Greetings from sunny Belgrade! I made it to Serbia with no real delays and met up with my friend Karen Fricker at the airport and we took a cab to our apartment – which is very homely, and will suit us just fine (especially given that taking with people on our first night in Belgrade that the hotels sound less that bijou!).
So, having dropped our bags at around 7.00pm it was time to hit the ground running as we had our first party to get to for shortly after 8.00pm. Karen writes for the Irish Times, and is accredited by RTE, the Irish broadcaster, and she had travelled from Heathrow with members of that delegation, as a result she had been invited to the Irish delegation’s party for their entry, Dustin The Turkey. Dustin will be performing ‘Irelande Douze Points’, and this party was certainly fuelled by a free bar and Douze PINTS! There was a great atmosphere and we were treated to a guest appearance from the turkey of the moment – Dustin himself!
The crowd were on excellent form, and it certainly felt like a baptism of fire attending my first ever europarty. There was quite an amusing stand-off between the German group No Angels (the name really does say it all!) and the female singer from the Czech Republic and her backing singers… who looked the best was obviously what they were concerned with, but to the rest of us it was who had the biggest implants…
Next it was off to the ‘Euroclub’ nite spot that’s available to all the accredited people at the ESC this year, where, amongst others we saw a performance from hot favourite Ani Lorak, representing Ukraine – who could very well win again this year having just missed out last year. As you can see from my impressive photography I’m certainly going to be capturing the moment quite well for you over the coming week!
The funniest moment of the evening came as Karen and I were leaving the Euroclub (wish I’ had my camera out) – the Russian entry Dima Bilan swept through the foyer looking somewhat like a Liberace impersonator and a huge entourage, all of whom were demanding attention, and only impressing themselves… it was so OTT that you could not help but find it funny. Then again, I guess that it’s better if you’d seen it! Trust us to be leaving as the bookies favourite was arriving.
So, that was (cue Big Brother voice-over man) ‘Day One in Belgrade. After all the travelling and attending various launch parties, the housemates are in bed…’