SOCHI, Russia - When you drive into or around the southern Russian resort city of Sochi, it's hard to imagine what this city would be like in the winter - especially hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Sochi is on the banks of the Black Sea. The average winter temperature is 52 degrees, so it's no surprise the city is lush and green.
The park near the City Hall is lined with palm trees.
But the park locals and tourists come to see is the Dendrary Botanical Garden - or the Dendrarium.
TripAdvisor rates the "Dendrary Botanical Garden" as the second out of 34 attractions in Sochi.
It's a slice of heaven in the big city. You can get lost walking around or spend the afternoon with a book - forgetting the worries of that day. It's a place away from the busy hustle of the big city.
"Our park is a historical and an architectural monument," Galina Soltani, the chief scientist at the Dendrary Botanical Garden, said.
Soltani's had a feeling this was her place since she was a little girl.
"I wanted to work specifically in this park," she said. "I can't say I wanted to work with plants. I wanted to work in this park because all of our life in Sochi is tightly connected to the arboretum. We come here since we're young, during our school years. There are a lot of memories here."
After 20 years, Galina knows every inch of the 40 acres. The park was built in 1892 and includes 1,700 species of plants.
"We have trees from the Himalayas, from North America from Mexico and Japan," she said.
Everything here, Soltani said, has its place.
"Everything in the park is interconnected: every sculpture, every vase has its meaning," she said.
And everything makes a statement.
"This is a magical park, and its founder had a lot to say to future generations," Soltani said. "Everyone sees here what he can see and wants to hear."
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)