While I have been to Russia, I must admit that I had never even heard of Sochi before. I got curious today and had to see just how far away St. Petersburg (where I lived) was from Sochi. Well, it is quite far. I took a screen shot of the Google Map showing the difference.
Where is Sochi?
The first time I went to Russia, I had the pleasure of visiting Moscow with my family and also travelling by train to St. Petersburg (and back to Moscow).
The second time I went to Russia, I stayed in St. Petersburg and visited Gatchina. I didn’t find out until later that my Visa was only valid for me to be in St. Petersburg and leaving the border of the city was actually a very bad thing to do. Thankfully, God was protecting me from harm.
Oh the stories I could tell about my adventures in Russia. The time went by way too fast and my memories are starting to fade with the years, but it was overall positive and very positive.
Warning: Parents, please preview all links provided to ensure they are suitable for your family’s viewing.
The Sochi 2014 Olympics completely snuck up on me and now they are all over the news. We are not a sports crazy family, but we enjoy watching the Olympics. I have some heartstrings tied to Russia because I lived there for several months, many years ago (before marriage and children). Russia will always have a special place in my heart.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to watching the opening ceremonies here:
Some of the things people are complaining about don’t seem that unusual to me (because I lived there, not in Sochi, but in St. Petersburg) and they bring back fond (often humorous memories) and prompt discussions with Jonah and the kids.
There were a few complaints about people having to share a toilet room with 2 toilets, which is certainly something we are not used to in Canada (or the USA). When I was there, some of the public bathrooms only had holes in the ground and no toilets. Other bathrooms had scary toilets and no seats. Even if a bathroom had a toilet and a seat, I was warned never to sit directly on the seat because of disease.
When I lived in St. Petersburg, I was warned that I should not drink the water without boiling it first. It always looked yellow. Hot water was another curious thing while I was there. Hot water was centrally heated and turned on and off at will (and you never really felt clean after a hot shower or bath).
When I lived in Russia, the roads were riddled with potholes you had to swerve around, and the military stood in almost every intersection. If the lights turned red while you were travelling through the intersection you had to stop where you were and the other cars would drive around you. (Let me just say, I was always a passenger and never a driver).
There have been some questions regarding the safety of the Venues in Sochi. I am praying that there are no serious injuries or deaths due to unsafe venues. If the the hotel construction and other issues that are occurring are any indication, then hopefully my fears won’t be justified.