Oktoberfest Lesson 1: You really do need all those brats (or some chicken, or some pretzels, or some schnitzel…) to soak up all of that beer. It’s essential if you want to keep going all day and enjoy several Masses (liter stein) of beer. Oktoberfest Lesson 2: Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE wears traditional dress. If you don’t have on lederhosen or a dirndl, you need to get some or you’ll be stopped in the line for the bathroom at the tents, looked up and down and asked “what are you wearing?”
We didn’t manage to secure a spot within the tents during Oktoberfest Munich 2011 but we did find ourselves at a lovely table outside in the sun, making new friends. Our last day in Munich was the only time I sat at a table inside the tent. It was on a Sunday, family day, and extremely tame. I would love to go back for the full tent experience with the whole live band, dancing on tables bit. 🙂
All in all, Oktoberfest was pretty incredible. I was surprised at how orderly it really was. I couldn’t help but think that it would not have gone down as smoothly in the states. 🙂 Sure, there were moments of drunken debauchery, particularly when the tents were closing at around 11:30pm and the inevitable reality of all-day drinking set in, but otherwise it was just a bunch of people having a good time.
Aside from the festival, we also did a bike tour of downtown Munich through Mike’s Bike Tours. We started in Marienplatz, waved at the Glockenspiel, biked through the English Garden, took a break in the beer garden and stopped to see a surfer in the river. The English Garden itself was definitely a highlight for me and was absolutely beautiful the day we visited. We also left Munich one day and did a tour of Neuschwanstein Castle. While I will never, I mean NEVER, do that again, it was however some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.
I had an amazing time in Germany and I’ve never been in a country with more genuinely friendly and helpful people. We were asked several times if we needed directions, always unsolicited, and always with a smile.
A beautiful country, beautiful people and a beautiful Oktoberfest.
© Jennifer Konopasek and GoodTravelerKarma, 2011.