7. It might not be vodka in that shot glass
Russia's toasting rules are complicated.
What, or whom, to toast changes with each clink, but one constant remains: vodka.
In Sochi, however, vodka is often swapped for its fruitier Caucasian counterpart, chacha, a Georgian pomace brandy, often distilled like moonshine (so if you aim to taste, you're advised to look for safer, bottled varieties).
Similar to Italian grappa, chacha takes on the flavor of the grape skins and walnut shells often infused with the liquor.
Georgian lore claims chacha has healing qualities, easing earaches and indigestion.
Just like vodka.
8. The cuisine may be Armenian and Georgian
Sochi, which underwent multi-ethnic colonization in the 19th century, may technically be all-Russian now, but its food remains diverse.
With Armenians accounting for 20 percent of the city's population, and close proximity to Georgia, Sochi offers an impressive sampling of cuisine beyond the dill and sour cream of traditional Russian fare.
You'll find authentic Armenian at kitschy Amshensky Dvor (Krasnoflotskaya ul. 15, Adler District; +7 (862) 295 51 21; open daily, year round) part of the largest private museum of Caucasian artifacts and history. Chefs make wood-fired lavash bread and clay-pot stews.
A Georgian favorite is Ne Goryuy (Riversky per. 6-? Sochi Khostinsky District; +7 (918) 406 41 04; open daily, rear round), known for its chakhokhbili -- chicken in garlic sauce -- and its quiet location off the seashore.
9. Sochi overlaps with a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Olympics visitors can enter the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that partially overlaps with Sochi National Park in the Western Caucasus.
The Yew and Boxwood grove -- the biosphere spot most easily accessible from Sochi -- features 1,000-year-old trees and plant relics from prehistoric times.
One of the largest protected areas in Europe, the preserve has around 30 endemic mammals including the Caucasian bison and the Persian leopard, currently being reintroduced to the region and also a mascot for the Sochi Olympics.
Yew and Box Grove, Khosta District; +7 (862) 262 16 42; open daily, year round