Finally, time to reflect on a helter skelter trip to Sochi , quick practice, some sleep and then the opening game.
Our disrupted travel plans were due to a cancelled flight from Moscow to Sochi which entailed a night in the Ramada hotel in Moscow. Interesting…….that’s all to be said about that.
The following day our 10.30 flight became 11.30 by the time we got to the airport and then 12.30 by the time we actually took off! A two hour flight resulted in a late arrival but we have been looked after brilliantly by our own ‘girl ‘guide, Alina. A late practice session gave us our first taste of the arena ice – surprisingly slow and extremely swingy and we hoped it would be better for the game the next day. Hotel accommodation is good and the shuttle service put on by the Russian Federation certainly eases the movement around the area. Security is tight as always and the scanners immediately picked up David Hume’s stash of miniature Irish Whiskey – not before one had met its demise on the lobby floor in the hotel!! Food and sleep are never far from the minds of this team and fortunately there is a great buffet hall on the campus of the hotel!!
Game 1 saw us take on the might of Kazahkstan in the shape of Victor Kim and his cohorts. It was also our first taste of the new DSC rules: two stones in each Draw Shot; one clockwise and one anti clockwise. Suffice to say, the first up in our rota, DH and DW combined to give us a two stone score of only 34 cm which was the best of all of the games in that session. We started well with a 4 in the first end and that settled us into a steady game where we played to a pretty good standard running out 9-1 winners.
The opening ceremony followed included a fantastic display from some very talented young dancers and singers and the usual first stone this time delivered by the Mayor of Sochi.
The day ended inevitably with food…but not before Bill and Neil had taken in some of the sights of the Olympic Park
. Some of the buildings are spectacular and the addition of the sounds of cars racing all around you on the Formula 1 track adds a certain surreal nature.
That’s all folks; two games tomorrow so into battle in earnest…..