Grab your selfie sticks, charge your smartphones and don’t forget to drink plenty of water — Eurovision 2017 is on!
Wiwibloggers William and Ron landed on Friday and headed straight to Maidan Square, where they took in the beautiful lights, withdrew a stack of Ukrainian hryvnia and felt the urge to eat. Speaking no Ukrainian, and feeling rather illiterate, they wound up in a traditional Crimean restaurant. It’s as if the spirit of Jamala and “1944” guided them there.
William got down on some borscht with meat, while Ron enjoyed some delicious meat dumplings. We need energy for the next two weeks, so carbs are most definitely in.
After staying up way too late and editing way too many stories, we got up bright and early to tackle the city by daylight.
Standing in the glorious Maidan Square — the site of the recent revolution — we headed to the gorgeous Eurovision sign, which features that iconic blue-and-yellow Ukrainian Eurovision heart.
Minding our own business, a man dressed as a minion started taking pics with us. And then his friends dressed as a panda and lion joined in. They asked us to hug them, choke them, rest on their head…and then they asked us for 600 UAH. Classic scam. Thank goodness we turned away the man and woman trying to put a falcon and pigeon on us!
Pockets emptied of all our spending money, we decided we’ll just use credit cards from now on — a bit harder to extort money from us that way.
We then headed toward the Eurovision Village, which sits at the end of a pedestrianised street leading from the square.
It’s lined with fabulous cafes — Turkish! Ukrainian! Italian! — and Kyiv’s hot young things were outside sunbathing while enjoying traditional pork cutlets in cheese sauce. William paused to meditate.
Then it was time to ride on the very efficient subway, which costs just 4 UAH. That’s 0.14 euros for a single trip!
The subway stations are incredibly deep and artistically lit, creating a real sci-fi feel as you descend. They are also air conditioned and have amazing wi-fi, so you have no excuse not to upload your selfies.
William was, perhaps, too enthusiastic. No one wanted to smile for his groupie on the train.
The direct entrance from the Livoberezhna metro station to the International Exhibition Centre will open in May. But for now it’s a tad confusing.
You’ll find yourself wandering on the highway and dodging oncoming trucks and SUVs, who all seem to be in a hurry.
But eventually you’ll arrive. And if you’re lucky the party bus will still be open for business!
After picking up our accreditation we had a very long stroll through Mariinsky Park as we searched for EuroClub.
Eventually we found it. You can watch us trying to get there — and discussing the day more generally — in the vlog below.