Tonight, around 5 PM, due to the severe weather conditions many regions of the Black Sea coast from Tuapse to Adler (basically the area of “Big Sochi”) were left without power. Gusty wind at 25 meters/sec, wet snow, and sudden drops of temperature cut the electrical lines in the mountainous regions of near Sochi. By the midnight power to many parts of the city was restored, however some regions remain unpowered. All repair works are complicated by continuing bad weather conditions, but they still expected to be completed by tomorrow.
Unfortunately this kind of power outages sometimes happen in Sochi, because some powerlines go over the mountains, so during winter they can snatch under the weight of snow. And snow makes it harder to get to the places of damage for repair. Major power outages in previous years would sometimes affect heating too, in which case people try to stay warm by lighting their gas-stoves. However some buildings don’t have gas lines, and people, who live in these buildings and normally rely only on electricity, find themselves in a tough situation. But of course neighbours in Russia don’t let neighbours suffer in difficult times like this, people invite others they know from the neighbourhood to their apartments to stay warm and/or prepare food to take home.
A group of Russian mountain-climber is planning to raise Sochi city flag to the top peaks of World’s five continents. They’ll start with Aconcagua – tallest mountain of South America and all Southern Hemisphere, followed by expeditions to Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, and Everest. After that, they will bring the flag that was on the World’s top peaks to Guatemala, where, in July, IOC will name the official 2014 Winter Olympic host city.
First case of bird flu this year was registered today in Russia. Bird flu virus H5N1 was found in dead birds in the city of Lobinsk and two villages near it in Krasnodar Krai.
Last year during global bird flu scare the virus was also found in Russia in Krasnodar Krai, as well as in some places in Siberia. No human deaths contaminations were reported last year in Krasnodar Krai. There was a lot of things done last year in Krasnodar Krai last year due to this scare. Vaccine was developed, plans were designed on how to react to cases oc bird flu, and farms personnel and local population was trained, and additional amounts of disposable suites and tools were purchased to destroy infected birds. So, hopefully all those efforts will help to minimize any impact this virus may have in the region.
Labinsk & Sochi on the map: Read the rest of this entry »
A new well-room will be opened this spring in the Chvizhepse village in Sochi, where the best known mineral water in the Black Sea region is found. Here tourists will be able to taste real carbonic mineral water found in this region, healing qualities of which are known throughout Russia. This well-room will be located near Adler – Krasnaya Polyana road, and all tourists will be able to stop by here for a quick rest.
Sochi 2014 bid team has confirmed their plans to locate all Olympic athletes close to the venues. Here’s few quotes from the press release:
“75% of all athletes at the Sochi Games will be housed within 5 minutes of their competition and training venues, for the first time in Olympic Winter Game history.”
“Sochi 2014 promises a more manageable Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with all elements taking place in a mountain cluster and coastal ice cluster, only 40 minutes apart. While the functional compactness of the Sochi 2014 plan will provide maximum convenience for the Olympic Family, the media, sponsor guests and spectators, it will also greatly enhance the Games experience for the athletes, usually exiled to the farthest reaches of the Village and often forced to spend hours in transit each day.”
“Sochi’s Games plan will allow spectators to easily view multiple events in a single day, and give athletes the unique chance to attend events that they are not competing in.”
Sochi News January 28th, 2007
Russian Railways is reconstructing connection branch in Moscow, this will decrease travel time from Petersburg to Sochi by several hours. The speed up will most likely affect train number 35/36 (#35 – from Petersburg to Adler, #36 back) and will begin with summer train scheduler, which becomes effective in the end of May.
Development, Sochi News January 28th, 2007
Ministry of Transportation will allocate 16.2 billion rubles ($610 million US) for the construction of the alternative road around Sochi’s center between 2007 and 2009. Yuga.ru quotes the Minister of Transportation Igor Livitin saying that this road is one of the priority projects for the Ministry, and that in 2009 it will be completed. The road will be tied with city’s current transportation infrastructure. He also mentioned that more pedestrian underground crossings will be created under Kurortny Prospect.
As I mentioned several times in my previous posts, traffic jams caused by transportation infrastructure (which was never designed for current number of cars we have on the roads) in the city today is a major pain for both residents and guests. There are only two ways to get through the Center (for people going to Khosta, Adler, and Abkhazia) — drive though the main road, Kurortny Prospect, or take an existing alternate route, which is in a poor condition and is often overloaded with traffic as well. I don’t know if they are going to build another road or reconstruct existing alternative road. I think they’ll go with reconstruction, and will add several junctions. And adding pedestrian underpasses along the Kurortny Prospect should definitely help. I can think of several places where those are desperately needed.
Members of Russian National Anti-terrorist Committee will inspect southern resorts in April for safety against terrorist attacks. This planned inspection is part of government’s efforts to keep tourists safe.
Over 100 Sochi cafes and restaurants where selected to service IOC delegates and journalists during their February visit. All menus will be translated to English and stuff will prepare to service foreign guests. In addition to this, many cafes and restaurants are designing new “Olympic oriented” dishes. For example general manager of “Dan” restaurant gave some details on their preparations.
“Instead of simply giving our dishes names that symbolize the Games and sports, we decided to present a look back at the history: we found a lot of useful information about most popular items during past Winter Olympics over the Internet. By now we have designed three new items, and by the end of this week we’ll have twelve. Menus will include year of the Olympic games, host country, and course with description.”
The Ukrainian government is looking into possibility of building a bridge between Ukrainian Crimea and Russian Krasnodar Krai (part of which is Sochi), reports Yuga.ru. Their logic is – Russia promotes Sochi, lets bring some of their visitors to Ukraine :) That sure makes sense… I always wondered why a bridge or a tunnel across Kerch (Kertch/Kerchensky) strait did not exist. Well, the money, I guess. But it always felt wrong (and it still does) that people have to drive around Asov Sea just to get to Crimea by land from south of Russia when it is so damn close. Today there is a ferry operating across Kerchensky and Tamansky peninsulas. However, it was reopened just a few years ago, before it wasn’t operating for 15 years.
Russia officially joins Turkey’s Black Sea Harmony initiative to address new security challenges in region.
Actually this happened in the end of December, but I just found my bookmark today :)
Black Sea Harmony is a naval operation initiated by Turkey in March 2004 in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 1373, 1540 and 1566 aimed at deterring terrorism and asymmetric threats worldwide. (Wikipedia)
Ukraine has also announced last year that it is considering joining Black Sea Harmony, and the last i’ve read Ukraine’s participation process is in its final stage.
Good news, the Ministry of Justice of Russian Federation has finally approved the use of e-tickets in civil aviation in Russia. This, of course, should mean faster, more convenient way for travelers to get on the airplane.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, President of Armenia Robert Kocharian met today with Vladimir Putin in Sochi. They discussed Russian investments in Armenian economy and new ways of economic cooperation, in areas such as nuclear energy, exploration of uranium fields in Armenia, oil refining, modernization of industrial enterprises in Armenia, construction of new railways.
Ski lifts operated by “Alpika Service” in Krasnaya Polyana resort restarted their operations, though many cafés, restaurants, and rental shops on the resort were still closed. Meanwhile this interruption had cost a lot to everyone – tourists, travel agencies, businesses in Krasnaya Polyana, and Russia’s Olympic bid. The latter even irritated President Putin, who’s currently working in Sochi. It was definitely bad time, but on the other hand it was probably the best time for “Alpika” to bring the issue out to the public. Weather it will help them or ruin it for them is still a question.
February 8 – 10 Sochi, once again, will welcome the Winter Music Conference (SWMC-2007), the goal of which is to help several hundreds of Club Music professionals from Russia and neighbouring countries to establish new business contacts and discuss popular electronic and dance music trends.
The day-time program includes over 13 hours of presentations, discussions groups, and workshops on today’s hot topics of the night club and music industry. During night-time program, best night clubs and bars in Sochi, Adler, and Krasnaya Polyana will let Russia’s hottest DJs in to present their new programs.
Official website of SWMC is swmc.ru (in Russian)