Salam Alai from Baku! (in Azerjiban)

Well - were here!  We arrived in the Azeri capital just after lunchtime yesterday, and thankfully the visa and entry process was very straightforward.  Brits - take note that it's US$118 for the visa, and they write the visa there and then and place it in your passport.  We came into the city by taxi (and the official ones have been specially done up for the occasion).

The hotel is very nice, and thankfully has air-conditioning - it's about 27 degrees here!!!  Initial impressions of the city are that it's VERY glitzy and modern, although how much of that is facade, disguising the real city, is not clear yet.

We came out to the purpose built Crystal Hall to pick up our accreditations, and to say that it's a little disorganised is a bit of an understatement.  There's LOTS of work still going on all over the place, especially in the environs of the hall - which does look spectacular...

Here's the accreditation badge - Loving the escaped convict look on my pic!

Had an early night last night - after all the travelling and our first hurdle this morning was getting back out to the arena, as there is a cycle race on in town, so nothing was moving on the roads.  By pure chance we met the Latvian delegation outside their hotel, who were waiting on their official coach to take them to their first rehearsal in the arena, so we managed to grab a lift in with them!  We had a good old sing-song of "Beautiful Song" (their entry) with Anmary on the way in!!!

So we're here in the press centre, waiting on the first rehearsals to start, and we're already running 90 minutes late!...  Oh my - it's going to be a LONG fortnight!

And just look at the impressive stage!  Hugely hi-tech, with massive video walls all round the strangely shaped stage, which has huge walkways splaying out into the audience in all directions!  Montenegro is due on in a few minutes, so we'll get to see it in action...

Pictures from


  1. Well you've definitely got the sparkle with the added glamour of Latvia after breakfast! Will they fill that arena on the night? Will the pigeonholes be long enough to need roller skates?


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