I missed the boat!

The boat trip takes about 15 hours and most of the cross-over is taking place during the night. First thing I did upon arrival was taking out some cash from the ATM. After all, I wanted to buy a bus ticket to the centre and that requires some money. I quickly figured out that the ticket machine at the bus stop only accepted coins, and that the bus driver doesn't sell tickets. I tried to get a bus ticket by SMS. Fantastic! It didn't take me long to find out that this service only works with Swedish mobile phones, and is not meant for foreigners. So... no coins for the ticket machine... no Swedish phone for the SMS ticket... no shop to buy a ticket... no tickets on the bus. Because the situation fascinated me, I decided to call the service desk of Stockholm's public transport company. "Yes, it's a common problem," the friendly call centre agent explained me. I ended up going to a nearby cafe to change notes for coins, and based on the reaction of the woman behind the bar, I can safely predict that I wasn't the first foreigner with that question...

In the centre I catched up with Andreas and Alain, respectively editor and photographer for Eurovision.tv. It's probably their 10th Melodifestivalen (the Swedish national final), so they are pretty routined ánd know the best places in Stockholm! We went to a wonderful Italian restaurant in the older part of the centre and talked about the Contest for hours. We also went to Gallerian, a massive shopping mall in the centre, where we performed with Marija Serifovic during last year's Winners Tour. I must say, it was a lot more quiet this time! The main hall was filled with Melodifestivalen flags and cars with the events logo - the event is sponsored by a car company - and newspapers started covering the upcoming final. Stay tuned for Melodifestivalen coverage from our team in Stockholm. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the new media team is preparing the upcoming Heads of Delegation Meeting in Belgrade, Monday and Tuesday. That's also the main reason why I couldn't stay in Stockholm for the final of Melodifestivalen and 'missed the boat' for Saturday night's show. I am flying to Belgrade on Sunday morning, and will update you on the latest developments with a blog from the Serbian capital on Sunday evening! Have a great weekend :-)

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