Munich, Germany and Oktoberfest


Trip Taken: 2005

The regional train to Munich from Stuttgart has, I believe, only Ulm as a transfer stop on the journey. This is my second trip to Munich and my second time on the Regional Express train. It’s a fairly nice double-decker train that was mostly empty on my first trip there. This time around, there were many party people on the train. Why? Because of Oktoberfest. The famous festival export of Germany celebrating one of its most beverages; BEER!

From Munich’s Hauptbahnhof, we made our way to the Theresienwiese. The closer we got to the fairgrounds, the more people in lederhosen we saw. It was the weekend so I expected a lot of people, but I didn’t expect every tent to be full of revelers drinking beer before noon. My friends and I walked around for a bit before settling down at an outside table at the Augustiner tent. There were two locals and a group of Canadians next to us. We ordered our large glasses of beer and drank with them. The Canadians were definitely lively and loud. They toasted everything from good friends to the spilling beer on their clothes. It was pretty funny. It was a fairly international table so we learned different drinking songs that I cannot remember at all. After finishing our beers, we went on our way to explore the grounds.

As we walked around the fairgrounds, a group of girls ran up to us. It was a common sight to see bachelorette parties roaming around at night and having the bride to be do ‘tasks’. This bachelorette party came up to me and asked me to take a picture with the bride. They needed a foreigner in a picture. I happily obliged as they gave me an oversized hat to wear in the picture. I smiled politely and rejoined my friends soon after.

The fairgrounds were lively but the food is a bit expensive and the carnival rides wasn’t the best idea before noon. All of the tents were full and it felt similar to Volksfest, but on a much bigger scale of course. We looked around a bit more and decided to see the rest of Munich. I’ll leave that adventure to another entry.

Parting Words

Oktoberfest’s lively energy is infectious. It’s hard to be a sourpuss when almost everyone wants to be your friend. Sit at a table and almost anybody will strike up a conversation with you. It’s easy to strike up a conversation when you combine close quarters and plenty of alcohol.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.