We went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. We made it. Since we have arrived in Italy, there have been few trips that require extensive planning--planning several months ahead of time, but this trip certainly falls into that category. In January, yes, nine months ago, I began contacting hotels and rental properties in Munich to book a room for the famous event that is Oktoberfest. And last weekend, all of my planning paid off. We drove the five-hour route from Italy to Munich and arrived the night before the first official day of the fair.
On the first Saturday of the event, this year it was September 20, the mayor ceremoniously taps the first keg at noon, and then the party begins. Before noon, you are waiting in lines to get into beer tents while everything is still opening up. But don't be fooled! These beer tents are not tents, they are massive buildings constructed to hold thousands of people. You can see the Paulaner tent below.
At 9:00 in the morning, after walking around the grounds, were lucky enough to find a table in the Schottenhammel beer tent where the mayoral ceremony happens. We saw some German celebrities, though I did not know any of them, and made some new friends while waiting. Before noon you can order food, but the only drink available is sparking water! Many vendors walked around selling pretzels and bread as well as Oktoberfest memorabilia.
Shortly after the ceremony, which can be seen here, the beer starting coming out, and we enjoyed a liter with some Americans that were visiting Germany from Missouri and some friends from Italy that we ran into while walking around!
Here you can see how massive the tent really is, and how many people are jammed inside dancing, singing, and drinking!
After having a quiet dinner in the city of Munich, we returned to Oktoberfest to visit some different beer tents and ride a few of the rides before walking back to our apartment. The next morning we watched some of the parade that marched through the town into the fair grounds.
The rest of the morning we walked around, Stephen played some games and we people-watched (as you can see, there are a lot of people there to watch!).
We ate there in the park that night. I had a currywurst in a tiny bun and Stephen had goulash. I had to buy some of the candied nuts that were sold all throughout the grounds because everywhere you walked the beautiful smell of cinnamon wafted from these stands! I also tried a giant marshmallow ball (cannot for the life of me find the German name of it) covered in chocolate and cake--it was disgusting.
It was raining most of Sunday evening, but we enjoyed every minute of our time at this famous German event. We arrived on Friday evening and left on Monday morning, and that was plenty of time to experience all of Oktoberfest. Like any other fair, there were rides, games, unhealthy food, but here there was lots of beer!