It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole week since my Oktoberfest experience. I’ve been super busy on tours and travelling so there’s not been much time to write. Although in truth, it would have taken me almost a week to arrange my memories and collect my thoughts. Regardless…The festival was mostly everything I expected plus a lot more. The tents were jam packed but things were relatively civil inside when you consider the circumstances. We did Lowenbrau on the opening Saturday and then Augustiner on Sunday. I get the impression from friends that some of the other tents, like the Hofbrau, were a little more out there.What I wasn’t expecting were all the rollercoasters and family fun rides. There were plenty to choose from and they added nicely to atmosphere while giving a less booze/food oriented entertainment option.As we arrived at approx. 8:45 on the first morning to find litterally thousands of people flooding into the Theresienwiese grounds. After switching queues, we jumped in behind about 40-60 people at a side entrance and managed to be sucked inside with the crowd. Once under the canvas, it was a bit of a stampede as people tried to rally around friends and claim a table. I ended up on a table with two mates and four kiwis. We were later joined by three young Germans from Cologne who added some local flavour and rounded out the ten person table.From there, the wait began. We traded stories about the previous night, recent travel and our different backgrounds. I made a tactical move to eat a tasty pretzel at around 11:30 in preparation for the first round. After some pomp and ceremony, the first set of frothy ones were dispatched to us at about 12:15 and it was party time.Some of the highlights:
- Riding the dodgem cars (the only time I’ll ever drink and drive);
- Realising my tour company had pitched my camping tent on a metal man-cover hole;
- Sitting at a table with a German family and hearing what Oktoberfest means to the locals.
I have to admit I was quite glad to see the back of Munich when we checked out on Monday morning. It’s a beautiful place but there is no way I could maintain the Oktoberfest lifestyle for more than two days. It really is that much fun!