Monday, October 28, 2013

The REAL Oktoberfest

We made it!  I feel like we just checked a huge box on our bucket list making it down to Munich, or Munchen, as the Germans call it.  I mean, my first Oktoberfest I traveled 3 hours to Ann Arbor, MI to visit my cousin Sarah, so I feel like this is an accomplishment.
Where are our dirndls?
So, yes, we traveled down to Bavaria.  We decided to drive down, since a round trip train ticket for two would be around 160 euro and our good old 4-cylinder Honda would only take a tank and a half of gas.  This was a great idea until on the way home we got stuck in 4 hours of traffic, so the four hour drive turned into eight hours.  Not. fun.   

We had a lot of fun experiencing the largest beer festival in the world.  We were extremely lucky to be able to go this year.  In order to experience Oktoberfest you have to plan six month in advance.  We attempted to plan in April while Sam was deployed, but we had no luck.  Our luck changed when Sam started working with some pretty amazing people and they invited us to take their last two tickets.  Yay for new friends!

The tickets were for the Hacker-Festzelt tent.  There are ten people per table and your ticket gets you 3L of beer and a chicken.  In case you were wondering, the chicken was ah-mazing.  It was actually quite impressive that the tents can serve and feed everyone.  We're talking up to 10,000 people in each tent.  As a public health microbiologist I was astonished!  They really have this show down.  Our tickets were from 12-5PM.  At five they came and moved us out.  It's understandable, they have more people to serve for the evening shift.  This was sad though because we were having a blast, and we needed to continue the fun.  The problem is you can't get into another tent unless you have a ticket.  So, we wandered around a bit and one of our friends knew a friend at the Paulaner tent.  We stood outside the tent for a while and begged the gate keepers (that's appropriate, right?) along with everyone else to let us in.  Finally, we asked the friend on the inside to get the waitress to tell the gate keepers to let us come inside, and it worked!  So, if you're going and don't have an evening ticket maybe this tip will work for you too!  

This is how we started oktoberfest.  This guy bought us drinks at the bar while telling us random stories about why he has tape on his nipples.  TMI?  I think so.

Our first night in Munich we got all dressed up to go to dinner at the Augustiner Keller because there's no such thing as wearing dirndl and lederhosen too much!

They have great bier.

And great people!

Look what I found.  Schnitzel!!!!!!

The Hacker-Festzelt tent

View from our table!


One of our friends is allergic to gluten, so they brought her a giant wine schorle!

Hanchen!  German for chicken.

Most of what  I remember from the tents was singing this over and over again:  "Ein Prosit, ein Prosit; Der Gemütlichkeit; Ein Prosit, ein Prosit; Der Gemütlichkeit; OANS ZWOA DREI! G’SUFFA"!

Probably 2L's down...

 After we were kicked out of the tent.  Still smiling.

Major tip:  Do not travel to Oktoberfest if you don't have a ticket.  You are more than likely not going to touch a beer.  You can arrive to tents uber early in the morning to snag a seat, but you will most likely only be able to drink from 8am to noon.  Then you'll be stuck outside at the fairgrounds beer-less.  

Gut, Besser, Paulaner.

The Oktoberfest party at our hotel pub!  We danced the night away.

A short taste of Oktoberfest!

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