Vladimir Putin visits Sochi in preparation for the Winter Olympics

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

Vladmir Putin went skiing this week at the Olympic pre-Games this week to test the slopes before the big event, though he did not the same slopes the Olympians will be using.

Putin, who has staked his personal reputation on making the Games a success, will be inspecting the facilities. "In the next days, the president will closely inspect the mountain and coastal sites and again verify the preparations made for the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games," a Sochi 2014 spokesman told CNN.

For visitors, Sochi, the site of this year’s games, might appear like a seaside vision, according to the Associated Press. At the tropical resort, palm trees are seen, but the Black Sea itself is bitterly cold.

Tourists planning to attend the games should be prepared. February is the most severe of the winter months in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Visitors to these cities should brace themselves for temperatures colder than anything they're likely to experience at the Winter Olympics.

A trip to Sochi can be a jumping-off point for exploring other parts of Russia, notably Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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