Ahhh. *rubs eyes and yawns* . Ten hours sleep was grand, feeling a bit feverish and waking up with a pounding headache, less so. But thanks to the magic of Panadol and caffeine I’m at least ready to drag myself out the door. Could do with a nap though.
We left our nice little room at “Hotel The Exchange”, trundled up the road to Amsterdam Centraal, and (once we actually found a ticket machine) was very happy with how easy (and relatively cheap!) it is to get a ticket for an airport train.
Sixteen minutes and one stop later, hello Schipol airport! Just managed to scrape in under the 23kg bag limit for this flight (by a whole 200g lol) so that was nice. We did the usual airport stuff, and even though I didn’t plan it this way I even had the opportunity to be felt up, er, patted down I mean, by a very easy-on-the-eye security guard 😂
After all that it was bit of hurry-up-and-wait for our KLM flight to Manchester. Good time for a nap.
To board, there was a surprisingly long bus ride to the plane, I was starting to wonder if the bus would head for the channel tunnel and drive us all the way to Manchester but no, we got to our plane and climbed up the steps (I know! Steps!), giving our farewells to Amsterdam.
The flight was just over an hour, smooth, pleasant, and good time for a nap.
We worked our way through Manchester airport, which has a train station, which I thought would make things easy. I swear it was a half hour walk for slow old me, I felt deceived!
But eventually we made it and got on the train. Only a short trip, but a good time for, you guessed it, a nap.
First leg of our trip to Liverpool was great – then we got to Manchester Oxford road to find our connecting train was cancelled. Where is Deutsche Bahn when you need them! But full credit to everyone at the station, they rounded us all up and put us on a different train straight away. I get the feeling that they really are trying to to put their best face forward for the massive influx of crazy Eurovision fans that are turning up from all over the place. As a bonus this train was an express straight to Liverpool Lime street. Good time for… a nap? Why yes, yes it is. Except for a screaming baby that didn’t let up for the whole 50 minutes. I was still not feeling great, all tired and grumpy and very much lacking my usual “Ah well, babies are just gonna baby” attitude.
Liverpool Lime Street was full of Eurovision fans all trying to work out where they had to be and what they had todo. (un)Helpfully, a number of streets nearby were blocked off including the Taxi rank, which was super useful when there weren’t any signs. Still, a blocked off road doth carry no taxis, so I found an unblocked road, and shortly after, were in a cab to our destination. I kinda feared the worst, the taxi driver’s card machine just happened to be ‘broken’ so he could only take cash, and he didn’t set the meter, I figured he knew an easy tourist target when he saw one. But I kept an eye on my map on my phone and he did take the most direct route, and it was £16 – about a pound a minute, but honestly I was expecting him to charge a lot more. Still, whatever it was, there was no way I could have walked it, so all worth it.
The hotel is a little bit out of the way, but from a Eurovision point of view is well positioned between the Arena and the big Eurovision party zone. I was less than thrilled to find that we were on the 2nd floor (ie the 3rd floor) and there’s no lift, but eventually made it. At least the room was bigger than I was expecting, so that’s nice considering it’s home for the next 7 days. I was, of course, ready for a nap by this point, but managed to resist.
We had a bit of a wander along the Liverpool dockside, it was great to get my first glimpse of the famous Liver (rhymes with MacGyver) birds, but ultimateIy I couldn’t make it all the way to the ‘EuroVillage’ so I left Perry to check it out why I slowly shuffled myself back to the hotel. Along the way there was a lot going on, lots of food trucks, a sauna truck (yes really, every bit as odd as it sounds), a merry-go-round, and stacks of people having a pretty good time. The weather was really nice despite the forecasts of rain, so that was another bonus. It’s also nice to see the city really getting into it with the signage and the like.
Dinner was an easy trip downstairs to the hotel’s own restaurant – didn’t even know it had one! We both had bangers and mash, so I guess at least we did get into some of the local cuisine on day one this time :). And then over the road to Maccas for a cheeky Sundae, except, shock horror they don’t do Sundaes! A McFlurry had to suffice. Hopefully that sugar hit will keep going long enough to finish writing up the days events before falling into bed, where the plan is then to wake up fully refreshed and feeling 100% better because as Lizzo says, it’s about damn time!