Published: July 21st 2012July 21st 2012
That would be Joseph Stalin's dacha
(term used very loosely as most dachi
are way, way smaller compared to Uncle Joe's) near Sochi's coast that I toured today. Interesting place set several hundered thickly wooded feet above the Black Sea and totally painted green to blend in with the surrounding environment. There is puportedly an elevator and tunnel to the Black Sea but that was sadly not included with the 300p. tour price. Bummer.
Couple more days along the Black Sea then Monday night flying to Yerevan, Armenia via Moscow. There does exist a short, direct one hour flight on one of the Baby-Flots but my flight on S7 was purchased for a mere $25 and 10,000 American Airlines frequent flier miles. Cha-ching! I've already flown on S7 twice and was impressed by the service but their hub in Domodyedovo is a madhouse. A couple of weeks from now I'll be on the Black Sea again in Batumi, Georgia then Trabzon, Sinop, and Amasra all in Turkey. Accommodation and food
Last year at the Adler train station a taxi driver latched onto me in my hungover state and drove me to his acquaintance's pension where I stayed for 4
Yes, palm trees exist in Russia.
days before flying to Eastern Turkey. This year I opted to walk to the place because the traffic around the train station was awful owing to the pre-Olympic construction. I arrived about 40 minutes later in a puddle of sweat. Room is 1500p. with a share bathroom, A/C (muy importante
), laundry, and cable TV (all in Russian but I still watched Highlander II - saw it 20 years ago, still really lame). The key element at Luda's is the swimming pool to take the edge off the humidity and extreme heat (today 32°C). Stolovayas abound in Adler, more so than any other place I've visited in Russia. After Uncle Joe's cottage I went to Sochi for something different and found a great Uzbekh cafe called Колибри (Colibri - hummingbird, same in Spanish, interesting) where soup, beans, chicken, amazing bread or lavash
, and a half liter of ice cold Бойчик (boychik) beer was 350p. Transport
Marshrut every few minutes along Lenin Street (the main highway) between Sochi, Adler, the airport, and train stations. Fares range from 15-44p. depending on the distance. Also now a high speed train from Sochi to the airport via Adler for 50p. but only 4 times
He wasn't very tall so the pool's maximum depth is ~5 feet. Guessing he suffered significant shrinkage during those infamous Russian winters.
a day in either direction. Bus or marshrut 105 will also get you there. Зелёная Роща (Zelyonaya Roshcha, a.k.a, Green Grove)
Take any marshrut between Sochi and Adler and get off at the stop of the same name. Long, sweaty walk through the pine forest past some noveau riche Russian oligarchs dachi. 300p. tour fee. My private tour was in Russian but if you call ahead you may be able to latch on to an English tour.
There are more photos below