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My Irish Long Weekender – To See Inna Perform In Dublin

This time last month, I was in Dublin, Ireland for a long weekend. Back in September, I heard that Inna would be performing in Dublin. That was it, I contacted most of my friends, asking if they wanted to go to Ireland with me; as each one said that they didn’t have the money or weren’t that interested in going, I started to give up hope; so much so that I was considering going by myself. But then, two of my friends came through at the end of September and agreed to go.

Now, if you don’t know already, Inna is my favourite artist. There’s an article scheduled to go out soon on why I like Inna so much and why she is a Fuzzable Fave; so look out for that.

So I went for three nights; from 2 December 2016 to 5 December 2016. The flights were so short that it didn’t take long at all. To be fair, we weren’t even in the air for all that long. I loved looking out the window and seeing the snow-like clouds glistening against the winter sun, blocking all view of England, the Irish Sea, as well as Ireland itself.

The other thing that affected us all was the money. We had to convert our Great British Pounds into Euros. I was constantly getting confused between the 50¢, 20¢, 10¢ and the 5¢. The notes were very colourful and reminded us of Monopoly Money. The texture of the coins and notes just felt wrong, but towards the end of the weekender, we were getting used to it. Dublin was majorly expensive, more that we ever expected, and it had nothing to do with the exchange rate, it was just expensive overall. Word of wisdom: If you ever go to Dublin, make sure you can afford to be there.

My leftover Euros at the end of my Irish Weekender

2 December 2016 – First Day of My Irish Weekender

Flying

We had 2:25 pm flight, so we arrived at Birmingham Airport (BHX) around 12 pm, and checked in our baggage. We explored the duty-free department, which included my friend buying Britney Spears’ Fantasy fragrance as it makes her “smell like candy”. Then, we flew with Aer Lingus and as we flew down to Dublin Airport (DUB), it was darker than we expected.

Hotel

It was a long wait for our coach at the airport, well as soon as we found where we had to wait. The minute we arrived in Dublin, we got lost at the airport. Explains it all really. Soon enough we were off to the Holiday Inn Dublin Airport Hotel, which was next to the stunning Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel. The room was spacious, even with three single beds – we had an extra rollaway bed too, for an extra €25.

Dublin – Food and Clubbing

Then we went exploring, little did we know that taxis were going to cost €20-€25 each. We were dropped in the “social area” of Dublin, and instead of eating at an Irish restaurant, we chose GBK instead.

Then we explored, looking for the popular gay club we had researched about online. We found The George, even though it was quiet at 7:40 pm. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a club that early. We enjoyed what we saw, but we were so shattered from the very short flight – we have no idea why or how not like we were in the air long enough to get jetlag – we left at around 11 pm.

This is when we found out that we have to hail a taxi to get back to our hotel. This made us all laugh, it wasn’t something we were used to doing. Yet, the next night out, it became ridiculous; but more on that later.

The only problem we had with The George was the price. My first drink cost me €10.40. I have never paid so much for a Peach Schnapps and lemonade. After that, I went onto cider, not something I like drinking, but it was half the price, even if it wasn’t worth the money. Alskä cider was what we were on; in England, it is sold in Aldi stores at roughly £2. At The George, they were selling it for €5.70 before midnight, and then €6.20 after midnight. However, we totally enjoyed watching the go-go dancers, dressed in Aladdin themed costumes.

3 December 2016 – Time To Explore Dublin Fully On Our Second Day

The Hotel

Waking up to the Holiday Inn extremely basic breakfast didn’t excite me at all. I’m a Coeliac (which means I’m allergic to gluten – google it) so that was a no-no to bread and sausages; I don’t like fruit or any juice drinks or hot drinks; so I was left with water – which was nice and fresh. I’m allergic to cereal, and I don’t like it anyway; so that left me with beans and scrambled egg. Not appetising, but it came with the hotel, so how could I refuse it? We were just so disappointed there was no bacon. Apparently, this is a company standard for all Holiday Inns.

Dublin – Shopping and Food

We got a taxi to Dublin’s O’Connell’s Street, which is where a previous taxi man had suggested us to go shopping. We were amazed at all the shops, and although my friends considered it to be big, I don’t think it was. It certainly wasn’t as big as say, London’s Oxford Street or even all the shops in Birmingham City Centre. Maybe all the people about made it seem smaller for me. We looked in many shops, including H&M, River Island, GAP, Topman, Topshop, Tiger (when it rained), Pennys (which is Ireland’s Primark – the name made us laugh). We also visited Carroll’s, which is an Irish gift shop that could be found everywhere we went. My friend came across her favourite shop Stradivarius, a shop she first discovered in Spain, and now she’s obsessed. She bought a couple of items and had to leave or she’d spend all her money.

We then went looking for food, knowing full well that it was getting close to the time we needed to get a taxi back to the hotel so we could get ready for Inna’s gig. After considering many options, we decided on going to Bread & Bones. This restaurant was exactly what we were looking for. Their menu, much like most menus we came across in Dublin, had allergen information that I could totally trust. The people serving us at Bread & Bones knew all about cross contamination, and I felt completely safe eating there. I had the fried chicken, and it looked delicious. I couldn’t actually believe this was gluten-free, and I still crave for that chicken ever since I came back to England. Bread & Bones, please set up a restaurant here in the UK, I’ll happily work there!

3 December 2016 – Inna Gig

Now I don’t want to talk too much about this, mainly because I have already reviewed it for CelebMix, so head over there to read all my thoughts on my idol performing at The Wright Venue.

TGI Fridays

We headed back to the hotel, got ready, and then went off to The Wright Venue. We were really early and it was freezing; so we found TGI Fridays around the corner and ate dessert as a main meal – mainly because everything was too expensive. Again this restaurant gave me an allergen menu, so I found it easy to order from.

The Wright Venue

At The Wright Venue, we handed over our gig tickets and walked up the steps; unfortunately, I didn’t have meet and greet tickets, but it was such an honour to see Inna perform on stage, that I am so grateful I fulfilled one of my wishes, one of my life dreams. To see her on stage was a dream come true and a half. But this amazing dream pounced to an out of this world reality like no other. But before that happened, we hit the bar as soon as we walked in.

At the bar, I spotted Archer’s Peach Schnapps, and I just had to have a glass. The shock on my face when the bartender asked for €14, I made sure that drink lasted me as long as possible. We herded around the steps, no one was on the dancefloor, and I had a good view. As more people entered, the dancefloor filled up. Yeah, I could’ve got to the front, but I was considering my friends and the view I already had of the stage. I was quite happy where I was standing.

Inna

We may not have had meet and greet tickets, but Inna made us all feel at home. She said we were “all VIP’s tonight”, and she proved that in her last song “In Your Eyes”. Much to the bouncers’ disapproval, she jumped down from the stage and continued to sing amongst her fans. The bouncers climbed down and pushed her to the back of the dancefloor, before returning through the crowd and to the stage.

Then the most magical thing happened. She spotted me in the crowd, she pointed at me a couple of times and danced on the stage towards me. At first, I thought she was pointing to someone else, but my friends assured me that she was pointing at me. That moment will stay with me for the rest of my life. This has only ever happened in my dream, but instead, it happened in reality; and to this day, I still cannot believe it happened. Don’t forget to read more about my Inna Gig on CelebMix.

3 December – The George

After the gig, we got a taxi to The George again. We walked in the side entrance, where we had to pay €10 to get in. Karaoke started off the night in The George, and it was packed. Talk about a lively Saturday night.

This time we weren’t so tired and started to drink more. We even factored in some “Piranha” shots, which came to €3 each, which was probably the only thing that we didn’t think was expensive. We got onto the dancefloor but stayed away from the stage, it was too crowded for our liking.

Our problem came when we left at around 3 am. Try hailing a taxi at that time, especially when hailing taxis were new for us. We ended up walking for miles and when we thought we had got one, someone else jumped in saying: “Sorry, this is our taxi”. We finally found a taxi and made our way back to the hotel.

4 December – Money Was Getting Short In Dublin

Sunday was our last full day in Dublin, and I was slightly hungover. That was not a great start to the day, but it subsided and we decided to go shopping again. So far, I had spent my money on Christmas gifts, food and drink, and taxis. All I had to show for it was receipts. We explored the town and didn’t find anything I could justify buying. It was just too expensive overall.

We explored some more, looked around, then decided to go and eat. We returned to Bread & Bones, and I had fried chicken again, obviously. My friends switched it up a bit and went for a burger. They said it was nice, just not as gorgeously tasty as the fried chicken. Bread & Bones is a must-eat place to go to if you’re ever in Dublin.

We got a taxi back to the hotel – this was our ninth taxi, at roughly €20 per a ride. So yeah, we practically spent €200 on taxis alone. We just chilled in the hotel and had an early night.

5 December – Time To Say Goodbye To Dublin

I woke up at 5:30 am and got ready to leave. We had a 9:50 am flight back home to Birmingham Airport (BHX). We arrived at Dublin Airport (DUB) and used the self-service machines to weigh our bags. This was a much easier way of checking in our luggage than the other airports we had been to. We spent a bit of our money on more gifts at the Airport gift shop, before boarding our Stobart Air (Aer Lingus) flight. This plane was extremely small, to our surprise. Yet, this didn’t bother us all that much since we were on a short flight.

Overall Thoughts Of Dublin, Ireland

Overall, I’m glad I experienced Dublin, Ireland. I just wish I knew how expensive it would be before arriving. However, I’d totally do it all over again, just to see Inna perform on stage; that was pure magic. I would totally see her again, but I think I need financial stability before I splash out on a trip to another country, just to watch her perform. For the time being, I’ll revel in her music on YouTube and on my iTunes, as well as watch her live performances. One day, I will have meet and greet tickets.

Dublin was amazing, but I don’t think I’d return. I just can’t justify spending all that money again. However, Bread & Bones is calling me, might have to return just to eat there again; one last time.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

24-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, The Coffee House, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, and CelebMix. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni

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