I find myself posting this from the MPC at the Sochi Winter Olympic games park, situated in the town called Adler, in the Krasnodar Krai region, Russia. The temperature is around 6°C, which is decidedly balmy compared to hustling on the runway in -26° as we boarded our transfer in Moscow. Speaking of transfers, I wore the rather luxe rapha merino transfer pants, and couldn't have been more comfier during the 20 hours or so spent in transit.
So, whats this place like? well, if im honest, its in a rather 'unfinished' state. Construction in the area seems to be very much in progress, with a lot of the buildings and sites probably best described as 68% complete.
Wild dogs tend to roam around the joint, situating themselves everywhere from outside the hotel, to waiting along with the media at the shuttle bus-stops.
Cash is king in this part of the world. In fact if you even attempt to broach the subject of card-based payment you will be met with a look akin to as if you had burst into someone's house and smacked their grandma in the chops. Roubles are obligatory, and its nice to carry around notes with 1000 on them, feeling like a king.
Our hotel or 'compound' looks a little like a low security prison, with checkpoints to egress in & out of site. Its about 3km from the Georgian border which is quite mental, and I look out of my windows to a beautiful Georgian mountain range which looks amazing on a clear day. So far its been super rainy and cloudy.. think Manchester in February and your not far off the Adler eco-system.
Food is 'interesting'. Mainly being meat and veg, but not the kind of meat we are accustomed to in the west, its a bit anything goes... the canteen served and ominous concoction called 'beef chicken'. Dried fish is a big thing, and a colleague at what she described as a "greasy meat filled croissant". Needless to say iv skipped brekkie thus far. On the list to get stuck into is Borscht, which my new Russian-savvy pal Harry Engels has recommended I try. Check out his blog & twitter for some cool Sochi updates.
There's not much in actual way to update regarding images, as the games don't actually start for a few days yet. We are doing lots of prepping, ensuring venues can spool content in to the media centre ops crew, and sharking for alternatives to mcdonalds to eat for the next month. Im running a little bit for the commute as I cant handle waiting in the cold for a packed out media bus! keeping the legs sharp as well as the mind hopefully on this trip...