02.10.2009 - 05.10.2009
Oktoberfest was a trip which we were both excited and nervous about. To summarise, it is a large beer festival in Munich which has representation from all the large German and Bavarian breweries. It runs for three weeks and culminates in the first weekend of October. Friends of ours have been before and we've heard all sorts of debaucherous stories of their trips, thus us being slightly nervous about what to expect. Although, there was a group of 13 of us going to share the experience so what could possibly go wrong...?
A brief description:
- each brewery has their own tent where they serve their own beer; these tents are decorated on the inside and are about as big as a medium sized aircraft hangar and have seating for about 6,000 people within each tent
- to get a table and a chance at being served you have to be at a tent at about 10am in the morning
- you buy beer in one litre steins (you can also buy half steins but nobody does)
- each tent has its own kitchen serving pork knuckle, chicken, bratwurst etc; vegetables are a rarity
- outside the tents there is a carnival atmosphere with every fairground ride you can imagine
- most local men will wear Lederhosen which is traditional Bavarian dress. Local woman wear Dirndl : a tradition in Southern Germany.
We set off from London early on Friday morning arriving in Munich and then at our hostel at about 9am. Not to waste any drinking time we promply changed into our recently purchased costumes and headed for the festival. Our costumes consisted of a cheap fabric version of Lederhosen for myself and a small version of the Dirndl for Diana. We headed for Augustiner-Festhalle (Festival Hall) where we had our first steins. Augustiner turned out to be our favourite beer at the festival. After many laughs, a broken stein, far too much drinking and not enough eating for myself we headed home for an early evening. The pictures below are of the festival grounds on our way to our first stein, inside the Augustiner-Festhalle and our costumes:
On the morning of Day Two we decided to go to the Löwenbräu-Festhalle which is famous for its drinking lion and its food. For lunch, we shared a €25 pork knuckle which was massive; quite salty but delicous. That afternoon we headed out to the fairground rides. For a three-week long festival these were amazing. The most impressive ones were a couple of very large rollercoasters and a log flume. The pictures below are of inside Löwenbräu-Festhalle, a €25 pork knuckle and the Olympic Rings rollercoaster which we went on:
For Day Three we started the day at the Hippodrom. We had been told that the Hippodrom is a place for celebrity spotting and the more trendy crowd. Although we didn't see any celebrities that we recognised the Hippodrom was definitely the nicest beer hall we visited (and had the nicest printed steins!). That evening we changed halls and went to Hofbräu-Festzelt. Hofbräu-Festzelt is the polar opposite of the Hippodrom and when we arrived everybody was dancing on the tables. I am not sure if it even took another stein but we soon joined in and had an enjoyable evening. The pictures below were taken inside the Hofbräu and Hippodrom halls:
As the fesival finished on the Sunday, we spent our final day exploring the city of Munich which, up until this point, we had seen very little of. The pictures below are of the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in the Marienplatz and us exploring the English Gardens:
After an exhausting trip both Di and I were very glad to be home to start our multiple loads of washing and to enjoy a few alcohol-free days