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A boat trip on the Dnipro river

Desiree on Mon, 05/08/2017 - 13:31

Today the Kyiv City State Administration organised a boat trip for the attending press the Dnipro. So this morning I went to the Kyiv River Port, just outside the metro station Poshtova Ploshcha (on the blue line, one stop from the Maidan Nezalezhnoshti metro station). It was very early in the morning, especially after last night's Red Carpet event and afterparty in the Euroclub, but I'm very glad I went as the weather was too good to stay in the hotel.

Already when I came out of the metro station I was treated with a beautiful view on the river. The Riverside station itself is also quite an impressive building, but it's currently being renovated so I haven't got a chance to see how it looks inside. Along the river and on the square you have some nice terraces so I can really recommend this spot for a drink and something to eat if you want to relax.

Kyiv City boat trip

It didn't take me long to find the pier from where the boat would leave. As soon as all the gathered press was on board, it was time to take off. First we went past the St. Nicholas Wondermaker on the Water Church, the only church on Europe to be on the water. A beautiful and incredibly small church. From the same place we also had a view on the much higher located St Andrew's Church. This is all situated on the right bank of the city.

Then we took a U-turn and got to see the earlier mentioned Riverside station from the bank, which has a very long Ukrainian flag on it. The backside it not as impressive as the front, but clearly recognizable.
Next we see a lot of green which is the Marinskiy Park where yesterday's red carpet took place.
Past that we see the Friendship of Nations Arch, for the occasion renamed as the Arch of Diversity. Behind it is the huge statue of a woman, the Motherland Monument that was built in 1981 and that you can almost see standing outside the International Exhibition Centre.

Kyiv City boat trip

Kyiv City boat trip

After another U-turn, this time around the Hidropark Island - which is more or less a huge relax area with beaches - nudist included - it didn't take long until we saw a very familiar few - the IEC and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ - the church many of you will have seen in the press centre and that turns out to be only opened in 2011.

Kyiv City boat trip

Before heading to the press centre where the first dress rehearsal will start in a few minutes, it was time to enjoy the sun for a bit more on the riverside. Thanks to the organization of this boat trip that let us see a bit more of the city!

You can see all the photos here:

Kyiv boat trip

And so it begins...

ChrisB on Sun, 04/30/2017 - 00:29

Hi from Kyiv! I'm Chris, new to the team and I will be blogging for the next two weeks from the press centre.

I'm optimistic the rehearsals will provide us with a few surprises we didn't see coming so far. The contest simply wouldn't be as much fun, if bookmaker odds and pre-contest polls were able to predict the correct results weeks before the contest.

So there are many reasons to feel excited about the rehearsals. Which of the 42 delegations will manage to impress us the most and which ones will not?

It's time to find out.

Finally in Kyiv!

Desiree on Sat, 04/29/2017 - 15:25

My name is Desiree, I'm from the Netherlands and very excited to finally be in Kyiv! It's my first year as part of the ESCKAZ team but not my first Eurovision. I went to Eurovision three times before in 2008, 2010 and 2012 - the full two weeks each of them with accreditation for another organisation. In 2011 Eurovision was quite close (in Düsseldorf) so I went to the second semi-final where I hoped to see 3JS pass to the final. Well that didn't quite work out... I also went to JESC 2007 and 2012 - both held in the Netherlands. All of them so far have been great experiences, no Eurovision is the same!

After 2012 a lot has changed. From 2013 onwards press isn't allowed in the hall during the first rehearsal, so this time I will be spending a lot more time in the press centre, particularly in the first few days. However, whenever it is possible you will probably find me in the hall as I really love the 'live' experience.

Compared to the other years I went to Eurovision I found the songs were often more diverse in style - and language. I'm absolutely not writing off any songs just because they are not in their own language, but I enjoy to hear songs in other languages a lot which is often reflected in my personal favourites as well. Switching to - most frequently - English usually also involves a change towards a more mainstream genre. For me it makes the contest a bit less interesting but luckily I still manage to find some favourites each year.

This year is no exception. For example the Belarussian really stood out for me from the first time I heard it and I really enjoy France, Italy and Portugal - which is a grower. My personal top favourites are Ireland and Finland, in no particular order (as it changes every day). As for predictions - I'll get into that later!

I'm writing this from my hotel room which is incredibly close to the IEC. I arrived earlier today after getting out of bed at not very funny hours. In fact I can even see the IEC from my hotel room as I'm on one of the top floors. Definitely a room with a view!
Unlike Mike and Daniel told earlier, I had absolutely no problem at all to gather my accreditation. Hopefully the same goes for everyone else to arrive later on so that what was shown in the morning were just starting-up struggles..

Now it's time for me to find the rest of the team will check back later!