It was very early start, considering we were on our way to beer tents, but we had to ensure we were there in plenty of time to experience the opening of Oktoberfest! Usually, the beer is flowing form 9am but on the first day the beer is kept securely away from the thirsty hoards until Oktoberfest is officially declared open at midday. After a quick stop off to grab a pretzel for breakfast, we joined the masses en route to Oktoberfest with many dressed in the traditional dress of Lederhosen and Dirndls.
The first thing that hits you is the atmosphere. It is incredible. There are huge groups of people, of all ages, sat on long wooden tables all happily chatting away. Some had even brought their own picnics, including Tupperware filled with pasta, which seemed like a very good idea. We tried to find any space to sit but, unfortunately, we ended up having to stand for quite a few hours. However, we did get a great view of the tent and were able to people watch. We were also in prime position to watch the opening band and speech from the owner of the beer the tent was named after. It was then a lively countdown to 12 o’clock before the first pint was pulled.
It was incredible how the queue of waiters/waitresses waited for the beer and then proceeded to carry at least eight pints at a time, using only their two hands!
They must spend the whole of the year lifting weights to be able to do that! This is even more impressive when you factor in that these aren’t ordinary pints but two litre glasses filled with beer and froth.
It was then time to make a move on a table as you cannot order any beer unless you have a table. Luckily, two men took pity on us and we were able to order the beer, lots of it. Unfortunately, I do not really like beer so there was then a few hours where I bemusedly looked on as each of my pint-sized friends had not just one two-litre pints, but two two-litre pints, each!
Once my friends decided that they probably shouldn’t attempt to drink six litres of beer we ventured back out into the open in search of food. We found it in the form of German hot dogs and chips. The venue had got much more busy and there was a real carnival feel to the whole place. We decided to say goodbye to Oktoberfest and began a slow meander back to our friends apartment.
We took the scenic route through the beautiful Englischer Garten where there were lots of people walking, sunbathing, playing games and even surfing! yes really, there was a place which a lot of people go to practise their surfing in the middle of Munich.
None of us were brave enough to even suggest giving it a go but we did managed to get our feet wet when one of the surfers did a rather enthusiastic turn. It was then off to the beer garden to top up on some more food whilst listening to the live band.
We then finished our Oktoberfest day in a rather unusual way, with a DVD night. Well, we all needed to recover and it seemed the perfect way to do so!
- Munich, Germany (Oktoberfest 2013) (ourtraveladventure.wordpress.com)
- Oktoberfest, Only Regret… Not Buying a Dirndl (djreilly93.wordpress.com)
- Oktoberfest 2013: a short guide (telegraph.co.uk)
- Oktoberfest – From Wies’n to Valley (craftbeerlove.wordpress.com)