Eurovision Report: Day 0-1
I can’t even tell what day it is anymore, all I know is that it’s been a beautiful one…
I woke up at about 4am Minnesota time to watch the Royal Wedding, lusted after the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress for a few hours while I finished my packing, and shuffled off to MSP airport for my long journey to Düsseldorf. After thanking my lucky stars that I missed the tornadoes that have been plaguing the Southeastern part of the United States, I took off for Atlanta, and, eventually, Düsseldorf.
I normally sleep peacefully on flights (possibly because I have pilots in my family, so I’ve been airborne since I’ve been in utero), but I was way too wired to rest. I’ve been dreaming of attending a Eurovision for a few years now, and I’ve had my passage booked for months, but taking the approach into Düsseldorf, flying right over the arena where everything was actually going to be happening in two weeks’ time…it all became so very real.
I found my way to the airport’s Eurovision Welcome Stand and waited for my fellow OGAE Rest of the World members Roy and Juanita, as their flight from South Africa via Paris was scheduled to arrive only about 45 minutes after mine. About five minutes before they arrived, I was thrilled to come face to face with Anastasiya Vinnikova, this year’s Belarussian representative. Even at such an early hour, and having just endured an interminable line at Customs, she was incredibly sweet and cordial.
Roy, Juanita and I ran over to the Press Center (just in the shadow of the Düsseldorf Arena), where we picked up our press accreditation, and Roy and I got our “pigeonholes” (2023 and 2024!), and were promptly loaded up with bagfuls of promotional material ranging from maps and programs to hairspray and chocolate. Considering that we were already lugging our baggage around, we had to waddle to the U-Bahn and bus before we made it to our lovely little apartment in the residential Wittlaer district north of the city. Roy went out to meet a friend downtown, and Juanita and I explored the neighborhood, which was almost eerily quiet for a Saturday afternoon. After picking up some groceries for the apartment, the two of us made a quick bite to eat, had a nice chat, and promptly conked out at 5pm with the TV still on. A well deserved bit of shuteye…
More to come, of course!