My first beer was a Natty Light…….. My beer progression must be like a mountain, the best way to start is at the bottom. I have become a bit of a beer snob. After 4 or 5 beer tours and also knowing the correct words to describe them, I decided that Oktoberfest would practically be my Mecca. So I jumped at my oppurtunities and started to make some plans to mark this off my bucketlist.
Luckily, my friend Amanda (we did Meeker and Longs together) says that her and a few friends plan to make a trip up to Oktoberfest and that I could meet them up there. I would travel to Paris and fly to Munich by myself, which is my first time doing this alone in Europe and it is safe to say that I made some mistakes.
Lesson 1, Subway 101 : It is confusing, and even more confusing when no one speaks your language.. So it is important to know EXACTLY where you are getting off at, don’t just guess and get off when someone with a large suitcase gets off because you think they are headed to the airport….. because you’ll get left in the dark at a creepy subway station just waiting. WHAT I LEARNED : just pay the extra 5 bucks for a bus that takes you directly. (it is more comfortable, safer, and less confusing)
Lesson 2, Communication: As I am about to head to Paris, I snapchat Amanda and tell her that I am so excited to see her tomorrow. That is when she informs me that she is not going to be in Munich tomorrow.. Uhhhhh what?
Lesson 3, MY FIRST HOSTEL: I decided that the best way to spend an entire day in Germany by myself is to just find friends. I booked a hostel called The Tent. The Tent is three or four large heated tents with tons of beds inside each one, it has a cheap cafe, a book trade, a bar, and a super cool atmosphere. I’ve found that camp life and six siblings make “no privacy” not hard, and making friends very easy. I met an american girl that has biked from somewhere in eastern Asia and is making her way to western Europe and flying back, she was looking for her next destination and had no real plan. I also ran into a big group of people in there late 20’s that were out of college with distinquished jobs that decided to take 4 weeks off and backpack, and end their trip with Oktoberfest. They took me under their wing and I bought a dirndl and we went to Oktoberfest together. So what I learned is, hostels don’t scare me and I could probably stay comfortably by myself if I wanted to.
Well finally it is time for my friend to show up and everything start going as planned. The hotel is only ten minutes walking from the fest, and it is pretty nice. We all get dressed in the traditional outfits (sidebar: it is definitely a “dress-up or don’t come” vibe.. so if you do plan on coming include the $50 dirndl or $90 lederhosen in your budget) and head to the festival. We grab a table in one of the VERY large beer tents and order our first beer around 6 o’clock, it tasted like heaven. Some rowdy australians take a seat next to us and suddenly the second beer is gone.
I have read MANY MANY blogs, and every one says the third beer is always a bad idea. Well, those Aussies already ordered the table another round. We are standing on the chairs of our table and singing German toast songs we don’t know the words too, beatles songs we knew every word to, cheersing (prost) and putting all of our strength in banging these glasses together because those suckers just aren’t capable of breaking.
We wake up at about 6 am, with stories that I can only tell in person. It is Friday, so Oktoberfest is supposed to be kicked up a knotch. All four of us are fighting hangovers, and the idea of doing this a third time started to frighten me, but with all that we still got dressed and headed to Oktoberfest. The tent we chose this time was the only one that served beer to people that were standing, it was 10 am and people were standing on the tables chugging their beer (and sometimes throwing it back up) we decided that two beers was enough for the (now five) of us. We stared at those two beers for about 45 minutes until us girls decided we wanted to leave the very rowdy tent and look around more and leave the boys to tackle the two gigantic beers themselves.
The festival was very impressive, they had probably 3 or 4 rollercoasters, waterfall type rides, and it was all beautifully displayed. We checked out the other beer tents (all 14) and found that the one we were in today was the most crowded and loudest. After a conversation about hating the fact we had to go back to the overcrowded and loud party tent, we decided maybe we should just spend the day exploring Munich.. So thats what we did, we went to a nice restraunt and I had the best sauerkraut and pork shoulder that I’ve ever had, also tried some german dessert as well and just spent the day relaxing like locals.
I met some nice people, honestly did make some new friends, drank some good beer and the travel back went just fine. I would have to say that my Oktoberfest worked out perfectly, and I could not ask for anything more.