Our train to Munich was my first experience in a spacious sleeper cabin. When I say spacious, I mean large enough to stand next to your bag with one foot on the bed and an elbow in the sink. We had to take turns getting ready but that was a tiny price to pay for a decent nights rest and saving night in a hostel.
The first year I did this journey, I had a seat in the night train next to “Sir Snores All Night” and an innocent child that was clearly tired and miserable. The following year my dear friend Tiffany and I chose floor space in the doorway and kept ourselves entertained. Here’s a shot from that “seat”.
Considering the last trip on ground that was twice as long on a bus in South America, this sleeper car was beyond luxury!
We woke up in time to hear them announce our soon arrival, woohoo! As we hopped off the train, we find a fellow backpacker adjusting his bag… its Alan! You’ll see more of Alan later, but just know we met him in the hostel back in Amsterdam. All of his friends had bailed so he was traveling solo for this portion of his trip. Not now, he happen to meet us at the right time in the right place! What a coincidence. You all know I don’t believe in those, so what a perfect path crossing!
He joined us for a walk around Munich before we parted ways to check in for the weekend. (I’ll show you more of Munich after the Oktoberfest posts).
We checked in to our new temporary home and are ready for day one of our 48 hour whirlwind of Oktoberfest. This is Marshall’s first time, so I thought we’d take it easy and experience the outdoor portion first. This of course means we are saving the “tent” shinanagins for the bright and early start on Saturday!
Step one: Suit up! If I don’t say so myself, I think we did a fantastic job of sporting the traditional outfits. I’m in a dirndl that I got the first year I attended and have proudly warn ever since and Marshall is well fitted in his shiny new lederhosen!
I think our “welcome packages” were adorable! The heart cookie necklaces are traditional this time of year, similar to the American “Valentine”, you adorn your sweetie with a phrase of your choice. I have no idea what our says… I just know they’re not for eating (yes, I tried a nite…its a cookie!) Aside from the necklace we got the Oktoberfest beer, a sample size of local liquor and a mug shot glass.
Step two: Finish the outfit with an awesome hat that says “Tourist… Who me?”
Step three: Take in the sights! Outside of the beer drinking tents (that are actually huge buildings that fit 6-10 thousand people each) there are rides for all ages, food stands, souvenir shops, and thousands of energized people. Many dressed in the appropriate clothes, others in casual wear and my personal favorite are the elderly couples hand in hand in what appears to be authentic outfits they’ve probably had for generations!
I wish I could of recorded the verbal exchange when I was asking this young German couple if they would be a part of my handstand picture, hilarious!
These guys were at a beer garden we visited that was just outside of the festival. We entered a conversation of “tough countries” and naturally it ends up in an arm wrestling match. I dedicate these photos to “The Young Family” in Oklahoma.
Step four: Partake in your choice of typical Bavarian festival food! Note to future Oktoberfest attendees: Do not… I repeat do not try and pump your own mustard unless you would like a small bruise from a local German vendor operator.
The walk back brings some great night shots of the energy and lights that keep the festival going.
Tomorrow brings a 5:30am alarm to get ready for our attempt at getting in to the most famous of the tents, the Schottenhamel.