Browsing Category: "Other stories"

Palm trees in… Russia!!!

Other stories July 23rd, 2009

Hello there! My name is Vlad Feoktistov. I am new to this site but feel free to comment.

Many foreigns sure that palm trees can’t survive in Russia’s scary climate . Many of them don’t know about the City of Sochi. Sochi is the #1 destination as summer and winter resort and SPA in Russia. As we know, Sochi enjoys humid subtropical climate. Average January temperature of 6 °C (42.8 °F). The average summer high temperature ranges between 25 °C (77 °F) and 28 °C (82.4 °F) with occasional extreme heat in some interior locations exceeding 40 °C (104 °F). Average annual precipitation is about 1,500 mm.

Is it OK for palm trees? YES! Lots of species can grow in Sochi. So I want you to know about most popular palm tree species that can be found all around the Sochi.

Trachycarpus Fortunei – the most hardy palm tree


You Will Be Tall

You can see it everywhere! It loves Sochi’s climate so much that it germinates everywhere. It is the most popular souvenir that tourists bring from Sochi. Not Matryoshka but palm tree!

Washingtonia genus – the most tall

Sochi Palm Alley

Very popular palm tree now days. Native range – California. They need some protection at winter when young. We use to buy them from Italian nurseries but we shall organize some local ones soon. Very tall. You can see most mature specimens on the street Navaginskaya, some old ones near Sochi Museum and Dendrarium arboretum.

Phoenix Canariensis – the most beautiful and spectacular

Very popular palm tree. Native range – Canary Islands. City services protects youngest trees because of frost (very rare in Sochi but can occur here). You can see most spectacular specimen near Central Railway Station, some very old ones on Sochi Theater Plaza and Dendrarium arboretum.

Blizzards are rare in Sochi. But palm trees should be ready for surprise. That is why Zelenstroy company make protection ‘wear’ for young trees. Global Warming is our hope :] At the beginning of XX century Sochi was 8a Hardiness Zone. Now it is 8b/9a.

That is all for today. Next time i will tel you about another exotic plants that can be found in Sochi.

Couple of photos

Other stories July 7th, 2009

A couple of photos I found on Flickr today…

Sochi – Cheltenham’s sister city

“Cheltenham’s sister cities.” (c) Dave Hanmer

Sochi’s sister cities, or twin cities…

Luring you in…

(c) Masha Kuvshinova

Sign reads: “Holiday romance is your dream! It will realize in Sochi! Come…” :-)

Mercer to include Sochi in it’s Cities Rankings

Other stories June 29th, 2009

“Mercer publishes rankings for 240 cities, and … is expanding the list to include two unlikely places due to high demand: Sochi, Russia – site of the 2014 Winter Olympics – and the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.” This is a quote from the article on importance of the city ranks and surveys for global companies.

Mercer is the highly regarded consulting company, which, among other things, surveys cities and ranks them on various topics. The two popular surveys you most often see the media discuss are Quality of Living and Cost of Living surveys. The latter one is popular in Russia to discuss, as Moscow tops it year after year for god knows how long now.

Such surveys are often used by global companies when making decisions on opening new offices abroad. The same article cites Mercer’s Geneva office say “1,600 companies pay membership fees to have access to all of the consultancy’s data, and another 18,000 place orders for various surveys.”

Does anyone reading have access to the complete Quality of Living published in April ’09? I wonder if Sochi was already included, and I wonder how it did :)

Random rant: Airlines, New Year

Other stories December 20th, 2008

I’m going to Sochi for the New Year, yay! I just hope the flight won’t be delayed, as my flight is at 7pm :) The only comforting thought is that it’s Aeroflot flight, and in my experience they’ve been very reliable in being on-time. Unlike SkyExpress. Since I moved to St. Petersburg two month ago, I’ve spent most weekends in Moscow, thanks to the reasonable rates at SkyExpress . However every flight back to SPb was delayed! On the last trip the flight to Moscow was combined with another SE flight that they delayed for several hours, and on the way back my flight was delayed 6 hrs. The good think they did sent me text message about the delay, and I ended up meeting my friends from Sochi Music College (now called Sochi College of Arts, or something like that), who now live in Moscow. So, this time it worked out Ok.

All cheap tickets to Sochi for Dec 30-31st on all airlines were sold out about a month in advance. My Moscow-Sochi-Moscow tickets ended up being 515€. If you’re looking for tickets now, check out Aeroflot first, they have many flights there on 31st, and probably will still have tickets.

I’ll be in Sochi from 31st to 8th. No particular plans yet, we’ll probably go out clubbing with friends, or get together at someone’s place. What are your New Year plans?

War in South Ossetia: day two

Other stories, Russia August 8th, 2008

I didn’t really want to write about this topic on this blog, but reading through US online media all day long and reading through people’s reactions in the comments, it continues to amaze me how single-sidedly the story is delivered, and how quickly people are buying it. CNN, for example, been only quoting Georgian media, and running Saakashvili’s press conferences clips — smiling, he tells the World of Russian aggression. Lets get things straight, asshole — you’ve started the attack on Ossetia, which has been independent from you for over 15 years, successfully running it’s own affairs and living peaceful life only disturbed by Georgia’s sporadic gun firings. You came in, destroyed most of the capital, killed hundreds of people, thousands more lost their homes and are seeking refuge in Russia, and yet more are still left without food and water.

Anyways, Russian troops moved in to stop the killing. Things are far from over, and I really want to see Russian gov’t get bigger balls, and make sure Georgian troops won’t be able to use force on South Ossetia’s civilians, or any other for that matter.

There are two phone hot-lines opened in Russia for anyone looking for information on killed or injured Ossetian civilians and Russian peacekeepers. The numbers are: 7 (8672) 25-03-43 and 7 (8672) 25-03-40

There also are a couple of funds opened collecting money for Ossetians. Unfortunately both are only for Russian currency, so I’ll just post links for the websites where details for wire transfers can be found.

First one is opened by the government of North Ossetia. The wire transfer details are here, here, and here. Websites are major media sites and are in Russian.

Second is opened by the Russian Childern Fund (official site).

Blast from the past – elaboration and comparison

Other stories, Russia June 29th, 2008

The Times article from 1960’s, the copy of which I posted couple of days ago, brought some nostalgic memories :) and desire to elaborate on it and compare to present day. The article is rather good, so, these are not the notes of critique. To follow the read below you’d probably want to read the original article first.

I was born in Sochi in late seventies, and growing up there in eighties I have to note, that not much was changed since the times described by the Times’ correspondent to my childhood days. There were still putevkas, trip vouchers of a sort, and savages, the people who traveled to the Black sea resorts on their own. “Savages” (dikari in Russian), because their lodging was not civilized — or rather not luxurious, by Soviet standards, as stay of people settled in Sochi spas.

The source of the problem

The city of Sochi was established Read the rest of this entry »

Blast from the past (Times article from 1961)

Other stories June 26th, 2008

As you may have heard, UK’s Times newspaper has opened free access to its complete archive — all papers since 1785! I’ve searched articles on Sochi, and found a few that mentioned the city — confrontation of Reds and Whites in the beginning of the century, bombings by Nazis in 40x, travel ads in 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s — but found only one article all about Sochi. It is “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” published on November 28, 1961.

Even though I wasn’t around in 1961, I was growing up in Sochi during 80’s, and have to say it was mostly the same as described in this article. The article is rather long, so I’ll post only the copy of the article itself here for now, and my comments on it will come later in a separate post, along with some old postcards scans, so you can get a feel of what Sochi was like three-four decades back.

So, follwing is the “Contrasts on Black Sea Riviera” Times article about Sochi from 1961: Read the rest of this entry »

Foreigner? Welcome to Abkhazia!

Other stories April 7th, 2008

Flag of AbkhaziaBy far the most common way (the only way?) to enter Abkhazia from Russia is through Sochi. For a while foreigners (except Russian citizens and members of UN) were not able to enter Abkhazia. I don’t know when it has changed, but it is not a problem now — just make sure you have multiple entry Russian visa. The only way out of Abkhazia is back to Russia, as transit to Georgia is not permitted by Abkhazian government. Actually, I’ve heard of charter boats between Abkhazia and Turkey, but I don’t know what’s the deal there.

Map: Sochi and Abkhazia

This good information shared Sergei Bagapsh, the President of Abkhazia during an interview to the Russia’s biggest online news source

Sergei Bagapsh: Citizens of third countries can enter Abkhazia with out any problems. If a tourist has multiple entry Russian visa, he can come to Abkhazia with it as well. Many foreigners visit Abkhazia these days.

Link on topic: Official website of the President of Abkhazia.

Sniper on the roof greets Bush with his “gun”

Other stories, Sochi News April 7th, 2008

This is sort of vulgar entertainment story, if you want to skip it it’s just fine :)

While Bush’s visit to Sochi was pretty boring (Sochi’s all about pleasure, not business, you should know it by now :)), brings us a wonderful story – with video – from the roof of Sochi’s airport. Literally.

American presidential security boys have arrived a day early and settled in around Sochi’s airport to ensure safe landing of their president. When the time came, while Air Force One was on its way down, one US sniper, located on the airport’s roof, “took it out” and emptied his bladder. Here’s a photo, and you can watch the video on this page.

Sniper on the roof, while Bush visits Sochi.

Sochi in different languages

Other stories November 4th, 2007

Here’s how to write «Sochi» in various languages!



Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian






English, Spanish, Italian












Dutch, Norsk (Bokmål), Afrikaans



Swedish, Danish



Slovak, Czech, Latvian






Finnish (Suomi), Estonian





























*Data taken from Wikipedia.

Availabe ccTLD (Sochi.*) domains

Other stories October 29th, 2007

This is the list of Sochi.* domains that are still available for registration.

I made this list back when news were hit by someone trying to sell for 3,000,000€ – see my July post on Sochi domains (btw, the new price is $630,000 :)). I didn’t publish this post back then ’cause while I was making I thought it’d be a good idea to register a couple for myself first – I did so, I registered two… and ran out of money – one probably will become available next year :) . Anyways, today Russian media was hit by news that was sold for 1.8 million dollars, and for $300,000 – both “news”, in my opinion, are total bull… I don’t know how this even makes it to the news sites.

So, below is the list I compiled – it’s current as of October 29, 2007. Some domains are no longer available sine I made the original list, those are marked by an asterix(*). But there still are a few interesting ones available. I can see people want to use .bi, .bj (adult), .cd (music), .pr (public relations).

This is NOT a complete ccTLD list, as many countries require local residency or business registration in the country to register a domain in their zone. However, for some of those you may be able to find agencies that will register it for you through their partners in those countries (for higher price, of course). The list below includes a few of those, but most domains on the list can be registered by any individual or company. Also, a couple of ccTLDs I threw out as I couldn’t find registrars for them, and there could be some that I don’t know about (the original list was taken from Wikipedia).

So, here is the list of “sochi” domains as of October 27, 2007: Read the rest of this entry »

Try Mango – Learn Russian!

Multimedia, Other stories, Russia October 3rd, 2007

Recently a new free online audio language learning service was launched. It has yummy name and provides lessons for several popular languages, including Russian.  There are many websites online that teach Russian language, this one by far the best one I’ve seen. In fact I’m writing about it only because I was impressed with it so much! It’s simple, has clean and intuitive interface, the quality of learning material and quality of audio is great, there’s a lot of the materials, and it’s free!

The course is for the beginners, and if you ever flirted with the idea of learning some Russian head on to the and give it a shot. The sign up process is painless, it doesn’t require activation via email, and you don’t even need a password!

There are 100 lessons available, and all audio material is done by native speakers. The Russian course is Read the rest of this entry »

Google doodle 2014

Olympics 2014, Other stories October 2nd, 2007

This is old news, but I didn’t even know, that had logo to honour Sochi’s Olympic bid win… cool! : )

Google doodle Sochi 2014

Sochi real estate market forecast from the pro

Development, Other stories July 17th, 2007

«Real Estate Krasnodar» blog has a couple of new good articles on real estate in Sochi.
Visit it to read professional analysis and forecast of real estate market in Sochi, and find out new-built property prices.

Making money on Sochi’s success

Olympics 2014, Other stories, Sochi-Travel.Info July 12th, 2007

You probably have noticed I’ve added a couple more banners to the site. These are affiliate programs I’m trying out to see if they can make me rich :) So far they’ve been proven useless, but I’ll give it a few weeks try. Another way people make money on things like this (like new Olympics host city becomes known) is cybersquatting. I’ll admit, I bought a few domain names with Sochi in it, but don’t really like any of ‘em and don’t know what to do with them yet. I’ve never done anything like this before. Most likely I’ll release many of them next year.

Anyways, the reason I started talking about this is there are two domains are being sold on auction site:, with minimum bid of €2500 (and there’s one person bidding already), and, with minimum bid of …  €3 000 000. It’s very unlikely he’ll be able to sell it for anywhere close to this price, though.