Thursday, October 4, 2012

OKTOBERFEST!!! (day one)

Oh boy, this past weekend was a wild one!

The bus ride out there was absolutely terrible: 12 hours cramped in the back of a double-decker bus with no room. It was impossible to sleep, particularly since the massive guy sitting next to me decided to pass out laying on top of me. Additionally, the DVD player wasn't working, so there were no movies to watch. To top it all off, the ceiling of the bus was dripping air conditioning coolant on me the entire night. It was lovely....

Once we arrived things improved drastically, particularly due to the fact that the campsite we were staying at provided unlimited beer all weekend for only 10 euro. Thus, we were handed beers at approximately 8:30 in the morning, before even having had any breakfast.

Breakfast beer
So we enjoyed a couple beers, as well as a breakfast of "egg in the hole," which included toast with an egg in the center. After that, Eric and I took public transportation to get to the real reason why we came to Munich in the firts place: OKTOBERFEST!

Finally here!
It turns out that the event is essentially like any other fair, except with more beer, more food, more people, more rides, and less nonsense!

Immediately, Eric and I went into what is known as the primary American beer tent, Hofbräuhaus, and were instantly amazed by the sheer size and insanity of the tent.

Yes, that is Cupid flying in the center...

Not really sure where to go or how to get beer, we just sat down at a table. All of a sudden, without even ordering anything, a woman shows up with a couple of beers for us and sets them down on teh table. Now that is what I call service! Oh and by the way, each beer comes in a stein that holds a liter of delicious 8-9% alcohol beer. This stuff is not joke!

My first Haufbrau Beer
We ended up meeting with a few of our friends and drinking with them. In Germany, instead of Cheers they say "Prost," and so we prosted many a time throughout the weekend! The entire tent got pretty rowdy, with people drinking and singing and drinking some more, and then even more drinking and chanting... You get the picture :)


I even prosted Eric's drink a little too hard and broke the top of my stein a bit. Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone ;)

Upon leaving the tent, we were rather inebriated, meandering about the streets of Oktoberfest. We encountered several horse-drawn carriages. Eric couldn't resist petting the horses for a good long while. We even lost him for a bit because once we left the horses, he just kept staying and petting.

And what was the purpose of the carriages? To carry kegs of beer to their respective beer tents of course!

Beer Transportation Extraordinaire
Here's a look inside a different tent, although I don't quite remember which one.

Another beer tent
Well, Eric and I were pretty exhausted at this point, so we walked about trying to find somewhere to crash as we didn't want to go all the way back to our campsite. We ended up just passing out on a bench on the side of Oktoberfest, no lie!

Upon waking up, we met up with our friends again to go out for a nice Bavarian meal. In case you don't know, Bavaria is a state within German, who's capitol is Munich. We were told to eat our dinner in Marienplatz, which is Munich's city center.

On the way over, we passed an international McDonald's, which showed off a bit of German humor.

Get it? :)
Continuing along, we were amazed by the beauty of this modern downtown shopping scene, with many very upscale clothing brand stores as well as several tinier souvenir shops. Here's a photo of an absolutely stunning building right along the pathway.

Beautiful flowery building
And here is a shot of the clock tower with the sun hitting it around dusk.

No caption, just wow.
After checking out several of the shops, we trekked on and found ourselves at the primary square of Marienplatz. Check it out, this is unbelievable.

This is in true Bavarian style, pointy towers and everything. And here is a better shot of that spectacular building on the left

At this point, we were completely famished, having not really eaten much all day. Most of our calories this day were beer. However, we found this restaurant, Paulaner, which it turns out is one of the breweries that has a beer tent at the actual festival.

The host was extremely courteous and kind and it really felt like a true beer and food hall; it was glorious. They even had weird photos on the walls!

Very strange indeed...
After drinking lagers all day, I was ready to enjoy a nice dark beer, and I was certainly not let down. The glasses were even gold-rimmed!

For dinner, I went traditional, ordering sausage over a bed of sauerkraut. It was exactly what I was looking for in a meal in Munich.

Din din!
This meal was absolutely amazing, rejuvenating us and just generally making us feel great. I was very content!

After leaving Paulaner, we went back to the main square to check it out a bit more, and it ahppened to be a full moon, making for a beautiful night photo.

Full moon
By the massive building, there were some very strange women who seemed to be plotting and scheming, or perhaps ready to perform some cultist ritual or some witchcraft perchance. We couldn't figure out what it was they were doing, but they were very creepy and ominous, particularly the one in the cloak!

German witches
On the way back from dinner, I saw this sign and just had to snap a photo of it. The infinity symbol seems to pop up all over the place, and like I said before, it is meaningful to Sloan and I, so ti was really cool to find it once again, but this time in Germany.

I love you babes!
We decided to return to Oktoberfest to check out the night scene and were not let down. In fact, we even encountered the Paulaner beer tent! Oh and in case you didn't notice, the horse-drawn chariot from before was a Paulaner chariot.

Paulaner Beer Tent
Like I said before, Oktoberfest is far from just beer tents, they have really awesome rides too! here is a couple more standard ones that I managed to snag good photos of.

Ferris Wheel
After walking around for awhile, we decided to head back to camp for the night. I really wanted to shower, but upon request for shower tokens from the Aussies who worked at the campsite, I was told that I couldn't get one, and that there weren't any hot showers without them and that I should just not shower. This was a little bit frustrating, but I wasn't too beat up over it. The more annoying thing was that the bathrooms were disgusting, there was no toilet paper, and there was a bunch of really loud, ridiculously drunk people running all over the campsite screaming stuff and being generally annoyingly rowdy. I suppose that's what unlimited beer does for you, but I was far too sober and tired at this point want to partake. Despite all the insanity, I managed to sleep pretty well, being as I was exhausted at this point, having not slept much the night before and drunk beer all day. And so ends day one at Oktoberfest!

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