Today's day, began very much like the previous day, on a very 'tired' note. Jess, and me were so sleepy that the snooze button was hit several times, which made us sleep right through breakfast. No problem, we have enough chocolate to keep our insulin levels high for weeks. We hastily got dressed knowing we needed to be at the press centre to get our accreditation. We also finally managed to get our currency, and had a taxi waiting to take us to Minsk Arena to pick up our press accreditation. What could go wrong.... if it was anything like yesterday, plenty.
We arrived at the Arena, no hitches. Everything would seem fine, but me and Jess are not the best at directions. We must have done several laps of the arena until we actually found the press accreditation centre. It was such a relief to find it, and see other fellow like minded people, that it actually felt like home. We checked in, and waited patiently. Whilst we did, we spoke to a lovely guy Ian Fowell from ESC Covers, and talked a lot. Within half an hour, I got my badge, and was accredited. However, i had gone from this excitable Welsh person to a Swedish guy, who now worked for the Swedish OGAE club. It didn't bother me, as i love Sweden, the language, and the people so it would have been perfect. Nevertheless it had to be changed just in case.
Over an hour, had passed, and Jess had still not received her's. We had waited for a while, but thought they were so busy, that was the reason why it took so long. It felt like we were at the airport again. It wasn't until the very friendly guy behind the desk asked if we were waiting for something, that we, and so did he realise that Jess had been forgotten. He was so apologetic, and within ten minutes it was sorted, and we were ready to leave, eagerly awaiting the opening ceremony.
Eurovoxx Meets Taylor Hynes From Ireland
As we were still to scared to try the public transport, we decided to Uber our way back to the hotel. Easy you say. Maybe not? We couldn't actually find the street hotel on the app, so clicked on something that looked remotely like where we should be. We saw the driver, and did the typical British tourist thing, and shouted in a slow, English accent to try, and explain where we needed to be. This is quite difficult with a welsh guy with a particularly strong valleys accent. The poor lady didn't speak any English, we spoke no Belarussian so we resolved to pointing, and she to hand signals. All i know, is that we had chosen to go somewhere 33 km in the wrong direction costing us nearly 30 roubles. We showed our hotel, and street, but was not sure if she would take us there. As she drove i panicked, because it felt like we wern't going anywhere near where we were supposed too. To a massive relief she took us right to our hotel. I could have grabbed her face, and kissed her. Out of fear of being arrested, or worse, slapped i didn't. She quoted us 6 roubles. However, she was so nice, and got us where we needed to be that i gave her 20 and told her to keep the change as I was so relieved. I was so thankful.
We arrived back at our hotel, several hours later than planned, managed to get a meal, and headed straight back out to the opening ceremony, which was held in the BelExpo arena. We arrived there, and were immediately impressed by how it was set up, and laid out. Everything, and everyone was taken care of, and looked after. There were around 300 there, all waiting for it to begin. Each artist walked along the red carpet, and was welcomed by screaming fans, who were clearly loving the experience, as much as the artists. The biggest applause went to homeboy Daniel Yastremski who the crowd went wild for.
One by one the artists came through, and at the end, they all "lit up" their wishes, and desires. Standing there, it was extremely impressive how this came across, and visually it looked spectacular. Being biased though, I did feel extremely proud of Manw, when she appeared on the stage. Speaking to her mum, who was there, you could just sense the love, and pride that there was for this talented singer.
Eurovoxx Meets Manw From Wales
Both Jess, and I also got to meet Jael from Australia, who was wonderful to talk too, Taylor from Ireland who is just amazing as an artist, as he is as a person. Also, both of us managed to finally meet Rita from Portugal, along with her wonderful mum. We were both excited about this one, as we have been a fan of the song, but both mum, and daughter have regularly interacted with the website, and have always been so appreciative of the work we have done. It was genuinely, an honour to meet them. We wish Rita, along with the other contestants the best of luck. There were so many stand outs this evening, but too many to include in one article. We both left with a big smile. We had met so many wonderful people, and Belarus did put on a great show for us. It was time to leave.
Thankfully, we booked another Uber, but this time it was less hassle, as we got the location correct this time. To celebrate we went to the room, had some vodka, and watched all twenty video's and scored them. We won't divulge yet, but one song got this welsh man emotional. This rarely happens.
The night however, couldn't end with a stress free ending though. When it comes to technology I am useless. I couldn't connect to the hotels internet, so i tried to resolve the problem, by clicking a button that would wipe the Wifi completely off my computer. So i couldn't even register a wifi connection. In frustration I would then reset everything. That didn't work. Therefore i felt like resolving the problem by trying to throw the damned thing out of the 9th floor window of the Hilton Hotel. Thankfully, our window couldn't open, as it didn't have a latch. Nevertheless, half a bottle of Vodka later, and advice from a Scottish friend in the UK, the problem had been resolved. Even Jess tried to lend her hand with online solutions.
Day two was about waiting, and stressing. However, the opening ceremony just proved it was totally worth it. Stay tuned to day three to see what else could go wrong? Both Chris, and Jess will be at the press centre early, posting updates about the rehearsals, and video's. So stay tuned, and tell us what you think.
If there is anything you would like us to add, or want us to do, please feel free to comment your suggestions below.