Oktoberfest! What a time, what a time. There were ups and downs of the weekend, but if I had to tell someone whether to go, I would say for sure go. I traveled to Munich through a student lead organization called Euro Adventures, and I loved them. I would totally recommend them, and I am planning on using them for a couple of other trips too.
We took a bus there, and it took about 9 and half hours. It was long, but I got some sleep, and thank God because most of you know how I am when I am over-tired….
We got to our A & O Hostel around 8:15 AM and we needed to be in downtown Munich by 9 AM for a Beer Walking Tour. I quickly changed and freshened up, and we jumped on the MVV S line, which is comparable to Chicago’s L. We were got on at Laim, which is one of the stops and took a quick 8-minute ride into the center of Munich. We got off at the Marien-platz stop, which I circled in green on the map below. Our tour guide Lenny was an entertaining fella, and he gave us some great history about Hitler and Bavaria, which is the region Munich is a part of in Germany.
After the tour, we had the day to ourselves, and we did some more walking around. We found some dirndls, which are the traditional women’s dresses worn at Oktoberfest. After that, we walked to Hofbräuhaus, which is one of the most famous beer halls in Germany dating back to the 16th century. We had very traditional Germain meals. I got chicken, but it was a half of chicken, which was overwhelming. It came with their potato salad, which is nothing like what you find in America. The potatoes were slivered and very sour tasting with chives. I was not a huge fan.
Munich itself was not exactly what I expected. I thought there was going to be a lot more Gothic architecture than there was. There were a lot of modern shops and buildings, but none of the restaurants were Americanized. Everything was traditional German food, so basically lots of sausage and wiener schnitzel.
Saturday morning the alarms went off at 6 AM, so we could be out the door by 7 AM to make it to the festival. We look the S line again and instead, got off at Hacker-bruce, which is the purple rectangle on the map above. We didn’t really know where to go, but we just had to follow the crowd because everyone was going to the same place. We had to get there early because the tents reach capacity and you can no longer get into them by 10 AM. We went to Hofbräu Festzelt, which is the tent owned by Hofbräuhaus and is definitely the most touristy tent. The tent was vivacious inside, and the live music was insane. Seeing everyone in their dirndls and lederhosen was hilarious. Tradition fills the festival, every direction you look. It was free to get into the tents, but the drinks were pretty expensive at 10.60 euro, and then you also have to tip. The famous drink to get is a stein, which is a whole liter of beer in a glass… needless to say, I had bruises on my hands the next day from carrying it.
The only downfall of the whole weekend was the creepy men. There is no other way to describe it, and I do not want to go into details. You have to stay in groups at festivals like this, and you can not be afraid to tell someone to back off.
The drive home on Sunday was beautiful as we drove through Austria and Northern Italy. My trips keep getting better, and I can’t believe I’ll be in Barcelona tomorrow! Have a great weekend everyone and sorry I haven’t been posting too much. Things are finally in full swing at home in Florence with school and other activities. I will try to be better next week!