MMA Tour 1017 - Warsaw

In my second year at the University of York, I joined the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) team, with the hopes of improving the skills I'd learned doing kickboxing at school, get fit and meet new people. And fortunately all of these hopes came true, especially meeting new people. I have made such good friendships since joining the team, all of which were cemented on the clubs annual tour, which this year was to Warsaw, Poland.

It was an incredible experience and I would recommend getting a group of pals together and heading there

Day 1

So, on the 11th April 2017 at 9:37 am (just to be precise), I hopped on a train to get to Manchester airport. Though the airport was roughly 5 hours away from me, it seemed to be in the middle of everyone, so I had to put up with the travelling!

Pretty much everyone met at the Cafe Nero near the entrance of the airport, where one of our social secretaries, Meg, gave us fancy star sunglasses and leis. Once we were all kitted up and looking fabulous, we went through to security. This proved to be a bit of a nightmare for me, as we only had carry on cases and I'd decided to bring my hair straighteners with me, which now need to be removed and had accidentally brought 7 lipsticks, all of which were spread round my case...but after several rummages through my bag and some unimpressed looks from those I was holding up we got through and went to go get some snacks.

The flight was only a few hours and I had downloaded some films onto Netflix on my phone, so it quickly flew by (no pun intended). After landing we had about an hours journey to our hostel 'Kaktus Guest House 2' (we're not sure where the first one is), which for only £50 for 6 nights, was really rather pleasant.There were 15 of us, and 3 to each room, so we took up most of the place...and I feel very sorry for whoever else was staying with us...we didn't mean to be so loud and drunk honest!

I was sharing a room with Christie and Rhian, and after getting some food and alcohol from the garage across the road, we were quick to get ready, put some tunes on and get wrecked. We found a nice place not too far away called Pub Student, that had a great upstairs space, perfect for playing drinking games and getting to know each other more, as well as karaoke for later on. Unfortunately, they only sold beer, and being ceoliac, that was a slight issue for me. However, that problem was quickly solved by popping over the road to an off license for some mini peach vodka. As the night went on, and more and more round of 'never have I ever' and 'Mr and Mrs' were played, we were all getting rather tipsy and decided it would be a great idea to have a go at the karaoke...again, sorry to anyone else experiencing that!

Day 2

At 8:30 in the morning, our very hungover selves were awoken by the cleaner in the kitchen putting away everything we had left out last night (something we soon realised we were not supposed to do) and due to very thin curtains, no one could get back to sleep. So we decided to go ahead with the day, slowly getting up and ready and having breakfast (I had curry because it was the only gluten free thing I could find in the garage). We then headed off to the Old Town, which was absolutely beautiful.

We found a 'milk kitchen' for lunch, which served traditional Polish food, however due to allergies, Rhian and I decided we'd play it safe go to the Subway we'd seen en route. A small group went off to do an activity called 'Room Escape' / 'Escape the Room' and Rhian and I wandered for a little then met most people at the Jewish Museum, which was very interesting. On the way back, we found everyone else and headed to Carrefore to get some supplies for the week.

Once we were all back and relaxed, we got ready for a night out. Make up done and outfits picked, we headed to some of the boy's room and played more drinking games. Once we were sufficiently tipsy, we headed to a club called Hybridy. There weren't many people in the club, but we met a few locals and had a great time. At the end of the night we attempted to find a special underground club called Mirage, but it was getting late and it appeared not to exist, so we gave up on that and headed home for a good night sleep


Day 3

At 9am, we were woken up again by the cleaner, and I have to say, I was not feeling my best. Everyone else had stuck to the beer they'd given us vouchers for, but of course, I had to have vodka, and it was strong! However, we all kept it together and headed out to one of the big towers in the city, which coincidentally was where we were looking for the club the night before. Rhian and Heather managed to wander off, so we ended up detouring to a shopping mall for food without them...oops! I ended up with just a subway salad, yet again, but I wasn't really expecting much on the gluten free front anyway. 

We then headed to the 30 story building and had a look at Warsaw from the top, though the photobooth with Meg, Violet and Christie was definitely the best bit. Eventually, we met back up with Rhian and Heather and a few of us girls went to the shopping centre to have a look around.

That evening we had even more drinking games and sick tunes from Christie's 'Pri' play list, before heading off to town. I didn't have the best evening as we ended up in a shisha bar that allowed proper smoking and it didn't do much for my asthma, but regardless tried to have a good time. Myself and Meg decided to have a bit of an earlier night and headed back for some girlie time, until everyone else got back...everyone was a little dead by this point.

Day 4

We had a bit of a later start on day 4, as everyone needed to catch up on their beauty sleep. Due to an injury, there was a space free on the 'bubble football' activity so I was able to take part in that. It was terrifying but fantastic. We all wore huge bubbles and attempted to play football in them. Unfortunately, the boys weren't as scared as me and they were quite happy to charge full speed at me, so I got knocked about a bit. When you fell over, it felt like you were a giant turtle on its back, unable to get up! We then played football without the bubbles, but then instead with 'alcohol goggles' and 'drug goggles', which simulated being drunk or on drugs and was extremely difficult! The last game we played was 'protect the queen'. Meg and I being the only two girls, had to be protected by our teammates, whilst the opposing team tried to knock us over...needless to say, I ended up with a bruised ankle and a grazed knee.

When we got back, I was locked out as the others had gone to the neon lights museum, and so had to sit about in my sweaty clothes for a while...ew! Luckily it wasn't long before the others got back and I was able to change before we headed off to the Old Town again for another wander round. There were some kind of festivities in the town, with a giant panda, Winnie the Pooh, colourful birds and horse drawn carriages! Most of us spent the afternoon at a bar, with drinks and good food (though my fish came still with its head and eyes which freaked me out a bit), snuggled under blankets. 

Once we got back, Rhian, our resident makeup artist, did all the girls eyeshadow and as per, we drank in one of the rooms playing drinking games. We then headed to Pub Student and then to the club next to it. Yet again we had a fantastic night, and after a hilarious conga line, another failed attempt to find another club and Violet dragging Rhian and I to bed, we went to sleep.

Day 5

Day 5 was another chilled start, with only a Room Escape planned in the afternoon, an activity I would highly recommend. Up to 5 of you go into a locked room, of which there were several different themes around the city - basement, time travel and lab, and try and figure how to unlock the room in less than an hour. I was in a group that did the lab themed one, where we entered an area of what appeared to be a slightly mad scientist's lab, and had to find keys and codes to unlock different sections, play a strange game of mini golf, use backlights, solar powered cars, an abacus, wires and conduction in order to escape. Not to toot our own horns, but it was apparently the hardest room and we had 9 minutes to spare, where as the other groups had to have extra time on their first goes (sorry guys!)

Whilst the other groups were doing their own thing, the 5 of us who had done the lab room escape wandered around to try and find Bubbleology to drink some bubble tea, a very odd drink with tapioca and bursting bubbles in the bottom. I had a vanilla flavoured one with tapioca and bursting yoghurt balls, and though very strange and sickly, I thoroughly enjoyed it! And to top off an already fantastic afternoon, we stopped off at the burrito bar near our hostel to grab some food and fortunately for me, they sevrved burrito bowls that I could eat.

We then got ready for our last night out in Warsaw, with our final rounds of 'Never have I ever' and 'Mr and Mrs', before heading to a cute shisha bar where we shared a melon one and a passion fruit one and some vodka shots. After failing yet again to find another bar/club to go to, we headed back.

Day 6 

Our last day had quickly arrived, but our flight wasn't until the evening, so we decided to make the most of the day. After quickly packing up and leaving our bags behind reception, we headed to a huge park. We had a great time there, taking pictures of peacocks, hiding from a professional photographer that I had accidentally asked to take our picture, eating ice cream and buckwheat pancakes (yes, gluten free!) and reading 50 Shades of Grey in different accents and voices.

After heading back to gather our bags, most went to find some food in the restaurant below the hostel, while a few of us headed out to grab a last burrito bowl and soak up some rays.

Of course, we couldn't just have a non-dramatic end to the tour...when we arrived at the airport everyone had been evacuated due to a bomb scare and we had to wait outside, hopefully a safe distance away from the airport. Thankfully it didn't take long to get sorted and we were soon on our way back to England.

All in all I had a fantastic time in Warsaw...the sights were beautiful, our group was amazing, the nights our were super fun and the alcohol was really cheap...what more could you ask for huh?

Bring on organising next years tour!


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