The months leading up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi has not been easy for Russia. The country, which is hosting what is believed to be the most expensive Winter Olympics, has come under sharp criticism from the international community for its anti-gay laws. Repeated bomb threats haven't helped matters much.
But, amidst these hurdles too, Sochi has provided its visitors with a number of interesting, and at times wacky, sights. Here is a collection of some of the best photographs.
A two-toilet double stall is seen in the lobby of a media hotel as preparations continue for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. (Reuters)
While Sochi's twin toilets are curious enough, Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant recently uploaded yet another picture of a chart showing some of Sochi's bizzare toilet rules.
In additon to certain hygiene tips, one rule on the chart instructs people to refrain from fishing in the toilet. Check out Toutant's tweet along with the rule chart below.
A man looks at a residential house that started leaning after a tunnel collapse in the Russia
n Black sea resort of Sochi March 4, 2013. The house, unoccupied at the time, began leaning after a tunnel on a nearby road construction project fell in on Monday, according to local news reports. (Reuters)
Sochi is abuzz with construction activities even as athletes prepare for the first full day of competition on Saturday. It is believed that Russian President spent nearly $45 billion to host the most expensive winter Olympics yet.
A combination of two pictures shows the development of construction within the last eleven months in the village of Krasnaya Polyana near Sochi, January 30, 2014. Picture on the left was taken in February 2013. (Reuters)
But despite all the preparations, very few international tourists have arrived at Sochi for the Winter Olympics. Threats of explosion and lack of proper facilities in hotels, such as unheated rooms, are believed to have put off international tourists.
A photographer puts a python on a sunbather for a snapshot on a beach outside Russia's Black Sea city of Sochi September 23, 2010. Photographing with exotic animals such as snakes, parrots, monkeys and alligators is popular among holiday-makers at the Black Sea coast of Russia. (Reuters)
A general view of the accommodation at the athletes village in Rosa Khutor as preparations continue for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 1, 2014. (Reuters)
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