Hello from the Olympic Games in Sochi! Please forgive typos in this because I’m speed-typing to reduce the cost of this eye-wateringly expensive Internet cafe.
So, I got here after a lengthy old journey. A nice Russian couple taught me some of the language on the flight from Moscow to Sochi, so with 6 entire words in my vocabulary, I feel fully qualified to navigate the games. Upon getting out of the airport, I opened the door to be greeted by cheers from a line of people either side of me yelling “Welcome to Sochi!” One shook my hand and put a can of cola in my other. Not a bad welcome.
Finding my hotel (i.e. the ship) was perhaps the most difficult part so far. Sure, “head to the sea” is good advice, and the Black Sea is pretty big, but there’s definitely no straightforward way of getting there. Still, found it I did.
It’s about 3 hours from the ship to the cross country skiing and biathlon events over in Krasnaya Polyana via a series of walks, one train and a couple of cable car (read ski lift) rides. Some have said that the security slows things down, and I guess it does a little, but it’s very smooth once you know the routine. The trains are regular and on-the-dot too. Every time I’ve needed one, I’ve walked straight onto it (after metal detectors, etc).
No update yesterday because I slept 13 hours straight after finding my room. Not apologising for that. Tomorrow is a packed one with the men’s cross country ski relay, and a biathlon on the evening. I missed something…Oh yes, the games!
The women’s cross country ski relay today was epic! I thought Finland had it right from the third changeover but great tactics by the Swedish at the end. The crowd were all very supportive and everyone wanted a photo with the guy holding the British flag. I’ll assume it’s good looks and an approachable demeanor. Not that they’ve seen no other British flags around…
Hungry and sleepy now. Watch more sport.