The Green Grove - Uncle Joe's Cabin

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July 21st 2012
Published: July 21st 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

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
Entry CourtyardEntry CourtyardEntry Courtyard

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 Marshrutkiy 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
Stalin's PoolStalin's PoolStalin's Pool

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 marshrutka 105 will also get you there.

Зелёная Роща (Zelyonaya Roshcha, a.k.a, Green Grove) Take any marshrutka 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.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Peacock Mosaic in the Pool RoomPeacock Mosaic in the Pool Room
Peacock Mosaic in the Pool Room

Not many people were aware of Little Joey's artistic, sensitive side.
Ascending to the Second Floor Ascending to the Second Floor
Ascending to the Second Floor

Stairs were also smaller than normal.
Conference RoomConference Room
Conference Room

All that oppression required serious planning.
Stalin's OfficeStalin's Office
Stalin's Office

Original desk and phone. Phone was necessary to satisfy Joe's frequent late night cravings for spicy Kung Pao chicken.
Stalin's Bed, Sofa, and Chic Overcoat - All OriginalStalin's Bed, Sofa, and Chic Overcoat - All Original
Stalin's Bed, Sofa, and Chic Overcoat - All Original

All those dictatorial, state matters after persecuting millions often made Joe sleepy. Sofa was also lower than normal.
One Big Happy Authoritarian's FamilyOne Big Happy Authoritarian's Family
One Big Happy Authoritarian's Family

Top left photo was his wife. Top right his daughter (died just last year) and granddaughter (lives in USA).
Billiard RoomBilliard Room
Billiard Room

Playing pool with the cue of one of the world's most notorious tyrants. Oddly kind of cool...
Stalin's Profile in the Concrete Balcony SupportStalin's Profile in the Concrete Balcony Support
Stalin's Profile in the Concrete Balcony Support

Probably to give the impression that Big Brother is watching.
Stalin's Last MealStalin's Last Meal
Stalin's Last Meal

Actually the dacha is now a functioning sanatorium and this was lunch for the guests to which I was not invited.

21st July 2012

Cool. I think that I would find this place interesting. Enjoy your time on the Black Sea. Summer is still acting a little tentative in the PNW. Maybe August...
22nd July 2012

You could stay there as a guest. Maybe then you could take the elevator and tunnel to the beach.

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