We survived Oktoberfest. It’s always been one of those annual events that I never thought I’d attend and then quickly became a bucket list item for my year here in Europe.
The first thing I was told when I told people that I was going was that we absolutely had to dress up because it wouldn’t be fun without it. We were also told that most people there would be dressed up. We didn’t believe this at first while we were waiting for the train and no one else was dressed up, but eventually saw that about a third of the people wandering Munich over the weekend were dressed up. I guess the alternative would have been that we would have stood out just a bit.
After exploring Munich a little in the morning and early afternoon, we made our way over to the festival grounds. Chris was told in advance that Oktoberfest is a “state fair on crack.” I guess what I expected consisted of rows and rows of beer halls. That was there, as well as rides, food booths, souvenir booths, and games.
We had some time before our reservation, so we wandered around the Oktoberfest grounds for a while. Our ultimate goal was to find a ride that Chris would be able to ride. We were eyeing the Ferris wheel and slowly inched our way towards it. Unfortunately, the line was “miss our reservation” long, so we skipped out on that and opted for the least offensive looking roller coaster. It was fast, fun, and we were a little dizzy at the end.
After we stumbled off the ride, we made our way back to our tent for our reservation. You can only get beer at a table and those tables get packed fast. You can reserve spaces or try to wing it and get in, but it’s hard to do the later. We were too late to the game to get an evening reservation, which is why we went during the day. Choosing a tent is also apparently a big deal. I knew we would have been absolutely miserable in one of the larger tents, so I looked for a small/medium tent. The one we ended up in was pretty intimate. It couldn’t have fit more than 50 people. It was perfect for us.
In addition to our liters of beer, we also got some food. We got obzada, which is a spicy bavarian cheese dish and weisswurst (white sausage). The white sausages looked a lot less appealing than they actually were. You eat them with this delicious sweet honey, too.
We hung out there for about an hour eating food, working on our beers, and listening to music that sounded like German Jimmy Buffett. It was a lot of fun, but we couldn’t do more than one of the beers each. Chris couldn’t even finish his. I had to.
We wandered around Oktoberfest a little while longer and bought one of the heart-shaped cookies that we saw everywhere. We wanted the one that just said “Sorry” but they didn’t have it in the smaller size. Instead, we got the “Alles gute” cookie.
We eventually left Oktoberfest because we wanted to try to make it back to Marienplatz in time for a 4 pm tour of Munich. I don’t know if many people leave Oktoberfest early to go on an organized history tour of the city, but that is what makes us special. Unfortunately, they capped out of space just as we got there. I think it was for the best, though. I was not wearing the right shoes for all of the walking we had done and would not have been happy at the end of the 3 hour tour of Munich.
Instead, we wandered around the Old Town for a little while. We had dinner reservations for 7, but ended up heading back to the hotel a little earlier than that because we were still not hungry at all and had beer headaches. We ended up dining on the not-Pringles from Migros and spending the night watching BoJack Horseman on Netflix.
Oktoberfest was a lot of fun at the end of the day, but we didn’t end up lasting as long there as we planned. Had I known that we wouldn’t have spent ~too~ much time at Oktoberfest, I would have swapped our Saturday and Sunday and spent our long day touring the city. It all worked out, though. We missed out on the walking tour (but did our own) and, more sadly, missed the Viktualien Market when the food stalls were actually open. We’ll save it for the next time we’re in Muncih.