Weekend before last I went to Munich for Oktoberfest, which is this quaint local custom where people in Germany invite everyone else in the world over and try to kill them with beer.
I didn't really know a lot about it when I went there, other than the beer part, so I was quite surprised to rock up and walk around it - the outside bit has an Ekka/Show feel, with rides and heaps of food stalls and all sorts of stuff going on. It was absolutely packed to the bejebus (it was Saturday lunchtime by the time we arrived) and there were drunk people around, but also lots of families with their kids which I thought was a little weird.
Some of our friends had gotten there at 9am so they could get into one of the beer "tents" early (they're not really tents as you might imagine - they're basically massive buildings that can fit several thousand people and supply them with beer while they dance and sing and spew). We checked out where they were but there was a huge line, so we wandered off to an outdoors beerhall out of the actual fest area and had a beer and a bite to eat there (if you don't like pork, avoid Germany).
We wandered back a bit later and met up with some other mates and got into a beer garden sort of area. Within about 5 seconds of stopping to look around, a dude came up to us and offered us beers (there were hundreds of people all around us - the custom is to tip well and so with the sort of ruthless German efficiency you might expect, as soon as these guys see a target they zoom in and offer beer). We sort of expected him to be gone for ages and were again amazed when he returned in seconds with 5 or 6 steins. Very cool.
This process repeated for a couple of hours until we decided to try to get inside the tent. We were pretty well toasted by this point and managed to bulls*** our way in, despite the best efforts of the crowd (who we pushed in front of like jerks) and the security guards (who were doing their best to stop anyone else from coming in because the place was packed).
Once inside its an amazing sight. The tents are huge, stretching off into the distance and just jam-packed with people standing up on the tables singing, waving around massive beer steins, drinking, and the occasional (but rare) fight. Everything sort of got blurry at this point, but I suspect it was quite fun; we jumped up on a table and grabbed a stein and sang along with crazy German drinking songs coming from the huge band somewhere in the hall.
I didn't actually get many decent photos - basically after a couple of beers I'd pretty much forgotten that I had my camera. The beers are served in steins that hold around 1 litre of beer, so it's pretty hard going. I actually woke up the next day with bruised hands (amongst other things) from holding the steins and waving them around. We only had one broken stein incident when one of my mates tried to cheers someone a little too enthusiastically - they're hard to break; they're made of thick-ass glass and are quite heavy.
I forgot to get a photo of the area behind the tents - basically a grassy hill where everyone just goes and sits down - just covered with people that have wandered outside and passed out completely and utterly. There were quite a few maggot people wandering around but overall everyone was really well behaved, which I was very surprised about. The presence of German police was probably a big factor - these guys are scary looking dudes and I'm sure they're on top of their game at this event, instantly aware of any problems and swarming in to take out people that look like they're going to cause problems.
German beer is made under what they call the Reinheitsgebot, or the German Purity law, although there have been a few changes since it first came about in 1516 (!!!!!) and their beer is f*****g awesome. You can drink a ton of it and it tastes great and the hangover effects are surprisingly minimal (theories I have heard are because of the lack of additives/preservatives etc in the beer - which I could believe).
We also did the compulsory (imo) trip to the Hofbrauhaus to try their awesome beer (it was a pretty significant WW2 place with Hitler doign a bunch of speeches there; it's pretty amazing to think of the history in some of these places). The city itself is also pretty awesome with some great old buildings and cool restaurants and stuff.
nice one troggles
oktoberfest f*****g owns. i hope to go again someday.
I would much rather sit in my hut in Annerley and go to work everyday than do something like that.
I mean, travelling the world and drinking beer? I can't possibly imagine that being more entertaining than trawling QGL.
That looks like it was awesome fun.
When i did my trip to Germany I was only 16. Being at the age I was it was pretty hard to experience these kinds of things. Even though I only went for 4 weeks, it was the best time of my life. The war history, political history and the roman history is all so interesting. So much to see and do in Germany.
Even though it is the only place I have been overseas, I want to go back there next time I go overseas. Also, the amount my German improved in that short amount of time was amazing. I felt like I learnt more in 4 weeks than I did in 7 years at school.
Trog, have you been to Koln? If you do go, check out the cathedral and climb up the stairs, just be sure to take your camera up there. We forgot ours and had to walk down and up again.
Other cool places we check out was of course a concentration camp (one outside of Berlin, cannot remember the name), old KGB headqaurters in west Berlin, Castle Neuschwanstein, Eagle's Nest, The Alps in Freiburg and Garmisch Partenkirschen.
So much to see and do in one place. I wanna go back!!
i did schutzenfest this year instead as couldnt get the time off for oktoberfest. but munich is awesome + hofbrauhaus + steins etc
Oh, not sure if youre into cars but the new BMW Welt and BMW museum were fun. Can do the bmw factory tour but I ran out of time for that.
Trog, you said you might be in Amsterdam some time soon. There are some beer festivals coming up here as well, while German beer is awesome I have been liking the Belgian and Dutch lately.
"Beiaard's Bokbieren Festival"
De Bekeerde Suster, Kloveniersburgwal 6-8, Amsterdam.
Sunday, 19 October (from 14:00)
Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam.
Friday, 24 October (17:00-23:00)
Saturday, 25 October (12:00-23:00)
Sunday, 26 October (12:00-19:00)
I should learn to edit posts heh.
Just south of Marienplatz in Munich there is this jewish propaganda thingy next to this temple. Should check it out and read some of the funny stuff written on the walls.
My camera broke so I had crappy phone pics ... my marienplats doesnt look so good :(
Konigsplatz in Munich was cool to see, I think its north east of hauptbanhof, built in the 1800's it was to portray germany as the next empire that failed later on heh
the BMW complex as seen from the munich olympic tower, was cool to walk around and see the olympic complex
i always forget to smile on photo's so had to fix that up
ok I dont know what I did ... maybe linking through facebook is broken but Ill blame the hangover i got from being in belfast all weekend
last edited by Le Infidel at 21:18:44 06/Oct/08
Trog, have you been to Koln? If you do go, check out the cathedral and climb up the stairs, just be sure to take your camera up there. We forgot ours and had to walk down and up again.I stopped off there once 2 years ago - I had 25 minutes to kill between trains. I thought about just sitting on the platform but figured I'd walk outside - so glad I did, cuz the awesome cathedral was RIGHT there. I didn't get a chance to go up it but dead keen to do so (Leipzig Games Convention is moving to Koln next year... :)
Other cool places we check out was of course a concentration camp (one outside of Berlin, cannot remember the name), old KGB headqaurters in west Berlin, Castle Neuschwanstein, Eagle's Nest, The Alps in Freiburg and Garmisch Partenkirschen.Yeh I'm keen to do a bunch of that stuff. I've been to Dachau near Munich which was amazing. We were sposed to go to Neuschwanstein after Oktoberfest but everyone was just too f***ed to do anything. Next time!
Trog, you said you might be in Amsterdam some time soon. There are some beer festivals coming up here as well, while German beer is awesome I have been liking the Belgian and Dutch lately.F*** yeh! One of my other mates just happens to be there on the 19th so I think that might be a goer! Thanks for the heads up; I'll let you know when I'm there.
We only had one broken stein incident when one of my mates tried to cheers someone a little too enthusiastically - they're hard to break; they're made of thick-ass glass and are quite heavy.
You should also learn how to post pictures :)
This is what I saw before I double taked.
last edited by Lynx at 21:26:47 06/Oct/08
Trog commands the power of the neon lights...
ps where are the hot bar maids Trog
no worries trog
i had to 4chan it cos none of my google searches found it
The newer style of steins have an adaptation to the handle. Apparently, there were lots of incidents where people would get drunk and smash steins of peoples heads. So now what happens when a stein is smashed is that the handle will break off straight away (According to my sweet german hookups). Genius!
I was there too! Working in sweden atm, went there a couple of times during my 10 day stay in germany. It was pretty nuts, so damn packed. We never made it into one of the beer tents though :( We stayed about an hour and a half train ride away in Regensburg, really nice place....
i was there this weekend, got back this morning around 2am.. was fricken unreal as it always is, this was my 3rd time to the fest.. it just gets better.