With the opening ceremony fast approaching, it's safe to say the road to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia hasn't been the smoothest in Olympic history.
We mean that quite literally: there are still unpaved roads in and around the Olympic Village and Park, according to journalists stationed to cover the upcoming games.
Nicknamed the 'Russian Riviera' for its mild climate and location next to the Black Sea, Sochi has a history as a resort town — but has never hosted an event on such an international scale. That may be why Russia has poured over 51 billion dollars into funding the project, making it the most expensive Olympic games ever, the Washington Post reports.
Russia hasn't exactly had the easiest time setting up, either, with the international backlash it's faced for its laws against the LGBT community, controversial policy on killing stray dogs, and security threats from insurgents in nearby regions.
Construction for the athletes' quarters has long finished, but the hotels set aside for members of the media are a different story. Roughly 97 per cent of the hotel construction is finished, according to Business Insider, but photos posted on Twitter over the last few days suggest that the term "finished" might mean something different in Sochi. Here are some of the highlights:
The bartering system is still alive and well in Sochi.
To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for a door handle. This offer is real: pic.twitter.com/7AeesqDi8Y— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) February 4, 2014
And we know just the guy...
Ok, doorknob karma. My apologies, Sochi. pic.twitter.com/OBV8cR3uDA— Barry Petchesky (@barryap1) February 4, 2014
...Just don't expect to score any trades with light fixtures.
Water is a scare commodity.
My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, "do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous." #Sochi2014— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
Well, clean water is a scare commodity.
Gin, however, seems to be plentiful.
Toilets are a bit complicated...
People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... THIS. pic.twitter.com/1jj05FNdCP— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2014
...Okay, make that very complicated.
C'mon, it's like you're not even trying!
Maybe they were too busy installing the curtains.
But hey, at least they've got their priorities in order, right?
On the bright side, we hear the washrooms are very safe.
Access to wireless internet has also been an issue, and when it isn't, well:
And that's assuming there's still power in your room.
But remember, Rome wasn't built in a day — and neither was this hotel gym.
Spa and fitness center at Gorki Grand hotel...you get in shape by putting it together? pic.twitter.com/jqqOCP9Wt5— Chris Dufresne (@DufresneLATimes) February 5, 2014
Or this bedroom, for that matter.
Już wiem co się może dziać z moim pokojem ;) pic.twitter.com/Vx0JZ1O0F1— Kamil Wolnicki (@KamilWolnicki) February 5, 2014
The situation wasn't much better for construction workers like Johnnie Balfour, a snowboard and ski cross course builder. In January, the Vancouver resident railed against the living conditions he faced while working in Sochi before packing up and heading home early.
In his blog, Balfour said his bathroom had no hot water, the toilet flushed muddy water, and the water was brown and undrinkable. Sounds kind of familiar, no?
With Files From Jesse Ferreras
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