city with lots to see, beautiful architecture, and the warm weather (about 17 celsius) made the experience that much better! I would have loved to spend more time there, but it wasn’t possible with my crazy Olympic event schedule.
I returned to Adler in the late afternoon/early evening and headed to the Olympic Park to try and get the lay of the land. Stay tuned for that story and my inspiring first visit to the Canada Olympic House!