Culture & Entertainment

10 curious facts about Sochi

By: Doug O'Neill
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

10 curious facts about Sochi

By: Doug O'Neill
10 things you probably didn't know about Sochi! When London was announced as host of the 2012 Summer Olympics, no one raised an eyebrow in wonder. London, the world's most visited city, got it. Vancouver scoring the 2010 Winter Games drew nary a puzzled look. Mountains, a sporty, outdoorsy culture. Makes sense.  When Russia was named the host city for the 2014 Winter Games, the immediate refrain seemed to be: "Where's Sochi?"  Here's a quick primer to Sochi. (A gold medal to anyone who knew all of these already.)   Sochi
  1. Greater Sochi is long. The Russian city stretches 145 kilometres along the Black Sea, which means it's the second-longest city in the world after Mexico City. (Not that size matters.)
  2.  The train journey from Moscow to Sochi takes a whopping 37 hours. The two cities are about 1,600 kilometres apart. (Pack a good lunch.)
  3.  Sochi is on the same latitude as Toronto. Because Sochi looks so much like a Mediterranean city, it's often called the Russian Riviera.Sochi
  4. Sochi is blessed with a subtropical climate. It gets about 200 sunny days annually. (Bring it on.)
  5. More than 2,000,000 tourists head to  Sochi each year, many of them making a bee-line for the 250 spa facilities.
  6.  Sochi is home to Russia's largest salt water aquarium.
  7.  Sochi wasn't designated an official town until 1917.
  8. Sochi enjoys what is called the "velvet season" in the fall, when the water is warm but the crowds have mostly departed.
  9. The Dagomys Tea Plantation in Sochi is one of the most northerly tea plantations in the entire world. (Only in Russia you say, pity.)
  10. There are no gay people in Sochi. Not one!  Fancy that. According to the mayor of Sochi, not a single one of the 400,000 citizens in Sochi is gay. What can I say? It must be something in the water.
Happy 2014 Winter Olympics!   For more did-you-know facts about Sochi, check out our  Canadian Living Guide to the Winter Olympics.
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10 curious facts about Sochi

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