My Sochi Vacation Memories - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Araksya Karapetyan

My Sochi Vacation Memories

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The Sochi Olympics came and went. There was so much coverage leading up to the games- from the cost, to accommodations, to services, to security and of course the concern over a possible terrorist act.

The good news in all of this is of course nothing bad happened. I think everyone is feeling grateful for that fact…

If you watched last night's closing ceremony – you may have noticed it was a celebration of everything Russian- everything Russia has done and does well.

To be honest I didn't actually sit and watch any of the games. I just got the highlights everyday…I only watched the opening and the closing ceremonies- both of which I have to say I enjoyed.

The last time I was in Sochi was probably in the summer of 1985.

Sochi was a popular destination spot for Armenians during the Soviet Union. Many tourists would come to enjoy the Black Sea. In fact, Sochi wasn't just for the neighboring Soviet Republics- many British tourists would flood the resort as well.

I have been meaning to write a little about what I remember about Sochi during my visits as child. The trouble is I don't remember a whole lot…

But here is what I do remember:

I remember taking about an 18 hour train ride from Armenia to Sochi, which I highly enjoyed.

You could always fly- it was about an hour flight or you could also drive- that would take you about a day. The train was how my family preferred to travel.

I remember we would stay at the nicest hotel that was there in those days. Staying there as a tourist wasn't easy. You couldn't just make a reservation and show up. Usually it required lots of deals and negotiating to secure a spot.

The trip itself probably didn't cost as much as it did to pay people off!

I remember how I got sick of eating two types of soup everyday- borscht (beetroot is the main ingredient, combined with tomatoes, potatoes, and cabbage) or solyanka (a thick, spicy sour soup- with the main ingredient being either meat, fish, or mushroom. All contain pickled cucumbers with brine, often cabbage, sour cream and dill).

Once in a while chicken noodle soup was thrown into the mix.

(As a side note, and a bit of subject, my grandma makes the most delicious borscht! Hers I never get tired of eating)

I remember long hot days in the sun… and how swimming in the Black Sea was like swimming in a giant pool – no waves to compete with.

I remember warm summer nights…watching famous Russian singers perform at outdoor concert venues. I also remember having a shaved head- how could I forget that after all? It was common for little girls and boys to have their heads shaved during the summer.

Part of the reason was to keep cool in the heat and to have thick hair- now let me just say I don't exactly think that's accurate. Considering the fact I would have thick hair as an Armenian no matter what!

I hated it… I looked like a little boy… especially since little girl's didn't really have proper bathing suits back then either! I sometimes have flashbacks… to those warm summer days.

Of the cabin on the train…playing in the sand…the salty water…clapping excitedly after a performance… chocolate ice cream… a putting a bowl of soup up to my mouth and drinking to the very last drop… speaking Russian fluently (without an accent.)

Snippets of memories…

I don't remember Sochi very well as you can see… but the little that I do remember, always brings a smile to my face… and I know the times we spent there were good times.  

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