Posts Tagged With: Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest: Day 2 and 3

Man cannot live on beer alone, although we really really tired, we also took the opportunity to visit a few sites in central Munich. We visited my favorite beer garden at Viktualien Markt and also Ratzkeller (Der Glockenspiel). Marienplatz is always fun, there’s always something going on whether it be tourists hanging out, people shopping or just enjoying a beer at 10 AM in the beer garden. I still can’t get over that aspect of German life, beer before water and at such an early hour. Viktualien Markt is a really great open air market with tons of food stands (think farmers market) and lots of handy crafts, it’s just a fun place to visit.

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After that we went back to Wiessen, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, “G” and I went back for seconds and even thirds on our quest to drink our way through Oktoberfest. With 34 tents after day two we realized there was no way we would get to see them all so we just focused on the ones we wanted to see and enjoyed the most. That meant we kept ending up at ***it was the best combination of music and revelry that we found. The crown was a mix of young and old, but it was the band that just kept the place rocking and by about 3 PM you found yourself standing on the table with the rest of your new friends singing and drinking along with the other locals and tourists. What a blast.

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Categories: Beer, Europe, Food, Life, Oktoberfest, Photography, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finally here Oktoberfest day 1

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I finally made it to Mecca. Oktoberfest , Munich Germany. We arrived in Germany on the second weekend of this amazing festival of beer. I really really didn’t know what to expect except that I knew there would be a lot of people and a lot of beer. This was the 173 annual festival of Princess Therese’s marriage to King Ludwig.

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I was just amazed at the nationalism that the German locals showed. It seemed most were in lederhosen and dirndls. It was just really really cool to see the pride of a nation at a festival. I really just can’t think of anything here that comes even close. Sure there’s fourth of July and yes fireworks, but people don’t get dressed up in a national outfit let alone just a sense of pride. Even though is great emphasis to beer drinking here, there’s also a huge fair, festival and lots and lots of food too. Think of the state fair times 10.

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Inside the tents was still a pretty crazy site. Most tents hold over 4000 people, although I think there are a few that hold well over 10,000 and many tables are reserved one year in advance for a meal. So when we tried to rent a table for any time during the Wiessen, we were shut out. Which meant we had to find a table that was not reserved and either empty (never such luck), or ask people if we could sit with them. Thankfully we were always able to find someplace to sit, we may have had to ask 3-4 times at different places, but every time we went into a tent we were eventually successful.

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Every tent had an oompah band, and they play classic German songs and even in some cases 80’s one hit wonders too. It was funny though the band really set the mood for the tent. Of the 8-10 tents we checked out, there were 34, the more festive tents were the ones that played a great mix of oompah and songs from Neil Diamond, Gloria Gainer and Credence Clear Water. It was really funny to hear some of these songs in English and then sung in German, I don’t speak a lick of it, but could sing along in English it was just great.

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There was also the occasional person that would stand up and shotgun a Mas of beer (1 liter), in this case the crazy guy finished his first then put the Mas down and grabbed number two, and downed that one with authority. All I can say is wow.

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Paulaner seating chart

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Categories: Beer, Europe, Food, Life, Oktoberfest, Ordinary Life, Photography, Review, The wish list, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oktoberfest or Bust

Oktoberfest it’s finally here!!! I’ve been anticipating this trip for almost 10 months, although I’ve had a visit there on my bucket list forever. I mean something about the celebration of beer, that brings a whole country together is just cool. I know that Oktoberfest is not only about the celebration of beer but also a celebration of a marriage King Ludwig and Princess Therese, but man when 7 million people come together to have a 16 day party they don’t mess around.

We’ll there was a little business about actually getting to Munich to celebrate, and travelling from the West Coast to Munich offers a lot of options, but on my carrier of choice United Airlines, there aren’t any non-stops to Munich. Although their partner Lufthansa has one daily flight direct, but since I was hoping to use my upgrades coupons to fly in business instead of coach who doesn’t like that. In my case I needed two tickets so that “G” and I could both travel in style, I could not let him sit back in steerage while I live it up with Kanye and Kim up in business (yes they were on our flight sans baby). Anyhow the only option that allowed immediate confirmation to business was San Francisco to Charles De Gaulle (Paris, France) and then onto Munich on Lufthansa. The configuration of this plane was a 767-400 two class with lie flat seats and a large individual personal TV, with a pretty decent selection of entertainment. I believe that this configuration was a holdover from the Continental days. Needless to say I was looking forward to the flight almost as much as the beerfest that was about to happen.

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Upon arriving at SFO we quickly checked our bags at the counter and went off to security which at noon on a Friday was a zoo. There’s a large bank of international flights between 12-4 so lines were the pits, even the premium line was out the door. Thankfully we had time and by some miracle a TSA agent walked up to us and a few people in from of ours and ushered us to the other side of the security section. Not really sure why but it easily saved us about 30 minutes in line, yes that’s really how bad the premium security line was. I’m not exactly sure how we got where we were but out wait was no more than 10 minutes, it was great.

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Now we had a dilemma get food or get a drink in the lounge. Well cooler heads prevailed and we chose the latter, and quickly headed to the Untied Club, we quickly made our way to the bar and started our journey off proper with cocktails. I was on vacation!!! We had about one hour in the lounge to imbibe in many adult beverages, and snack on “lunch”, and enjoy the cool tarmac views of a very busy International Terminal. Finally it was time to head off to the gate and ensconce myself in my chair for the next 10 hours.

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The flight itself was just great, I know I was on a euphoric high, but the crew was just top notch, and really did a great job. We were really well taken care of from the moment we took off to the moment we landed in Paris, sure the crew was all over the celebrities, but really they made everyone feel special. Besides that though the food was outstanding, I know I only took pictures of the Sunday and the entrée, but overall it was an amazing meal. All totaled it was a five course meal, and by the time it was over I was stuffed to the gills, even passed on breakfast because of it. I know the horror of it all.

Just as quickly as we boarded our flight was over. I was able to catch up on almost all of the summer blockbusters, that I had missed such as Superman, Star Trek, GI Joe, and Iron Man three. Sadly they all sucked except Star Trek which kicked ass. Not sure what made me watch GI Joe, but I just had too, I must have had one too many gin and tonics.

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Once in CDG, we had a quick layover and onto a quick 1 hour flight on Lufthansa to Munich. Although a very very tight squeeze it was a quick and enjoyable flight, with a meal and a beer. Yes they serve glass bottles, in coach. US based airlines, take note. Here’s a few picks from the flight, and stay tuned for a few postings on Oktoberfest.

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Categories: Airlines, Airport, Europe, Lounges, Lufthansa, Oktoberfest, Photography, Review, Travel, Travel Blog, Trip Report, United Airlines | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

T-Minus Four Weeks

Looking forward to a few of these.

Looking forward to a few of these.

Well drinking season is almost upon us. In T minus 4 weeks I’m heading for Munich and Oktoberfest. As a lifelong lover of hops and barley, going to the ultimate beer celebration has always been high on my list. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Germany many times over the years (thanks to having In-Laws that live there), but have never been in town for Oktoberfest. As I’ve mentioned a few times in my blog, the big four oh is coming up in December, and my wife suggested that I make the pilgrimage. There was no way I was going to turn that offer down.

So once the dates were settled upon I started making plans. You see I’m really good about making travel arrangements, but not so great at deciding what to do while on vacation. I’m the kind of person that spends hours if not days making sure I have the optimal routing, seats and hotel but not the type of person that does tons of in city research. Usually I’ll read Lonely Planet or Fodor’s on the way there, and plan the vacation accordingly. Although in this particular case it’s extremely difficult to get evening tickets to one of the beer tents. You either need to know someone at the brewery or pay through the nose to buy a seat or a table. Even with the local hook up, and planning almost a year in advance, we were not able to get a table, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to get in a tent. It just means possible line standing and going early in the morning and hanging out all day. How bad could that be? Right? I mean it’s only Oktoberfest and all they sell beer all day. So besides spending a couple days at the Munich Oktoberfest Fairgrounds, I know I’ll get to hang with family, but I also wanted to check out Olympic Stadium the home of the ‘72 Summer Games. Although I was not born till December of ’73, I’m sort of an Olympics nut and the events surrounding those games would be interesting to see up close. I’ve seen a ton of documentaries and movies about the events, but I think getting up close will be worth it. I’d also like to visit Dachau. I know not the most uplifting experience, but again, I think it’s important to sometimes take a moment and reflect on what makes our world what it is, and to see another event in our history books up close and personal would be very enriching.

After five days in Munch, my buddy “G” and I will then head over to the Scotch and Whiskey capitol of the world and spend a few nights in Dublin. I’ll do my best to give my liver a rest, but the home of Bushmills and Jameson’s may have other plans. Plus being the home of my favorite beer, do I even need to say it’s name will have to be tested at many pubs too. I’m told that is just tastes better here. I’ll be sure to report my findings. In any event our plan here is to check out many Irish pubs, the Jameson’s and Guinness factories. And to boot “G” has a hook up who works for Jameson’s so we’ll see what that gets us.

So with just a few weeks to go before the big trip, I’m jazzed and ready to go.

Categories: Europe, Food, Oktoberfest, Travel, Trip Report, Wandering the city | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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