Oktoberfest -- the real deal!

Munich Travel Blog

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Disneyland of beer

I think that my remaining brain cells must be the product of survival of the fittest. I've killed off a fair number of 'em since adolescence, but I'm still pretty smart. ;-P I made sure on my recent trip to Munich to devote as much time to seeing the town's historic sites as I did to getting drunk in an Oktoberfest beer tent. It's important to find the equilibrium in all things, I believe.

It turned out to be the perfect weekend to get out of Barcelona. The plane was delayed by a heavy storm, and we were still under thunderclouds when we took off from BCN, but I arrived in Munich to blue skies and had warm, sunny weather the whole time. My hosts were my ex-classmate Julia and her brother Toby, who live in Wessling, a small town that's a bit of a train ride outside Munich.

We're gonna party like it's 1899!
It was good to see a bit of the Bavarian countryside around their house, as it was a nice change of scenery from the Mediterranean.

I walked around a bit the afternoon I arrived just to get a feel for the town and take some pics. We strolled trough the Theresienwiese (the big fairground where Oktoberfest takes place) to take a gander at the festivities, and my first thought was of the Simpsons episode where they go to Duff Gardens! It's like a Disneyland of beer: there's rides, cheesy fairy-tale decor, and tacky souvenirs, but here the drunk people wearing their tacky souvenirs puke on the fairy-tale decor after they get off the rides.

Sunday was Beer Day! We showed up at the beer tent about 11 AM. It had only been open an hour, but was already chock full of revelers, either drunk or getting there.

diggin' the oompah music
The tents are only open from 10 AM to 10 PM -- a very different drinking culture from Spain, where the drinking usually starts after midnight. The beer tents serve beer in a one-liter mug called a mass that's about the equivalent of three cans of beer. We stayed at the tent until about 5 PM, and it got progressively crazier over the afternoon. When the band showed up to play their oompah music, everybody got up to dance on the benches. There was also much eating of sausage, chicken, and potato salad. I had four of those one-liter mugs.

On the train ride back to Wessling, I was feeling a bit queasy. Julia let me get off the train and take a nap on one of the benches on a train station platform. I felt so much better after that little siesta in the Bavarian sunset. The fresh air and a bit of rest on the world's most comfortable train platform bench fixed whatever was wrong with me.

beer steins and the Virgin Mary -- that's Bavaria!
I got a good night's sleep and woke up the next morning with zero hangover. I guess that's one advantage of getting drunk during the day -- you have plenty of time to recuperate before the next morning!

The next day was for sightseeing. There's definitely a different visual esthetic between Northern/Central Europe and the Mediterranean. It seems like the buildings in Munich use a wider variety of colors, whereas in Barcelona most architecture is some variety of cream, grey, or sandy brown. I visited the Neu Pinkothek (part if the Bavarian state's art collection), where I was excited to see some Van Goghs I had never seen in person before, the Residenz (former palace of the kings of Bavaria), the Frauenkirche ("Lady Church," Munich's cathedral), and Ludwig Maximilian University. Soaking up Bavarian culture beyond just beer and sausage -- altogether, a great trip!

 

hdichter says:
i can't believe you needed a change of scenery from the med!!
Posted on: Oct 20, 2007
fluturas says:
No comments Ted, sometimes u stun me..how u combine "the small things" of life with "the background" where the show is playing.
Posted on: Oct 20, 2007
jteddyb says:
I didn't pass out! It was just a nap! A NAP!!!
Posted on: Oct 20, 2007
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Disneyland of beer
Disneyland of beer
Were gonna party like its 1899!
We're gonna party like it's 1899!
diggin the oompah music
diggin' the oompah music
beer steins and the Virgin Mary --…
beer steins and the Virgin Mary -…
inside the beer tent -- some blond…
inside the beer tent -- some blon…
What do Germans love more than Dav…
What do Germans love more than Da…
scariest dude at Oktoberfest
scariest dude at Oktoberfest
the theater at Max-Josef-Platz
the theater at Max-Josef-Platz
Michaelskirche (left), with the to…
Michaelskirche (left), with the t…
Old Peter, Munichs oldest church
"Old Peter," Munich's oldest church
Odeonsplatz
Odeonsplatz
equestrian statue of King Ludwig I…
equestrian statue of King Ludwig …
St. Pauls church, near the Oktobe…
St. Paul's church, near the Oktob…
Theatinerstrasse
Theatinerstrasse
Munichs cathedral
Munich's cathedral
a golden glow on Marienplatz
a golden glow on Marienplatz
the new town hall, on Marienplatz
the new town hall, on Marienplatz
the old town hall, with the Holy G…
the old town hall, with the Holy …
fall colors in Wessling
fall colors in Wessling
the village church in Wessling
the village church in Wessling
Munich
photo by: AleksandraEa