What an exciting day! Finally, the endless anticipation is over and our delegation has arrived in Moscow safe and sound!
The first few hours prior to their arrival, I spent a rather relaxing afternoon with my parents, walking around the new fancy shopping mall across the street from our apartment. (I was so tempted to stay with everyone else at the Cosmos Hotel, our official Icelandic residence, but after all, nothing compares to home sweet home!) We did all the silly-nothing’s I had so missed over the past several years of my grown-up life in New York.
But soon it was time to head off to the airport, and this time not as the arriving guest, but instead as the welcoming host! Along with the Moscow ESC team (that picked me up at home) we drove to Sheremetyevo 2 to meet our delegation at the gate.
Escorted by the airport police and Eurovision crew to the waiting area, I counted minutes as I sipped my double shot espresso and impatiently flipped through our itinerary for the weeks ahead - hectic, to say the least!
As soon as everyone landed and made their way to the arrival’s lounge, I caught a glimpse of Oskar Pall Sveinsson, my co-writer and dear friend, whom I hadn’t seen in absolute ages. Of all the places to reunite in the world for a special occasion, what a joy that it is here in my hometown of Moscow!
Quick snaps by the RUV TV crew and an individual introduction to each and every one of the members of our delegation made me feel incredibly happy. It was great to have finally met the team behind our upcoming grand performance! And to see the girl behind that angelic voice, Yohanna, was so great! We were incessantly posing for the photographers, and at the same time trying to catch up for the first time in person. I can't believe the event kicks off for real tomorrow morning at 10 AM! We have rehearsal, and then our first press conference is at 1p.m.
As the ESC bus escorted our group to the assigned residence, I was asked to act as a tour guide. With a wireless mic in one hand hand and a front seat on the bus, I talked about the in’s and out’s of life in Moscow. From using roaming phones vs. local mobile SIM cards, or the history behind the surrounding buildings on our way from the airport, no matter what we talked about, it was all so much fun! I really felt that I knew a bit more about Moscow than I actually do. At least I haven’t forgotten too much about my adopted home town over the last few years!!
We eventually parted ways at the hotel, and said ciao for the night. But it will all resume first thing tomorrow morning, as we head over to the Olympiisky Stadium for our first rehearsal and the official registration. So please make sure you drop by tomorrow evening for a full, first-hand report about our ESC Icelandic adventures in Moscow. Remember, you read it here first!
Well, it's time to say goodnight and have my last cup of tea for the eve before I take it easy and call it a day. For now, however, it’s songwriting time… A new co-write with Dimitri Stassos, the author of the Spanish ESC entry of 2009, Soraya’s “La Noche Es Para Mi”… so we’re not just busy competing between teams here – we are, in fact, making music and having fun… yes, even with competing countries! After all, that’s what it is all about – having a fabulous time while we’re enjoying the moment. The rest will unfold as the days go by!