Going to a preview party the night before leaving for the host city should have rung some bells from the start but like the true soldiers of Eurovision love that we are, we thought pulling an all nighter in order to accommodate all was going to be simple. It could have been were myself and ESC Bubble's Daniel Lynch not captured in our less than fully-functional mental capacity by non-stop Geordie Shore on MTV at 2:00am.
Realising time was quickly approaching, a last minute roundup and shove into suitcase tactic was adopted, completing with a bodily requirement, shower and shave and it was off to the airport to board our flight. I am unaware of how it is in airports in your vicinity but Amsterdam Schiphol loves making you do everything while attendants rush about their busy day of (assumed) gossiping and (allegedly) sleeping with Captains on stopovers from their outbound long-haul. First you have to check in on a machine, then choose what boarding card to print (mobile or paper), then go and do your own baggage drop off, have it fail a couple of times, remove overweight items, try again and hope you didn't screw the tag up, all of which while the above mentioned attendants stare at you in a game of chicken on who is the first to point out the possible need for help.
No sleep usually can be directly correlated to crankiness and this was definitely true in the case today but a thankfully uneventful hour and a half flight was enough to catch a few open-mouthed moments of sleep. Vienna appears to be quite a regulated city, the people and services seem to be very efficient. For those still on the way, we would recommend just getting the normal train into town, much cheaper (€4,20) and only an extra 15 minutes or so from the fast one. Things are well signposted and it's not difficult to find where you need to go - we managed to get to our apartment with no backtracking! The only thing we noticed which we could see an improvement on, the U-bahn has one entrance for the line, and it depends on the left or right platform which direction you will be going in. At least from the ones we saw (U3 and U6), they don't seem to have a list of station names in the direction of your train to help while you're trying to make the quick decision should you be in a hurry. In London these would be clearly visible when you get down the stairs but this simple idea does not seem to have made it to the Viennese system.
Now, we are just having a quick rest before going to the madness that will be our home for the next two weeks. Pictures of the goodies in the bag have already been making rounds on Facebook. We've had our first views of the accreditations, and before you know it, we will have our first rehearsals, press conferences, interviews and drunken shenanigans at events too! Will we be facing our shadows? Or will be shining lights (you just know mobile phones need to be charged during Semi 2)? We could be heroes, warriors and if all else fails; oximated (still having trouble understanding what is meant by this)... but whatever happens throughout the next two weeks, we know that we are blessed by being given this opportunity each year and therefore a big thank you first off to all those organisers and helpers at EBU for giving us this platform. In the tried and tested words of many a host and at least one scary little girl in the year 2000...