Take a careful look at the TABLE above. Notice the chairs, c/w blankets. Although not shown in the photo, a pianist was playing and well-dressed waitresses seemed to be everywhere. The atmosphere said it all! Imagine our reaction as we entered the outdoor patio and had our first glimpse of Russian Cuisine!! Water, Wine, Juices, Fresh Fruit, and an endless supply of Delicious Hors D’Ouvres & Aperitifs!! And please believe me, it only got better as the dinner progressed! Attractive young woman moved graciously to meet your every need, be it more wine or another serving of any of the multitude of dishes. (See pic to demonstrate my point!) To climax the dinner after some two hours of Great Russian Food mixed with Great Shuffleboard Conversation came the main course. Truthfully I believe most of us thought we had already had the main course. Pic on right is of the Head Chef, fluent in English, from Turkey; our tour guide, Alina and Ellina, the General Manager of Planeta Sochi, our host. This was our Arrival Dinner!! We paid nothing extra?? In one word it was WONDERFUL!!!
Quite frankly we were in awe! Quite frankly the dinner exceeded our wildest expectations!! Quite frankly it caused each one of us to rethink our traditional image of Russian Service and Russian Food. This same royal level of service continued throughout the week, although in fairness, the level of extravagance was not equaled until our closing banquet > another story!!
Jim and Beth Allen are at the head table with Alina our tour leader. Jim and Beth work endlessly to ensure the comfort and safety of each of us while keeping us informed of any programme changes or highlights.
The European Open was put together by the Hussmanns, & the Allens working with Russian Business Person Igor. Igor and Jim are in the pic on the right. Those of you who participated in the 32nd ISA in St Petersburg will undoubtedly remember IGOR; he wore the SAME WHITE SUIT in St Petersburg as he did in Sochi!!
NOTE: To see the Slide Show associated with this Arrival Dinner, click: http://photopeach.com/album/kbrsna If you have a friend who was in Sochi, why not share this link with them. Our Leaving Dinner was EVEN BETTER!!
Stan writing in Calabogie, ON on 2016 12 09.