At least four generations of Russians associate Sochi with the warm sea. And that is right!
The history of Sochi is inherently linked with ancient times. The ancient Greeks regarded the Black Sea as an inhospitable place because of the bloodthirsty Achaei, Zygii, and Heniochi tribes who not only inhabited the coast from Tuapse to Abkahazia in the 9th Century BCE, but also engaged in piracy and the slave trade. Millennia have passed since then, but the legends that arose during that age continue to this day. Make yourself comfortable as we embark upon a mysterious voyage back through the ages. The legend of Prometheus In ancient times, people lived in cold, uncomfortable caves, hunted with stones and clubs, ate raw meat and were ignorant of fire. Meanwhile, on Mount Olympus, home of the Greek Gods, life was vibrant, full of passions and intrigue. One day, Prometheus, King of the Scythians, decided to better the lives of the common people. He presented them with a spark from the sacred fire of Olympus. The gift sparked the desire for work and creativity in their hearts, and they pursued art and mastered crafts. Zeus was furious and would not forgive Prometheus for his betrayal. He chained him to a rock in a distant mountain land, where a fierce eagle tore open his chest and pecked out his liver every day. Agura, a local beauty, learned of Prometheus’ torment. Every day, she went to him, giving him spring water, feeding him bread, and singing him songs. Then one day, the fierce eagle saw her. It lifted the girl into the air and threw her violently into a gorge. Striking the ground, Agura transformed into a river. The legend of Matsesta Long ago, where the Matsesta health resort now stands, there was a spring with healing waters that could cure any ailment. The local people eagerly used these sacred waters, sacrificing their most beautiful daughters to the evil mountain spirit in exchange. One day, the people tired of this and they stopped making sacrifices, so the evil spirit hid the spring behind a huge rock. Many years later, a man and wife who lived there had a daughter named Matsesta. Everyone who saw her admired her for her beauty, and the older she grew the more beautiful she became. Then tragedy struck – Matsesta’s parents fell gravely ill. An old man told the daughter about the once-existing spring whose waters could save her parents. The girl vowed to find this water at any cost and went to the rock. When the evil spirit saw her, it concluded that the people had come to their senses and it dragged Matsesta away. Her parents and the local inhabitants ran to the rock, but it was too late. The rock split open and a stream of water gushed out, which carried Matsesta’s lifeless body away. The girl defeated the spirit but could not save herself. In gratitude, the people name the healing water after her – Matsesta! The legend of Dzhegosh A long time ago, in the days of Prometheus and Matsesta, there was a giant named Dzeghosh who lived near a tributary of the Shakhe river. The Adgys people hated him for he devoured the youngest and most beautiful women of their tribe. One day, one of the elders, wanting to save his only daughter from the giant, suggested to his fellow tribesmen that that they poison Dzeghosh with honey. The Adygs presented the giant with a barrel of the elixir as a gift. When Dzeghosh began feasting on the treat with delight, the Adygs released a swarm of wild bees. Fleeing from their fierce stings, the giant ran away, and wherever his feet hit, the earth cracked open and water appeared. Overcome by the bees, Dzegosh fell dead, and in the 33 places where his feet landed, 33 waterfalls appeared.
Sochi’s health resorts have attracted vistiors from all over Russia ever since Soviet times. And while a few years ago it was almost impossible to get access to the nation’s health resorts, today you simply need to purchase a tour on the internet to get to the city of “dark nights” to improve your health.