Destination Sochi – The Russian Riviera

By Shereen Shabnam

When looking for total relaxation, authentic local culture around every corner, unique natural surroundings, vibrant beaches, warm sunny days, and a bustling nightlife, Sochi is the ultimate destination as it attracts tourists from all over the world, including celebrities and the political elite of the country.

Visitors to Sochi can experience first-hand the charm and liveliness of the summer capital of Russia. Also known as the ‘Russian Riviera’, Sochi, is located along the 150 km strip between the Main Caucasus Mountain Range and the Black Sea coastline.

Sochi is undoubtedly Russia’s largest and busiest destination with sea resorts, glorious sunsetsand a picturesque mountainous coastline.Our first day in Sochi took us to Gorky Gorod Mountain Resort in the famous Krasnaya Polyana with breath taking scenic landscape.

While exploring the area, we saw signs of the infrastructure that supported the 2014 Olympics all over the mountainous ski resort from the cable cars, sightseeing areas and ski slope routes.

There are many layers of attractions in Sochi. The “Lower” and “Upper” levels of the city is connected by road and cable cars for visitors to see the sublime views and experience the local cuisine and entertainment in restaurants, cafes, shops, entertainment centers and indoor water Parks.

For wellness tourists, there are also spas, indoor and outdoor pools, gyms and beauty salons. It is the ultimate place for rest and relaxation as well as for pampering the body and soul.

On the second day, we went up the Rosa Khutor Mountain Resort on a cable car, visited the Mountain Olympic Village at 1170m above sea level and went further up to Rosa Pick at 2320m above sea level. The fresh breeze in the Caucasus mountains was memorable.

Rosa Khutor and its surrounding region are truly unique. Stroll down the Mzymta River promenade and watch the sunset after a day of skiing and recreation. In the summer, a walk along the markets, the mall and the cafes is pure delight.

A culinary journey in Sochi is a must. Every restaurant we ate at was purely delightful but the highlight of the second evening was an exquisite dinner at Brunello.Every course was delectable and the presentation was work of art.

The Caucasus region has a rich variety of seasonings and herbs and combined with the creativity of local chefs, and hence, Sochi offers some of the best cuisines in the culinary world. The fresh meat dishes and the salads are a must to have at meals.

To inject a bit of adventure into our trip, we also visited the SKYPARK AJ Hackett Sochi for some adrenaline driven altitude attractions.  Here we had a chance to do bungee jumping and tried the world’s largest swing and zip lining.

We also enjoyed walking along the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, stretching 439 m. From the mountain, we had panoramic views of the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.

Most of the visitors in our group also enjoyed the Olympic Park. For me, best part was the visit to the Sochi Autodrom, a 5.848 km F1 permanent race track in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi.The circuit runs around the Sochi Olympic Park and the inaugural World Championship Russian Grand Prix took place there in 2014.

Sochi for me is worth a second visit as I wish I had more time to visit the Museum of sports and retro cars with a collection of 70 rare cars from all over the world including an authentic Formula 1 car. That alone is an attraction I can be in for an entire day.

We also ventured out to Sochi Grand Marina for afternoon tea. The harbor hosts up to 300 yachts, including superyachts up to 140 meters in length, with specialized facilities for different types of vessels. The Marina’s surroundings offer local authentic gastronomy, shopping as well as other cultural traditions. In the nearby area is a lovely promenade for walks.

A visit to Sochi is certainly a must to enjoy extreme adventures, discover splendid sea beaches as well as a wide range of leisure, culture, and gastronomy in one location.

Musician, Zakir (Zak Zorro) releases debut album from UAE

Zakir Hussain image

To mark his global debut, Zakir (Zak Zorro), known for his powerful vocal abilities will be bringing his unique fusion of songs to music lovers around the world in different genres, Pop, Rock, Hip-hop, Rap, Trap, RNB, Blues, Jazz, Sufi, Qawwali and Ghazals etc.

All the songs are written and produced in Dubai UAE. The Debut rock song is Taqdeeron ke Khilonay for which the music video will be released on 1st April 2020 followed by six songs from Zakir’s Fusion album. In his music video, Zak’s charisma and presence is established with dynamic choreography and storyline inspired by real facts of life that everyone can relate to.

Speaking of his musical journey, Zakir said, “My passion for music began from childhood and I started singing four years ago with Urdu and Hindi poetry which then evolved into songs. I dedicated lot of time for voice training in Hindustani Music and Western music by different vocal trainers. After over 3000 hours of vocal training, I worked with several different music composers producing different genres of music and found a unique style that worked for me. Every song has a unique story and mood in the lyrics.”

Zak Zorro also established Audio studio for himself and other upcoming artist providing a platform to individuals who needs guideline in their passion in music industry with professional equipment for sound, audio and videography.

“With the support of my brainchild studio, Icon Art Production and the talented production team, we worked on the initial videos and then there was no looking back,” said Zakir.

Music lovers can enjoy Zak Zorro Poetry and Music videos on YouTube channel