As thousands of tourists come to Sochi from around the world, Russian organisers hope the city will benefit from being in the spotlight.
Organisers say that almost a third of tickets to the Olympic events were bought by non-Russians. It’s the moment of truth for a city aspiring to become Russia’s first choice holiday destination after its Olympic transformation.
While just 50 kilometres away there are snow covered mountains, Sochi itself is a seaside resort with a subtropical climate, something that’s come as a surprise to many visitors.
One woman visiting from Scotland said: “It is very strange – it seems a bit odd to be looking at palm trees and blue skies, and not wearing a coat, and then tomorrow we’re going up to the mountains, and we’ll be in the snow. So yeah, it seems very strange!”
Security has been the main concern after Islamic militants threatened to derail the Winter Games. Railway stations are only accessible through security zones where passengers face an airport-li