Another section or “ring” or detour road around Sochi’s center was opened yesterday. Here are some details about this road:
- The road will do from Mamaika district in the Sochi’s center to the area around International Youth Center «Sputnik» in Khosta;
- Construction started in 1988, but was quickly frozen until 1998;
- First section was opened in 2001 from Sputnik, it includes one (if I remember correctly) tunnel and a couple of bridges; it’s 4.5 km long;
- Newly completed section is 4.2km long, and according to Russian media it includes 2 tunnels and seven bridges;
- They are promising to complete the road by the end of 2009.
Some believe it will solve half traffic problems by routing people who are not going to the Sochi’s Central district around it, which sounds like a great idea. But keep in mind following when you reading about this road in the news: First of, the detour road already exist – yes, it’s in pretty bad condition, but it covers pretty much the same route… and it doesn’t solve anything! Maybe if they fix the existing road and there will be two of them it will help the Center, but I haven’t heard of these plans. Secondly, if they route all the construction vehicles there, as the plan to, this will simply destroy this the road, and the rest of the people will continue going through the center continuing jamming traffic there. And thirdly, I’m glad they’re thinking about Central district, but Adler, where Olympics are planed is in no less, and maybe even in more need to improve road infrastructure… yet I know of very few plans to improve it. One of which is to re-route railroad which currently crosses main road in Adler, and constantly causing traffic jams and interruption in public transport, which goes of route to avoid that place, leaving people in some areas with very few ways to get around. But even fixing this is nowhere near to be enough.
Past summer I was asked about direct flights between Sochi and Dubai, as I wrote about ’em before. I knew there are direct flights, but I couldn’t find any info about it at that point in time, even on the official «Aeroflot-Don»’s website, which operates this route. That was strange to me, since I’ve read many times that AD has regular direct flights, and my close friend brags about going there every year. I did ask my friend about the flight, I told him that I can’t find any info about it, but he said it exists and we can call right now to find out the details. Sitting at the beach in burning sun on a beautiful September day we didn’t, but when couple of weeks ago he told me they’re going to OAE again, I figured I gotta find out what’s the deal is.
Turns out these flight are only regular during winter season. This also includes flights to Istanbul, Turkey, and Gyumri, Armenia. And the information about them is now available on «Aeroflot-Don»’s website (Russian only).
Sochi (Russia) — Dubai (OAE)
Flights period: 28.10.2008 – 24.03.2009
Once a week, every Tuesday.
Sochi (Russia) — Istanbul (Turkey)
Flights period: 27.10.2008 – 27.03.2009
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Sochi (Russia) — Gyumri (Armenia)
Flights period: 20.11 – 25.12.2008, 08.01 – 26.03.2009
Once a week, every Thursday.
So, there it is. Apparently there are no direct flights to these cities from Sochi during summer.
And as a reminder, Australian Airlines operates regular direct flights between Sochi and Vienna.
Since I’m still not finding much time to write more about Sochi, here are some short news that have been happening recently:
Financial crisis and Sochi investment projects
Amid the global financial crisis and the news that many investors are wrapping up their big real estate projects all around Russia and around World, not a single investor withdrew from the already concrete Olympic projects in Sochi – which is good news. However, new investors are not so quick to jump in anymore, so, the promised Government’s financial guarantees will come handy after all, I guess.
Georgia changes it’s mind
Georgia, which was one of the first to congratulate Russia on winning the Olympics bid, and who’s president said he supported Sochi bid from the beginning.. Same Georgia which then started a war on the first day of the Olympics in Beijing – something that western media was quick to call “Russian propaganda”, but more recently admitted it was Georgia who started it, and finally even Georgian president admitted giving the order to attack South Ossetia after high ranking Georgian official publicly said the same thing… That same Georgia few days ago tried to appeal to IOC to move Olympics from Sochi to another city – the move that IOC has quickly dismissed.
I think now Georgian or Abkhazian question in Sochi Olympics formula is finally closed forever: Georgia attacked Abkhazia (along with Ossetia) → Georgia lost → Russia officially recognized Abkhazia’s independence, which means Abkhazia can help with constructions and will benefit from increased tourism flow to the region → Russian troops will anchor for now in Abkhazia to ensure the region’s stability → IOC acknowledges Sochi is a safe city for the Olympics, the World class event – the cycle is complete for the next decade.
Three persons were detained in connection with explosions in Sochi that occurred earlier this year. No details yet, though.