YOG Young Reporter Sonali Prasad’s top 10 things to do in Sochi - the host city for the Olympic Winter Games in 2014
1. Visit the Fisht Olympic Stadium: One of the most majestic venues, the “Fisht” Olympic Stadium is located in the Olympic Park so that the spectators have a magnificent view of both the mountain peaks in the north and the sea in the south. It will be used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
2. Try Solyanka soup: Solyanka is a delicacy prepared with cuts of meat, onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes and peppers. Those who like spicy food can get adjika (a spicy red sauce from the Caucasus) on the side.
3. Ski at Krasnaya Polyana: This ski resort offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the magnificent West Caucasus Mountains. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding on the magnificent slopes which will be home to the mountain cluster venues at the Sochi Olympic Games.
4. Visit the Dagomys Tea Plantation: Sochi is well-known for its tea production (the most famous local brand is Krasnodarskyi). At this tea-growing farm you will drink tea in a traditional Russian way—from the samovar—as well as sampling teas paired with Russian breads, nuts and locally baked pies.
5. Reconnect with nature at the Arboretum: Sochi's arboretum is home to more than 1,500 species of trees and shrubs. Meander through the gardens or take the cable car for a view of the beautiful Black Sea.
6. Take a dip at the Matsesta Springs: Meaning “fire water”, these sulphurous springs are responsible for Sochi's existence as a health resort since the early 1900s. Visit the contemporary bath complex for a soak and emerge pampered and restored.
7. Explore the Vorontsovka caves: This is one of the largest cave systems in the Caucasus. A trail into these mysterious caves will leave you marvelling at Sochi’s history and natural beauty.
8. Try Khachapuri: Khachapuri is a delicious traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread shaped in various ways – including boat shaped!
9. Enjoy an evening of music at the Festival Hall: Many of Russia’s top music acts play in Sochi and this massive hall, with its open front to the sea embankment below, plays host to many of them.
10. Go for a swim in the Black Sea: In a pure contrast to the snow-clad mountains, enjoy a dip in the Black Sea and experience one of the most picturesque seasides in Russia.