Becka, Vicky, Gemma, Ceri and I arrive at Heathrow Terminal 2, all set for our flight to Munich.
Touch down in Munich, and head to our hostel. There are people dressed in lederhosen and dirndls everywhere!
After a quick pit stop in the hostel, we head straight out to find somewhere to get a beer (and dinner).
We found a traditional German restaurant called Lindwurmstüeberl (catchy name), and ordered five steins of beer – ladsladslads. The waiter had to help us translate the menu, and in the end we all ordered schnitzel and French fries, which went down like a treat.
We had intended to have a quiet evening of dinner and drinks, but sadly for our livers, our hostel happened to be next door to a bar playing cheesy music! So we ventured in, had a few more beers and partied the night away to Justin Bieber.
Our alarms went off.
After a *slightly* delayed start (a shower rota, lots of plaiting, and a McDonald’s breakfast) we finally made it into Oktoberfest.
We managed to get to a table inside a tent where everyone was up dancing on the tables. The only place you could order beer was inside the tents from a waitress at a table, so getting to a table this late in the day on a Saturday was a stoke of luck! Saturdays are the busiest day in Oktoberfest, and some people queue for entry outside the tents from 7.30am!
Unfortunately, the table we were on was reserved from 12.15, by a group that were prepared (…unlike us!)
Luckily, it was a beautiful warm September afternoon, so we headed straight outside and sat down at a table in the sunshine. The outside tables don’t have quite the same crazy atmosphere as the inside tables, but music is still fed outside through speakers. There were a few more children outside – remember that Oktoberfest is meant to be a family festival! We made friends with some Germans and drank the afternoon away, trying to avoid talking about Brexit.
We had an impressively long day outside, but were ready to get moving around again and get some circulation to our numb bums after sitting stationary for so long. So we went outside to try out some of the theme park rides. Fun fact: as well as being the world’s largest beer festival, it is also the world’s largest travelling funfair!
Next we went on a Wild Mouse ride which was more expensive and lasted less than 60 seconds. I wouldn’t recommend it.
And then we went to a bar inside Oktoberfest that didn’t serve steins! And pint glasses felt so small and inconvenient without a handle. It reminded me of one of the pop up bars inside Winter Wonderland in London. I think the beer was Hofbräu Beer, and it tasted much fruitier than the lager in the tents.
Our guilty-pleasure-pure-cheese bar next to the hostel was actually a pizza restaurant during the day! So we popped back for a pizza (and another stein). As it got late, the benches and tables were cleared away to make way for the dance floor, and we were coaxed onto it by a group of mum’s and dads who had left their children at home and felt it appropriate to get frisky with each other. Fun!
Bed time. (And Vicky threw up a sausage in the sink)
Today we were far more prepared! Alarms were set for 7:30, and we were up and showered very quickly. Ceri went on a coffee run to McDonald’s, and then we set off straight away, with Gemma and Becka’s hair still dripping wet from the shower and ready to plait when we got into a tent.
We got to our chosen tent at 8:30, half an hour before it opened! But it was worth the wait as we got a table in pride of place – right in the middle of the tent next to the stage! We were able to order steins as soon as our bottoms touched the benches…. So I ordered my first beer at 9am!
Gemma had a TC. I ran outside to get a sausage. There was a choice of red, white or long sausages; I chose red.
We were joined by another group at our table, who turned out to be the Fanatics, a tour group that Ben and his friends had gone away to Greece with two years ago! What a very small world it is.
Finally the band started up… And the rest of the day is a bit of a blur.
The last photos that we remember being taken were found on our phones at this time.
Ceri fell off the bench and (quite literally) knocked some people (or their beers) out with her killer dance moves. She sent all the steins on the table behind us flying, handed them €20 euros for the damage, and carried on doing her thang.
I went to dance on a different table with some people who thought I was German.
The music came to a crescendo and the band finished. It was time to leave… Booooo!
But party didn’t stop there! Ceri and I both made our way back to the cheesy bar independently of each other, and had a little reunion when we got there.
Time to call it a night!
We checked out of the hostel, and managed to resist going for a McDonald’s breakfast.
Today was our sightseeing day, so we started to walk towards central Munich, looking out for a cafe to stop in along the way.
We found somewhere and most of us ordered currywurst.
Gemma ordered an apple studel and sneezed it across the table.
Next, I had a hangover-friendly itinerary planned out of places for us to see. We walked through the city to Marienplatz, (the main square) and took some happy snaps and had a nose in the town hall. It was a beautifully sunny day and lots of people were out and about.
We hopped on the U-Bahn (underground train) to Englischer Garten. Englischer Garten had been recommended to me as one of the main places to see in Munich and described as the Munich version of Hyde Park. I had been told that there was a nudist section, but I thought this was only one little area of the park.
Little did we know that as soon as we entered the park, we would come face to face with a few too many old men with everything on display. One man had even thoughtfully decided to wear some sort of chain thong, drawing more attention to ‘himself’.
We found a part of the park where people had their clothes on, and sat for a bit soaking up some rays and letting our hangovers wear off.
Next up, we marched back into the city centre in search of the Hofbräuhaus Brewery. This is one of the oldest breweries in Munich – dating back to the 16th century – and is known for it’s pretty interior, upbeat atmosphere with a band, and of course, it’s beer.
After all this excitement, it was finally time to return to the hostel, collet our things, and catch our flight. Boooooooooooo.
It was a great and very memorable weekend: a cross between a boozy city break and a crazy festival.
My advice is: if you get the chance to go to Oktoberfest… definitely go! The prolonged hangover/ recovery period/ holiday blues lasting the whole week when we arrived home and went back to work were 100% worth it; it was amazing. We met people from all over the world, learnt some German, drunk twice our body weights in beer, and got to wear fancy dress for a whole two days. What more could you want from the world’s largest beer festival!?