Monday, 24 February 2014

Spotlight on Sochi transportation

Night View of Sochi During Olympics
Incredible picture of Sochi taken on February 10, 2014 - during the Olympic games

One of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station downlinked this vertical 600mm night view of Sochi, Russia, which clearly shows the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics while they are just a few days under way. Fisht Stadium where the Opening Ceremonies were held on Feb. 7 is easily recognizable as the bright circular structure.

Photo credit: NASA (click photo for full information)
With all eyes on Sochi. we thought we'd share a bit more on Sochi Airport and transportation in the region. Afterall, the region will be the centre of attention in a few weeks with the start of the Paralympics. If you missed it, check out our recent blog post: Getting to/from Sochi Airport... with a little luck ☘

Takeoff of Russian TU-154 airplane from Sochi international airport.(2007)
We love the photo above, even though it is not recent. It's just a great planespotting moment, with the Sochi area as it "was".

For a much more recent perspective, check out this incredible satellite image from NASA, taken in 2013, as Sochi's expanded infrastructure was nearing completion:

Sochi, Russia 2014
Interesting view of Sochi Airport!

2013 image of Adler and the newly created Olympic Coastal Cluster.

This false color satellite image reveals a largely agricultural area that was transformed into the
Coastal Olympic Cluster with the nearby Olympic Village and Rail Station with transport to
the Mountain Cluster. A spanking new breakwater structure was installed to create a harbor
for cruise ships. The airport also received an expansion to handle the increased traffic.

Caption and image provided by Tim Assal, US Geological Survey – Fort Collins Science Center
Credit: NASA/Landsat (click photo for full information)

The following images were all found using a Creative Commons search using either "Sochi" or "Сочи". Can't say we know exactly what the story is behind each image (some have captions in Russian!), but they all have something to do with Sochi and transportation.
Russian "Air Force One"
Putin's plane, at Sochi Airport in 2012

Sochi Olympics Adler 13
Church at Sochi Airport

Samsung Electronics' Cruise Side Ad Wrap for Sochi Olympic Games
Sponsor ad-wrap on cruise ship in Sochi port during the Olympics

Samsung Electronics' Billboards for Sochi Olympic Games
More sponsorship ads... and a Sochi bus!!

Atos - at the Winter Olympic Games - Olympic Park- Sochi Adventure park hotel
Check out the blimp
And, finally, a few Sochi Airport tweets....

Notice the missing gold? This was pre-games...



And a little bonus....

Sochi railroad terminal clock
Clock in Sochi train terminal, taken in 2007 (still there?)

Thursday, 6 February 2014

2013 Taxi Stories: The GOOD, BAD & UGLY

We're not far into the new year, so we are still reflecting on some of the more interesting taxi stories in the last year...


Hamar, Norway
You're in a taxi in Norway... driven by the Prime Minister?

One of the coolest stories to emerge last year was when Norway's Prime Minister,
Jens Stoltenberg, donned a taxi driver's uniform and got behind the wheel of a taxi
in Oslo, to find out what his constituents really think. Read the story here.
The BAD:

What's inside this ambulance in Moscow? A heart attack victim or leather couches and caviar?

It's so hard to get through the streets in Moscow that a new mode of
transport has emerged, as described in this story that emerged in 2013:
'Sick' in style: Meet the new Russian ambulance luxury taxi.
Read the full story here.

Really, what's the worst that can happen if you accept a ride from a driver in a Chicago airport?

In 2013, Chicago hatched one of the worst taxi scam stories we've seen. Not only for how deep it gouged, but for how heartless it was. Here's how it went down: a Chinese student, speaking little English, lands at Chicago O'Hare Airport, and is approached by a taxi driver... Read the full story here.

A few other notable taxi stories from 2013:

Read these posts in our Smart Travel Advice series:
In case you have missed it, please read our post: Do We Really Hate Taxis?