Beer, Beer and More Beer - It must be close to Oktober now!

Munich Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Check out the Photos in my Oktoberfest album:

We left Edinburgh at 10.30 on Thursday night, both of us knackered from a day at work, but we managed to get seats together and get comfy enough for a couple of hours shut eye on the 10 hour bus journey to London. When we got there it was better than I remembered and so warm, we stripped down to our singlet’s and went in search of a bank because cam had to sort out his pay dilemmas in the 2 hours we had in London. We got off the bus at Green line coach station, near Victoria and went and freshened up at the train station before catching the tube to Paddington. We didn’t manage to sort out the money situation, but luckily he had already been paid into his account so we managed to get out some money and get some euros and some breakfast at an awesome little café in Paddington.

We found our tour company and our bus without much drama, and by 11 we were off! It was only a couple of hours to Dover, but already it was shaping up to be a wild ride, mostly because we had had very little sleep already, and we were on a bus with 50 wild Aussies. When we got to Dover we had a passport check, and had to wait for a delayed ferry, which ended up being ok, the ferry ride was a good way to break up the journey, we had tea and scones as lunch cos it was already about 3pm. Off the ferry we stopped for more supplies and alcohol and then our bus started drinking. I didn’t really see the point in being blotto-ed on the way to a beerfestival and tried to get some sleep. The bus journey was from Calais in France, through Belgium, Luxembourg and then into Germany very, very early on Saturday morning. We were given our ‘id’ number, tent numbers and wristbands and handed over our valuables for lock up. When we got to the campsite, breakfast was already happening and the line up for the showers was phenomenal. While cam trekked for a wash, I set up the tent and cleaned my teeth, and prepared for a second day without being cleaned. Breakfast was a massive production line, PP have a whole team just there to feed the masses in the morning, which I guess is good, more hands make a light load. The campsite was packed all the tour companies had rows, and rows of tents, I think PP Travel had about 400 tents there themselves, let alone contiki, topdeck and god knows how many others there were. In our area there were 3 shower blocks, each with 3 male and 3 female showers, but one in each was a cold water only shower, so imagine the lines. We bought shower tokens for €1, which buys you 5 minutes of shower time, which is pretty long, but once you factor in the time it takes to get undressed, dry and dressed again, your looking at around 10 minutes per person and more than 10 people in the line, so it was looking more and more like I was going to be stinky for a week, but at least I wasn’t the only one making that decision. Also Germans apparently don’t have toilet seats, and the campsite didn’t have toilet paper, so it was usually a case of holding out for the beer hall (which had surprisingly nice loos).

So we jumped back onto busses and headed to the festival, Munich is very different to other European cities I’ve seen (not that its so many), and very different feel to the UK, the buildings distictly lack character, they do not have the detail in the architecture you expect to see, and the walls are remarkably lego-like. I was so amazed when we got to beerfest the sun was beating down, and there were people in lederhosen, and traditional outfits everywhere. Oktoberfest began in 1810 at the wedding of Prince Ludwig, the 1 of Bavaria and Princess Theresa of Saxony-Hildburghhausen, the couple invited the people of Munich to help them celebrate in the Theresienwiese (Theresa’s Fields). Bearing in mind this was the opening day, the mayor of Munich officially opens the beer halls at midday, by tapping the first keg after the opening day’s parade of decorated horse drawn carriages. There are 13 beer halls at the festival and more than 200 stalls selling food, trinkets and heart cookies with messages of love. We got there before 10am, and basically had to find a table and sit there till the beer started serving, if we wanted a drink that morning. We set up camp at Paulaner Munchen in the beer garden, after venturing into the hall and finding it PACKED. So we sat and waited and waited and waited, as you can imagine it was really hot and cam got pretty sun burnt. We were joined by a rowdy group of Italians who were good fun, apart from the oogling at the girls. At midday the whole hall erupted as the parade went past, and there was lots of singing and chanting, then out came the beer! The waitresses could carry at least 8 steins each it was absolutely amazing. So we had some steins with the Italians, and some old German women, who by the way were downing them faster than Cam! And decided to check out the festival, we wandered in and out of rides, stalls and more beer tents, with cam convincing me to go on scary, scary rides every now and again. The quest for toilets was a bit of a challenge but in the following days we realized that it must have had something to do with the amount of beer consumption rater than the lack of toilets. We stopped after a few rides to have lunch of a ½ a meter sausage! Cam got them to cut it in half, but you get the idea from the photo that’s half of it! We wandered around a bit more, looking at beer tents before we found our way to the Paulner Weiβbeir tent, where we had half steins of this really fruity beer, that tasted like bananas. It didn’t take to long to finish them, and then cam convinced me to go on the rollercoaster, not the huge one, but the smaller eurostar rollercoaster. By now it was late afternoon, and I was waning a bit, but we stopped off at the Laβ Dir raten.trinken SPATEN tent, to have Spaten Munchen brew. My last stein for the day was much more bitter than the one I had earlier, and by this stage I needed some help to finish it off. We went on one last ride, the swinging chairs before heading home, thinking it was way past our bedtimes, but as we crashed onto the bus I realized it was 8.30pm – oops. When we got off the tent I lost cam in the rush of people, and then had to wander around the tents for a while to see if he had gone back there, when I finally found our tent Cam wasn’t even there, so knowing his bad sense of direction I tried to find my way back to where I had lost him in the first place, and there sure enough an hour later, sitting where we had hopped off the bus. We clambered into the tent, and pretty much passed out. I was woken by lots of people talking outside our tent, and thought it was morning, so I hunted around in the dark for my shower things (it had been more than 2 days since my shower at home) and stumbled out of the tent (after a cheeky spew) into the dark and had the best shower of my life, in an empty campsite bathroom, as I snuck back into the tent and whispered to cam that I thought it was still night, I heard a clock chime 4 – waaaay too much beer right.

Breakfast on Sunday morning was a bit seedy to say the least, we got our valuables pouches and got some more money, before breakfast and then set off for some sightseeing. I didn’t take very long to get to Dachau concentration camp. Dachau wasn’t an extermination camp like Krakow, but there was still such an eerie sense there. The camp was designed to hold around 50,000 prisoners but by the end of the war there were more than 200,000 people housed there. They were used for hard labor as well as medical experiments, its really eye opening when you see the original crematorium that was too small to dispose of all the remains and the second, larger crematorium that was build to accommodate all the deaths. But even this wasn’t enough and many people ended up in mass graves they had dug themselves along the walk up to the camp. After a sobering morning we headed to the Andechs Monastery, which dates back to 1080, the monks who live there used to fast for a month while they brewed the strongest, darkest beer in Bavaria. We were feeling a bit seedy, but had a massive meal of chicken, spareribs and pretzels in one of the beautiful beer garden on the hill. The food was amazing, but really salty all the better for drinking with! We left the monastery at about 6pm and headed back to beerfest, where we went on more rides like the power tower, which went up and down for around 60 meters, yikes and the power ball which basically made me really, really dizzy, and had a few more steins of Hacker-Pschorr brew at the Hacker Feztelt Tent and the Pschorr-Braurosl Tent. The atmosphere at the tents at night was different to the opening day, there were so many gay couples dancing on tables to the live bands. Each tent has a live brass band that plays a combination of German and drinking music, adding to the atmosphere of the beer hall. I caved to my beer drinking and had a Nymphenburgh Champers, before crashing out, in our little tent.

The fact that it was our last day on Monday was pretty sad, we all spent most of the morning packing up tents and loading up the bus. Cam and I headed back to Oktoberfest and had one of our last drinks at the Augustiner-Brau tent. Cam was keen for rides, but my chicken gene had finally kicked in so I was woosing out of some of them. We made a point of going in and seeing a few different tents and going on the last rides, like the big rollercoaster. We saw the Hippodrom, and the Hoffbrau tents which are renowned for being popular antipodeans. In the Hoffbrau tent the middle section is called the ‘pigpen’ and basically there is no underwear allowed, if you enter wearing your bra, it will get cut off and thrown onto the cupid hanging above the pigpen. We had our first drink inside a beer tent in the Lowenbrau on our last day. It was a good feeling with the band playing and people walking around selling mementos and food. The coach came at 6.30 to start us on the journey home, it was a lot more subdued than the party on the way over, but I think the bus drivers were pretty annoyed at us because there was a lot less stopping. There were movies played all the way, at one point most people were sleeping to the screams of Saw II, as we were driving through the Belgian countryside, it was a little creepy. When we got to Calais we had another passport check, and one of the guys was pulled off the bus, because his visa had expired while he had been in Germany, so he was not allowed back into the UK. We got back into London at about midday, where we caught up with James, before heading for a break at aunty Santosh’s house, before we set back on the last leg to Scotland on Tuesday night.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: AleksandraEa