Posts Tagged With: Munich

Theresienwiese

Dirndl: a traditional dress typically worn in southern Germany primarily in Bavaria during Oktoberfest.

Lederhosen: a mans traditional outfit worn in southern Germany primarily in Bavaria during Oktoberfest.

Beer: the number one liquid (even over water) consumed during the 16 day festival.

Time to experience Bavaria Germany at the worldwide known event! Feel free to read Hurry up and wait! to see how we made it to this moment.

Once the doors open there are 2 rules, no running and no standing on the table tops.  Other than that, first come-first serve.  Ready, set, GO!  
 
Once  you’ve claimed your table, you sit patiently like children in the classroom waiting for cupcakes and chocolate milk. The menu is on the table for the ordering all day and the beers start flowing from out of nowhere!

  

    
 Quick story of the day: Carina and Jenni ordered Weisswurst (a white Bavarian sausage) that requires the removal of a thin skin before you can eat the meat.  I’m used to this process after witnessing in times past, however my sweet girls clearly had never seen such a thing. Please… please enjoy this sequence of photos I captured during the removal of the skin! 

 

 
Well that was fun.
All righty, lets take a look around and share the glorious energy of thousands of people gathering to celebrate! In no specific order, here’s a series of photos for your own personal tour through the eyes of my camera. 

    
     
     
     
     

      

     

Did I mention that we were still having a blast? My cheeks began to hurt from the laughing, singing and smiling. The energy all around just keeps you going!

   Year after year, we’ve kept our classic photo a tradition!
 

  
 

End of the day? Yep.

Hopefully that gave you a decent idea of the fun to be had inside the tents at Oktoberfest. Tomorrow will bring a solid vision of what’s happening on the outside during these festivities! 

Random Oktoberfest facts:

Oktoberfest started as a celebration of the wedding between Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and his wife, Princess Therese. 

There is approximately 1.8 million gallons of beer served every year at this festival.

Paris Hilton is banned for Oktoberfest due to inappropriate dress attire while trying to promote a new product.

Over 4,000 lost and found items turn up by the end of these shenanigans. Last year items included 350 cell phones, 520 wallets, over 1,000 passports, 370 pairs of glasses, 425 sets of keys, 1300 items of clothing, and at least one set of dentures. Even 48 children were lost, then found. 

Categories: Edibles!, Fashion from a backpack, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurry up and wait!

The 4 of us left Bochum early to make our way to Munchen knowing the others would soon trail behind by driving themselves the following day.

11 hours on a crowded overnight bus (with team chatterbox behind us) made the 12th hour of transit seem refreshing and oddly easy. Once we made it to the main station in Munich, we took a small train called the SBahn to the nearest stop of our new home.  From there, we made the final stretch into a suburban neighborhood. I’m sure due to lack of sleep, the long walk was mostly silent. However, total exhaustion fuled random bursts of spontaneous giggles. You know the feeling!

  
So imagine this, 3 Americans, 3 Germans and me looking for a place to share. Considering the popularity of Oktoberfest, most accomodations are booked solid months ahead of time and if they’re not, the price is beyond unreasonable.  With 7 of us wanting to stay together, our other option was sharing a dorm room in a hostel which comes with a dozen strangers and a complementary shared public bathroom. 

Been there, did that… so we found something else!

Our perfect location was a treasure rental that is owned and operated by an extremely accommodating host.  With his gentle energy Jorj was there to meet, greet and help with whatever he could during our stay. I didn’t get a photo of him, so please check out his page by clicking here.

Just outside of the city, we (voluntarily) packed into a quaint 2 bedroom, one bath apartment. Down stairs provided an open kitchen, the bathroom with washer and a dining table big enough for all of us to gather around. 

   
 A couple of cute decorations added a bit of character to our little home away from home. 

 The bed I chose was down stairs tucked in a cubby that actaully provided some of the best sleep I’ve gotten on this entire trip! (Thank you amazing-o-friends for letting me have “first dibs”)

The rest of the crew had their pick from 6 spots upstairs. By stairs, I mean a completely vertical walking ramp with hand rails and a warning from the owner.  These things are dangerous with too many proasts at the festival!   

   
We’ve all made it!  

 
It’s early to bed since the morning brings a 4:30 alarm clock. If you recall in recent years, the chances of getting in a tent if you’re not there by sunrise becomes slim and hardly likely. For entertainment purposes, please read Inside the tents!  to see what the traditional morning race entails! Here’s a clip from the crowd of eager attendees in years past.
  
The 4 of us who have been before spent days preparing the others for the exciting bright rise and struggle to the gates. With success, we were all able to get up, dressed and ready (rememebr 5 girls, 2 boys and one bathroom) in time to beat the sun in the German sky. Awful photos, but you get the idea.

 On time and in transit!

  
Finally arriving to the festival grounds, we continued to amp up our group in regards to the battle that’s ahead.  The crowds… the elbows.. the sea of dirndls and lederhosen… are you ready!?  

 
WHAT?! Are you ready for an empty lot with a couple cleaning crew members and a few other confused people?  I don’t even think I knew what this wooden floor looked like from years past! We finally came to the conclusion that it was our first attempt during the week verses a Saturday morning. Turns out it’s easier when a portion of the city has to go to work.   

 
Well, we did what we do best… which is to make the best of it!  A few fun pictures, some hair play and 3 hours of meeting new friends as we watched the crowd slowly expand.       

What’s behind that door?  Our entire day of festivites patiently awaiting our arrival!

  

Doors open! To be continued…
   

Would you rather be 3 hours early or 30 minute late?

  

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Oktoberfest- Inside the tents!

In the previous post you got to see the outskirts of the festival and the crowds that come with it. Let’s enter the social world of the tents.

Just for fun, here are a few photos from the years past of Oktoberfest.

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These fine gentlemen are friends from my home town of Folsom. They were my beer drinking instructors and guides in the first Oktoberfest I attended.

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You can go about getting into the tents in a variety of ways.

Option 1: You can reserve a seat (up to a year in advanced) and be able to walk right in and sit in your desired tent at a table at the time you’ve picked. Easiest option, but requires way to big of a commitment for my preference.
Option 2: You can arrive to the festival whenever you want and walk from tent to tent, trying your luck to see which has the shortest line or friendliest security guard. To sketchy for me, inside the tents are worth more of an effort.
Option 3: Wake up before the sun and get in line to the tent you want and stand for 3-4 hours patiently waiting for the ropes to drop while you prepare to be elbowed for a table in the rush of other hopefuls trying to snag the best seat. Winner!

It’s 6:45am and we are dressed and ready to battle the lines of the famous Schottenhamel. It’s the oldest and the largest tent with 10,000 seats. In my opinion, it’s the best offering a variety of characters from youthful travelers to veteran Germans. At noon on opening day, Munich’s Mayor kicks off the festival by tapping the first keg of beer at the Schottenhamel tent… And now we are headed there!

Dressed and ready for day two!

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The walk brings a glimpse of sunrise and we are now in line with all fingers crossed that we’ll get in. Here is the first two hours of the day.

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We met these lovely ladies in line. Let the list of new friends begin!

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As the line inches forward with each small group they let in at a time, your heart starts beating a bit faster, palms get sweaty, tummy starts to growl and… Well, maybe that’s just me, either way you can feel the energy around you start to grow as you can look in and see the next group getting ready as they clear the outdoor tables. Here we all are watching, squeezing and getting ready to be let in!

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It’s getting tighter!

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And we’re in… the beer garden. Let’s clarify, you can be on the grounds of the tent which is outdoor seating with the same food and same drinks. I rate this a “B-“. At least you’re in, but it’s lacking the live band, people singing and dancing on tables and the other 9,000 friends you haven’t met yet.

First up, 2 beers and some soup (Marshall added some sausage to his order) Perfect breakfast!

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When sitting outside, here’s what you’ll see. I’ll start out with our awesome neighbors and new friends that took a train here from the Netherlands. So nice to of met you, and let’s keep in touch!

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Although I was thankful to at least get this close, I was far from being settled that Marshall hasn’t experienced the controlled chaos of inside the tent. They’ve locked the doors and are just letting a few people in as some are exiting.

Our plan: I work my way in by showing them a “thumbs up” sign, which means there’s only one of me. Then after I get in, I wait for a minute then ask the inside guard if he can let my friend in because we got separated. Is this sneaky or smart? I’m not sure, but worth it if it works!

Step one accomplished! I’m in and now standing in the adult Disneyland with my poor friend outside pressed against the door window like a puppy locked out in the rain.

His view through the glass.

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My view. Can you see his sad little face through the window?

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Step two, I approach the guard and before I open my mouth he shakes his head no. I look at Marshall’s eager eyes and give him the deep sigh and “I’ll try again” look. Step three, four, and five are identical to step two.

Final attempt- I went to the door man who appeared to be not German and used my Spanish… Thank you español! He smiled and responded by pointing to Marshall’s bearded puppy face and literally pulled him in by the wrist as the surrounding hopefuls grumbled under their breath in jealousy. WE DID IT!

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From this point forward you walk around and wait for the opportunity for an open seat a table with people who are willing to let you slide in. (This is of course because we didn’t have reservations or anyone else there saving a table).

Between his friendly face and my enthusiastic smile, we score yet again! Here’s the next 4 hours of our celebration!

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…and the Prost!

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Look who it is… The first pic is from last year at Oktoberfest, followed by us this year! Thank you Tim and Marion for the smiles and open arms to this amazing celebration!

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The refreshing walk home was complemented with a little rain, open air and nothing but giggles. What a day!

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