Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Germany - Oktoberfest in Munich: Ein Prosit!

The Netherlands is very, very close to Germany, so why not celebrate the famous Oktoberfest in its original location? 

My friends and I decided to go to Munich on the 5th of October, the last weekend of Oktoberfest. Our university's international students club organized a day trip to Munich the weekend before but we had to meet our advisor to talk about our group projects.

From almost the southmost part of the Netherlands, the trip should took us about 8 hours according to Michelin direction guidance but things did not run so smoothly. It took us longer than we thought to get the car from the rental car service. We left Utrecht at 4pm on Friday instead of the initial plan of 2pm. We had three cars in a chain, and with so much traffic it was quite difficult to stay linked up, so eventually we split up and... well, we arrived 12 hours later, tired and sore.

The next day it was quite difficult for us to wake up early as planned. We bought group tickets for the train (10.70 euro for 5 people unlimited ride for 1 day) and headed for the Oktoberfest. It was very crowded, but the weather was very beautiful (22 degrees C) and everyone was in festive mood.

Many people dressed up in the traditional Bavarian costume:

If you play FF 7, you will be familiar with this leather pants design ;)

The Oktoberfest area was huge. It's a little different from what I had thought. When I was in Philadelphia I also went for an Oktoberfest event where they set up tents and sell beers and wursts, and that was it. The real Oktoberfest is more than just drinking beers and eating sausages. It is truly a festival, sort of like a carnival as well. There were roller coasters and other attractions, souvenir shops, restaurants, pubs, beer houses... it's more than just a drink-and-die party.

We tried to find a beer house to settle in, and by 11 in the morning, every beer house was crowded with people. We kept looking around for places where we can enter, but in the end we decided to pick one and just wait for opportunities to get in.

Oh, by the way, we bought a nice traditional Bavarian food for lunch: the pork knuckles :D

It was very greasy and oily but it was very flavorful. And I was very hungry at that time, so it tasted very yummy to me.

After waiting in line for almost 2 hours we finally got in.

Yes, that's the size of the beer glass: 1 liter. Nothing less. It costs you 10 euro. For ladies and for drunkards who need to drink something light, you can also order a half beer, half lemonade drink. It helps you to refresh, and of course dilute the alcohol content. But if your goal is to get drunk, then just go for the beer.

People drink and dance inside the beer house. There was a beer / drinking song that you have to sing periodically:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemütlichkeit!!

Then you count from one to three in German:

Eins, zwei, drei g'suffa!

And drink up! :D

You don't have to drink a lot if you can't take up alcohols. And if you feel that you've been having too much alcohol, you can always buy some giant pretzels (to me it is gigantic but I'm not sure if it's the normal size - it's bigger than my head) and sugary huge donuts (I don't know the name) to help you recover. An alcohol weakling like me only managed to drink 1 glass of beer and 1 glass of lemonade-beer. Sometimes I don't like the fact that I can't handle alcohols really well, but most of the time I'm glad because it saves me some money and it keeps my liver happier.

I only spent about 4 hours in Oktoberfest because I had not been to Munich before, so I wanted to explore the Zentrum (city center).

I will share more stories of Munich next time. It's study week, so I have to get the gears moving!


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