Oktoberfest!

25 Sep

Ein prosit! This catchcry rings out in every beer tent at Oktoberfest – a toast to your wellbeing – or pretty much, just drink beer and you’ll be fine! Stein in hand (or two hands, they are very heavy), we joined in on this song played by the band over and over while we sat in the beer garden of the Hippodrom tent on our first day at Oktoberfest. We couldn’t really pronounce the words or knew exactly what we were singing, but ein prosit was all that really mattered.
 
Oktoberfest is amazing. Go for the beer. Go for the dress-ups. Go for the dancing. Go for the culture and tradition. Go for the FUN! The festival is in its 200th year this year, although technically it has been cancelled a total of 24 times due to the war and other things. In traditional German outfits (or more like our tourist interpretation of ‘traditional’ courtesy of eBay), the eight of us – Matt, Amy, Troy, Jo, Geri, Kristy, Tim  and I – all set off to experience one of the greatest festivals on Earth. The atmosphere is amazing. It draws you in and everyone is your friend here. Everyone is so happy, I’m sure it’s the beer that does it, but even as we were lining up for our free Topdeck breakfast in the morning, you can feel the excitement of everybody talking about the opening day at Oktoberfest.
 
There are literally hundreds of thousands of people here at the same time, all vying for a seat in one of the tents. We learnt our lesson – GO EARLY or reserve a table in advance. No matter how much we searched, we couldn’t find a free table, let alone a seat, inside the most popular tents. This is vital as you can’t order a beer if you aren’t seated. The beer garden was still amazing, but didn’t have quite the same atmosphere as inside with the thousands of other punters. We did however get a seat inside one of the more traditional tents in the historic display area. It was fun here as we all got involved in the German dancing on the stage in the middle of the tent.
 
A huge carnival adds to the festival feel with street parades and food and souvenir stalls intertwined along the street with the beer tents, which stand out amongst everything else. We went on a couple of the rides, including the ferris wheel on our last night, which gave us amazing views overlooking the whole Oktoberfest grounds. Check out the photos, it’s so pretty!
 
Of course it wasn’t all beer drinking. One the day we arrived after our very early morning flight, we explored a little of Munich itself. We strolled around an amazing food market with cheese, just HUGE wheels of cheese, olives, fruit, vegetables, wine, dried flowers which smelt amazing, and of course, we came across a few pubs along the way, in which we stopped to have a glass. We also climbed the stairs of one of the towers which overlooks the Marienplatz (centre square) for some amazing views overlooking the city of Munich. We had schnitzels for dinner and apple strudel for dessert (when in Rome!). We also spent the morning of our third day at the Dachau Concentration Camp, located just outside of Munich. It was the first concentration camp set up by Hilter and was the ‘model’ on which all other camps were based upon. The stories that came out of the camp are heart-wrenching and your mind struggles with the reality that these stories are in fact, FACT. It’s beyond belief how people can be so cruel to their fellow person.
 
But, back to the beer fest. Following our trip to Dachau, we headed back to Oktoberfest for more beer and dancing. We stopped for super-long German sausage hot dogs for lunch and caffeine to get us through the day. Following more attempts to get a seat inside one of the main beer tents, we headed back to our trusty beer tent where we knew seats would be available. There’s nothing like chilling out, listening to the band and throwing back a beer with mates, while watching all the locals really get into their festival. You can tell everyone just loves it.

Our last day in Germany meant we had to check out of our little tents and head back into the city of Munich for a little more sightseeing before catching the train to the airport. We had a small sleep in, which wasn’t much considering we had very limited sleep the whole weekend. Together with the cold nights sleeping in a tent, people continued partying at the campground well into the early hours of the morning and lucky us to score a tent opposite the toilet and shower block. People seemed to congregate around the toilets to keep drinking, talking and singing, which meant broken sleep throughout the night. But it’s all part of the festival and we can always catch up on sleep at work hey?!

So that’s Oktoberfest down… let’s see if we make it there next year! (Anyone want to join us?!)

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2 Responses to “Oktoberfest!”

  1. Grandma September 25, 2010 at 11:10 AM #

    Hi Melinda having been waiting for this blog great stuff

    love you

    Grandma

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Berlin will never be Berlin « mmeblog - January 10, 2012

    […] hundreds of fellow citizens all dancing on the tables and drinking beer from massive steins (read: Octoberfest!) – and we love it too and is definitely a great way to wind down after a stressful […]

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An Australian in Germany

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