Europe: Start voting now! Eurovision… Douze Points!
In this musical spectacular…
- Who wants to go to Eurovision?
- Where did my wallet go? Off to Birmingham Airport
- SN2038 Birmingham Airport to Brussels National Airport
- Some time at Brussels Airport
- SN3819 Brussels National Airport to Lisbon Airport with the AeroSmurf
- Into Lisbon and The Tuk Tuk Hostel
- Exploring Lisbon with a Canon 100D
- The Eurovision Song Contest
- Off to Porto with Comboios de Portugal
- Time at Porto Airport
- FR8513 Porto Airport to Birmingham Airport
- To the trains!
- Eurovision… Douze points!
Looking back at this now, trips like this are fun – not just for some of the questionable music, but for the company and the experiences that a trip like this gives.
Let’s have a look back at some of the experiences…
Time it right, and it proves regional airport like Birmingham can offer a strong passenger experience, which makes it passable in minutes. Time it wrong, and it can be a hot mess…
A pretty reasonable set of flights with Brussels Airlines, with reasonable seat width and pitch (exit rows help), with a smattering of Smurfy cuteness and some interesting in-flight catering (although more fries would had been nice).
A bit of Tin Tin and Smurfs, with easy connections make it an easy airport to make a connection. However, slapping red connection wayfinding signs without context don’t help too much…
A marvellous host city, with plenty of hills. Invest in a transit card, some decent shoes… and watch your feet when getting off a tram.
Comboios de Portugal (Lisbon to Porto)
A classic train journey in every sense of the word. Invest in a first class ticket to get the most space. And beware of lime-green curtains.
A reasonably well designed airport, with good wayfinding, and a reasonable contract lounge.
Providing you plan, Ryanair is a perfectly acceptable experience these days (and that, I mean buy priority boarding with two bags and a seat assignment). Just don’t buy a scratch-card.
The Eurovision Song
What. An. Experience. There’s a lot missed in the TV show that you wouldn’t get. The pulse, the beat and emotions in the stadium don’t translate well over the telly. But it’s so alive in the room. It’s a shame the security teams were a pile of crap.
And if you enjoy the song contest – it isn’t just for the hardcore Eurovision fans – there were persons of all ages on the stadium floor. Just remember, if you do plan to go – ensure you have decent footwear. You’ll need it.
Will I return to Israel in 2019? The honest answer is I’m not sure. There are some serious issues to consider before consider travelling (least of all, accommodation, air fares, timings). But there are practical things – like transport on the Shabatt (and considering the Eurovision song contest plays on a Saturday… that’s not a helpful thing).
Oh and one final Eurovision song. With a aviation connection – Fly on the Wings of Love by The Olsen Brothers
And that’s it. Europe! Stop Voting Now!
I’d like to also say a special thank you to Adam and Jon for making this trip such a blast. Without them, I would had been commentating this on the sofa in the flat and enjoying far too much Vodka (which helps with some of the songs in the Eurovision Song Contest).
Coming up: The travelling doesn’t stop for me, as I take a look at Eurostar’s new service between London and Amsterdam, and how it compares to the plane. Which “wins” and why? Join me in Train vs Plane: The Amsterdam Edition!
Also, we have a sqeuel trip report as I head back to Ireland for more Donuts on the Mound: The Second Coming!
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