Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Hello all! I am so excited to fill you all in on my experience in the beautiful city of Munich.  First off, I have this to say about was nuts! I would compare it to the Minnesota state fair with a million more gallons of beer, enough brats to feed all of Germany, and too many people to count in lederhosens! I actually read a statistic somewhere that said, last year alone 1.7 million gallons of beer were consumed at Oktoberfest.

The adventure started late last Thursday evening.  We (me, three of my roommates, and about 30 other students who had booked through the same program) departed by bus at about 12am, the plan being to drive though the night and arrive in Munich by morning.  After a quick stop for breakfast, we got into Munich at about 9:30am Friday morning, where the bus dropped us right off at the Oktoberfest grounds.  So by 10am we were already in a tent enjoying our first beer of the day!  Oktoberfest has six main beer houses which all make a special brew that is only served for Oktoberfest.  I learned quickly that if you were not to the tents by 10am sharp (when they opened) it was near impossible to get in one because they were so crowded.  So the only house my roommates and I made it into was the one we went to on the first day the Hofbrauhaus.  The beer was great and only served in liter glasses, which is equivalent to about 3 1/3 beers.  Friday was pretty much dedicated to drinking, eating brats and walking around Oktoberfest (which besides rides is pretty much all you can do).
First beer of Oktoberfest!

 We stayed both Friday and Saturday night in a hotel right outside of the city, which was very nice and had a great complimentary breakfast for us in the morning.  Saturday morning I did a bike tour of Munich which turned out to be very informative.  The tour took us to all the main monuments in Munich like the Marienplatz which has the Glockenspiel (the town hall which has little show associated with clock which tells a story of a knights tournament on the hour).  The tour also took us to the National Theater, Englischer Garten (which has a nude section!..very odd thing for a park in my opinion), and a couple WWII sites (including one of the few remaining Nazi headquarter buildings).  The tour ended with lunch at the Chinese Tower Beergarden, where, of course I had another bratwurst and potatoes.
Chinese Tower Beergarden

Afterwards me and a couple other girls from the tour (Cory, Sarah and Kelsey) doubled back to some of the sights the guide had pointed out as places we should go in or explore further.  We climbed the tower at St. Peterskirche (the oldest church in Munich dating back to 1180) and got to see a great view of the city.  We also ventured into the Frauekirche church which is said to have the devils footprint stamped into it, in reality the print looks like a tennis shoe, so is not quite as impressive as I had thought.
The Famous Glockenspiel viewed from the top of the St. Peterskirche tower

Sunday was our short day because the bus was scheduled to leave by 3pm.  My roommates and I decided against another day in Oktoberfest and instead took a train to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.  It was extreamly sad, but the audio tour that we did gave us some good information that we may not have gotten if we had tried to walk through on our own.

All in all the trip was a success and I am glad I got the opportunity to go.  I will say it again, Munich was beautiful and is definitely a place that I would visit again if I have the chance!

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