Sunday, February 9, 2014

Letters from Sochi

Curious to see for myself the city the whole world will be watching for the next two weeks, I decided to make an impromptu visit to Sochi. Flights to the lush subtropical resort town, as well as unfinished hotel rooms, were all booked, so I opted for Google.

The photos here were taken in August 2012, so the scenery is a bit different from what greets any visitor right now. Most notable is the massive construction to be seen everywhere.

Puzzling, however, is the absence of stray dogs. Until locals started spreading word of it, authorities had been using poison to cull the population of Sochi's strays numbering in the thousands. So how is it possible that in August 2012 there was not a canine in sight? With all eyes on Sochi, has the "retouching" of history, a technique so prevalent in the old Soviet Union, been resurrected for the Olympics? Google already blurs faces and license plates, did they disappear those pesky street dogs as well?

Two links to check out:
1. The challenge of constructing an an entire Olympics infrastructure on seismically precarious wetlands. (
2. Photos of Sochi in the first half of the last century. (World Post)

Lenin mosaic at Riviera Park.

I'm pretty sure these say "mini market"

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