A couple of days ago, I had a little time to spare before heading to Olympic Park. The Black Sea is only about a block away from the media village (now dubbed the "media gulag'' by Marriott-loyal American reporters), so I headed to the shore.

It's a lovely oceanfront, with a new paved walking and biking path, benches and streetlamps. The beach is rocky, with dark sand at the water's edge. A long line of fishermen had set up operations along a berm of the flat, smooth rocks, and on that 60-degree day, they were joined by several swimmers. Here's a picture of a couple of them; note the parka being carried by the one on the right.

One surprising find: just a short walk down the beach is the closed border between Russia and Abkhazia, a breakaway republic that is part of the country of Georgia. Though Abkhazia has friendly relations with Russia, the security worries surrounding the Sochi Games led Russian officials to tighten security at the border. This is what you run into.

Let's go back to the tranquil, pretty view. The fishermen, and the rocks:

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