Hello Blog Land!
Well, the suspense is over, the special guest blogger, is none other than yours truly, Danny Reeves. Surprised? I know I am. Well, I just got back from Munich, Germany and experiencing my first Oktoberfest, so I thought I would share my experiences, so you can all live vicariously through me, like my family does. We stayed in Munich for 5 nights: 2 nights at a campsite, organized by Stoke Travel, and 3 nights at apartment we rented from a website called AIRBNB (http://www.airbnb.com/), which I highly recommend. The campsite was an experience 22-year old Danny would have thoroughly enjoyed. My 28 yrear old self though couldn't wait to get out of the tent, and into a clean apartment, with a hot shower, a full refridgerator, and a TV. Staying in Marriotts for the last 6 years definitely has spoiled my ruggedness, if such a thing existed in me.
Anyway....Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest is basically like a state fair, but scattered with giant 'mess hall' type bier tents all over the place. There are carnival rides, games, food booths, and then the the beer tents...which is where things get messy, all day, every day, for 3 weeks. You can't get served a beer anywhere unless you have a seat at a table in the tent. This essentially forces you to meet strangers, forcing your way into open spots at larger tables where every person has a liter of beer, is standing on their table, singing and dancing. My kind of Wednesday afternoon. We met a lot of Australians who all seemed to just run away from real life and were touring the world for 1-2 years. Definitely made me jealous, as I was going home in 5 days. We also met a lot of local Germans. They all spoke Engligh, since we were dumb Americans, and couldn't speak their language, we made them speak ours. Everyone was extremely nice, probably because they were in the midst of a 3 week span where they got to dress up in costumes, sing, dance, and drink beer every day. We were going to buy the local lederhosen one day to try and fit in, as every single person was wearing them, but the cheapest we could find was 150 Euro, which was a little too expensive for a joke.
The first 3 days we hit the the tents pretty hard, partying with the locals, the Australians, and even an Asian baby.The 3rd night even culminated with us crashing a local Munich travel company's work party! By the 4th day, our bodies needed a break, so we took to Munich, and spent the day sightseeing, like a good tourist. We saw and climbed the obligatory European church, took a bus tour, and hung out at the central market. That night, knowing Saturday would be the most crowded at Oktoberfest, we instead walked to the English Gardens, which, deep within the gardens, was a Chinese Tower, and a hidden 7,000 seat beer garden! It was pretty impressive to think just that beer garden within the English Gardens could sit all of Tulane undergraduates. Finally, on Sunday, we went back to Oktoberfest, for one last goodbye liter of beer, which obviously turned into 3.
Overall, it was a great trip, with some great old friends. Would have loved to see more of Germany and nearby Austria, but the goal of the trip was Oktoberfest, and I think we can consider that a success. Another thing to check off the bucket list.