Sochi: Building a City for the Olympics

To view more photos and videos from Sochi, browse the #Sochi2014 hashtag, explore the Сочи / Sochi, Sochi, Морской Порт / Sochi seaport, Олимпийский парк / Sochi Olympic Park and Горнолыжный Центр - Роза Хутор | Rosa Khutor - Alpine Center location pages on Instagram

"Two years ago, I came here and I remember these small, old two-story houses and this tiny airport," recalls Russian Instagrammer Julia Mikhaleva (@myatna). “As I was flying into Sochi for the Winter Olympics, I looked out of the window and all I could see were lights upon lights coming from this big city.”

Julia is one of many Russians who have been amazed (“and pleasantly surprised,” she adds) by the rapid transformation of Sochi to prepare the city for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sitting on Russia’s southernmost coast looking out onto the Black Sea, the resort town was a popular holiday destination for its warmer climate and proximity to alpine ski slopes. A train line now connects brand new venues at the “coastal cluster” and “mountain cluster” for the 2014 Olympic events.

The successful bid to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi also led to the construction of new buildings, a new road infrastructure, an expanded airport and hotels. Sochi’s metamorphosis is also expected to turn the city into a popular ski resort for locals and tourists after the Games.