Arboretum and Dolphinarium – something fishy in Sochi

4/11/2009 – The Russian Team Championships were exciting and yielded five big reports, mainly with portraits of chess players. But the southern city of Dagomys is not just about chess. On the free days players and journalists were able to visit the world famous Arboretum and a Doplhinarium that features painting Beluga whales. Irina Sudakova and Elena Mikheeva sent us this beautiful pictorial report.

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Arboretum Park

Sochi Arboretum is a world-known museum of nature and one of the best parks of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. It was founded in 1892 by the publisher and editor of the "Petersburg Newspaper", Sergey Nikolaevich Khudekov. The park has a unique collection of rare plants, numbering 1800 species and forms of arboreal and shrubby plants, brought from all the corners of our planet: Algerian cork oak, Australian eucalyptus, nakvala, cypress, Japanese cherry tree sakura, a lot of coniferous trees, an evergreen plant with feather-like leaves called false sago palm and many others. The park also has a rose-garden with a collection of roses of this country and international selections. The roses in the rose garden are in bloom since the early spring and till late in autumn. There are many species of fauna in the park.


The entrance to the Arboretum Park ("Dendrariy" in Russian)

The beauty of this nature nook is emphasized with minor architectural forms united into architectural complexes which help to create unique decorative imagery and the atmosphere of psychological comfort. Here there is peace and beauty, luxury of nature and the fragrance of flowers. The “Arboretum” consists of two parts – lower part which is flat and upper part which is situated on the mountain slope – which are connected by a ropeway and a tunnel.


The botanical garden with 1800 species of plants from all over the world


The main stairway of the park


The famous Mauritian pavilion


Your reporter Elena Mikheeva in the Arboretum Park


A denizen of the park – it Russian it is known as a "True Otter"


A sakura (Japanese cherry) tree in full bloom

The Dolphinarium – something fishy in Sochi

Well, not really "fishy". Everybody knows that dolphins are marine mammals, even if their flesh is sometimes sold in tuna fish cans. And of course white Belugas have evolved from cows (actually they are descendants of land-living even-toed ungulate animals, as are cows). Both are to be found in the Sochi Dolphinarium, which our photographers visited on a free day.


Dolphins, amongst the most intelligent animals on earth, are willing performers


The elegant leap out of the water is the trademark of these playful creatures


And jump they can, to prodigious heights


Coach Inga with the dolphins Botsman ("boatswain") and Vika. The third smaller dolphin in the water is their son Kubik, who is still learning the skills and not yet performing. But he is always there when it is time to get some fish.


These are white Beluga whales, also know as Sea Canaries, because of their high-pitched twitter


Coach Sergey coxes more than two tons of whale out of the water


The Belugas are glad to take Sergey for a ride


These whales actually paint pictures, which are then sold in auctions.


Another performer at the Delphinarium: sea-lion Timofei, 1500 kilos, 18 years old


Timofei playing volleyball with his coach Andrey


Our photographer WGM Irina Sudakova with her daughter Oksana at the Delphinarium

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