Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Welcome to Russia

After my less than average performance at the World Cup in Germany last week, we traveled to Switzerland for the Europa Cup Ski Cross event in Davos. It was a good opportunity to get my confidence back before coming to Russia for the next World Cup. The training day as well as the first of the two Europa Cups was cancelled due to weather. The sun finally came out on day three, making for a great race. In a deep field including numerous World Cup girls, I qualified in 4th and ended up finishing in 5th, just missing out of the big final but winning the small finals heat. Great to get some more head-to-head action and brush off Germany's misfortune.

On Sunday morning we flew to Sochi with a short but sweet stop over in Istanbul, Turkey. We made the most of the 8 hour layover by visiting the Blue Mosque, as well as Istanbul's hot spot Taksim Square. A bit of an adventure and definitely a place I would like to visit again sometime in the future.

Now to the part of the season that I have been looking forward to for some time now! Sochi, Russia. The location of the 2014 Winter Olympics. We are here this year for an Olympic test event; basically a trial to make sure things run smoothly next year. It seems that the entire city is under construction; new apartments, hotels, roads, footpaths... plenty of work to be completed in the next 12 months, but none-the-less an exciting and vibrant city. A world away from home and other parts of the world that I am familiar with.

Tomorrow we will leave the city and drive a couple of hours to Rosa Khutor, the mountain where the Freestyle Olympic events will be held. I'm looking forward to checking out the course, and seeing what's in store for the big event next year!

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul.

Local cuisine in Istanbul. How a real kebab is done.

Mama making the flat bread.

Turkish delight heaven. Couldn't resist....

Spice market in the Bazaar.

Anton Grimus making a musical appearance at a local bar in Istanbul.

Sochi under construction.

One of many new hotels under construction in the city.

If you're looking for a good coffee in Sochi, make your way to Jet Bar. These two lived in Sydney for 8 years, and have brought their barista skills back to Russia.