Tuesday, October 9, 2012


My three roommates and I, along with my fiancé, went to Oktobertfest in Munich, Germany (or München in German) on Wednesday, which actually turned out to be National German Day.  We drove about four hours and arrived in a town, known as Taufkirchen, located just outside of the actual city.  We decided to park and leave our car there because there would most likely be a lot of traffic inside the city.  In addition, we could park there free-of-charge.  From Taufkirchen, we took the train (S-Bahn) to the city.  Once we arrived in the city, we took the underground subway (U-Bahn) to a stop closest to our hotel.  We checked into our hotel in the late afternoon and proceeded to get ready for Oktoberfest!

The manager of our ice hockey team gave my roommates dirndls, which is the traditional dress worn in Germany and Austria, while I still had my dirndl from last year.  We put on our dirndls and we were finally ready to go to Oktoberfest...of course, after we consumed some bottled beverages to avoid the cost of beer at the festival.  We took the underground from our hotel to Oktoberfest.  From the underground, we didn't know which direction to go so we followed all the people dressed in dirndls and lederhosen (leather breeches) because we figured they were going to the same place we were...Oktoberfest!

Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Illchuk
Photo Courtesy of Dayna Janzen
The smell of beer and freshly-roasted nuts lingered in the air as we approached the entrance of Oktoberfest.  Hundreds of thousands of people dressed in dirndls and lederhosen filled the area.  Oktoberfest almost seemed like a giant amusement park where people could wear German costumes and consume as much beer as they wanted in a leisurely manner.  None of us have ever attended Oktoberfest or any event that could compare to it.  We were more than excited to start the festivities!  We made our way to the tents.  The tents weren't actually covered with a tapestry like we expected a tent to look, but they were actual buildings.  The music from German bands exploded in our ears as we walked into the first tent, or festhaus in German.  It was like a huge party as people ate German delicacies, drank liters of beer, and danced on nearly every hard surface of the tent.  After observing the first tent, we made our way to a second tent, where nearly every person danced on the benches of tables.  We were able to find a seat at a table with some nice people from Brazil.  We bought our first mugs of beer once we sat at the table while also consuming two, enormous pretzels (or Brezeln in German).  One beer mug could probably hold four cans of American beer.  It definitely took a while to drink.

Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Illchuk
After we left the beer tent, we walked around the festival and tried some more German food, such as wursts (sausages), corn-on-a-stick, and crêpes with Nutella and banana.  We also decided to try some of the rides in the park.  We went on the bumper cars and rode another ride that spun you around in a circle, which I'm very surprised I did not get sick!  My fiancé and I went into a tent that was almost like a stadium, with people gathered around a gigantic turntable.  As we walked in, there were a bunch of girls gathered in the center of the turntable trying to hold themselves from spinning off as the table moved clockwise, faster and faster.  Men in lederhosen were the next group to try and hold on for dear life.  It definitely looked fun and I finally got my turn.  The announcer asked that all couples come to the center of the turntable and try to keep themselves on, so my fiancé and I stepped into the ring.  We sat down and the turntable took off spinning in a circle.  It gradually got faster and faster.  We eventually couldn't hold on much longer and fell off to the sidelines.  Next, the announcer asked for two men to participate in a boxing match on the turntable.  As an ice hockey player, my fiancé of course wanted to take a chance at this opportunity.  He and his opponent put boxing gloves on, as they made their way to the center of the turntable.  The referee blew the whistle, the turntable started moving, and both men started to fight.  This definitely seemed dangerous from the sidelines, but I am relieved that neither person got seriously injured!
After spending several hours drinking some mugs of beer and eating lots of German food, we all were finally exhausted from Oktoberfest and proceeded to the hotel at the end of the night.  It was an eventful day and I'm glad to say I finally made it to the world-renowned Oktoberfest!


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