Saturday, 15 February 2014

Wine tasting in a forest with 12 Russians? Welcome to Saturday in Sochi!

Saturday was a day off -i.e. no Olympics event to attend :( after another lie-in - I'm on holidays after and another filling breakfast (it's unlimited!), I headed to book an excursion through my hotel. As per many other places, they did not speak a word of English, but thanks to my basic Russian, some pointing and some pictures, I managed to understand and book an excursion to Ахун.
Which basically means that I was going somewhere that was hilly. But where and what to see, I did not have a clue. The clue wasn't given when the booking lady took me to the bus stop and and told me I would be the only foreigner in the group and told the other 2 guys at that stop "she's French and she doesn't speak Russian, please look after her"! Which led me to have my picture taken with those two guys from Siberia as I was "the first person from France they had seen in their life". So if you ever go to Siberia, look for a picture of me!
And nobody spoke a word of English in the bus either! So here I was in a mini-bus full of Russians (they were lovely don't get me wrong), and the guide wouldn't stop talking either! But there was nice things to see on the way and we stopped at Аргунское ущелье to see a 'waterfall'. The walk up to there was quite nice (you can't beat 18 degrees, blue sky and sun in February!)
Vassili our guide
The good thing about not knowing what was happening is the total surprise that came from having a wine tasting in a dacha in the middle of the forest! Wine, red and liquor! Along with a 30 min explanation on how to make wine, en russe dans le texte! The other surprise is that the wine was quite good!
Wine tasting place
Wine tasting guy
We then left on very small roads to go up to Ахун. Up there there was a mini castle with 360 views on the mountains and the coast. What I was not expecting at the top of the hill was a Ferris Wheel!
Old style tea maker
And just like that the excursion was over! I was back in time to the seaside to see the sunset!
Tomorrow we're back to the Olympic Park for more figure skating! The Short Dance should give us a good idea on the final result and whether L'Equipe scoop on a USA-Russia alliance stands!

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