Munich Oktoberfest!October 2, 2016 in Germany
It may not suprise you to know that we have a spreadsheet. It contains a list of European countries, specific places we'd like to visit and what we'd like to do in them. Oktoberfest in Munich, the world's biggest beer festival, was one of those things.
We'd booked 2 nights in the official 1500 place Oktoberfest campsite. The rest of the year the site was a car park but organisers had installed temporary water and emptying points, toilets, showers, a few small shops, a bar serving food and check in stations where you could also buy metro tickets for the nearby underground station. At €50 a night for the three of us it was expensive but it was very well run and had easy transport to the festival.
Despite its name, Oktoberfest started in mid September. The two days we visited were its last, with the final day falling on the national holiday celebrating Germany's reunification.
The festival was in the city centre and the majority of space was taken up by a huge fairground. More people than not were dressed in the traditional brown leather lederhosen or a bosom framing dirndl dress.
All sorts of wurst in bread buns were available for lunch and after we'd eaten, we headed towards the traditional section where we found one of many huge tents, filled with tables, benches and beer! Ours was decorated with evergreen ropes and had a stage in the middle where traditional dancing was taking place, supported by a brass band and sometimes live singers. The public could use it to dance on but there were regular dance groups showing choreographed routines, some of which included leg slapping in time to the music. There was also a skilled display of 4 men with long whips, cracking them in the air as a sort of drum beat.
Entry was free but the beer comparatively expensive, with a traditional litre tankard costing €10.50. Tables were waited on for drinks and meals and people walked around with baskets of huge pretzels or decorated gingerbread hearts hanging from poles for you to buy. Funnily enough we were joined at our table by a family whose Dad had originally lived in Sutton Coldfield!
The festival atmosphere was good and we were glad Ade was there to share it with us. The one ride he wanted to go on was the bumper cars so we visited them on the way back. Unfortunately Vicky left her coat on one and because of the no bag policy, her wallet was in the pocket. When she returned to try and retrieve it, someone had handed in the coat without the wallet. There was no joy at the central lost and found either and so the next morning was spent cancelling cards and ordering a new driving licence and EU health card. We are very grateful to Will's sister Sue, who will post them out to us when they have all arrived!Read more