This year Husband and I visited Oktoberfest three times. Each visit was completely different.
1st Visit- On opening day we arrived at the Weisen around 10 a.m. to watch the opening ceremonies and parade. We luckily had a front viewing spot next to the beer tent where the Mayor of Munich tapped the first keg. The parade was filled with several Bavarian marching bands, horses dressed in their finest bells and flower garlands pulling old fashioned wagons with barrels of wooden kegs (Is there really beer in them? Anyone?), and then there were decorative floats carrying the mass drinking beer maids. I learned a beer maid can make up to 30,000Euros in just the two weeks of Oktoberfest. These girls carry sometimes 8 or more liter glasses of beer at once. Talk about power lifting! During the parade it started raining and we knew there was no chance we would get into a beer tent Opening Day. These tables have been reserved since January. After the parade, wet and cold, Husband and I started heading towards the exit. On our way we saw a back alleyway beside a coffee stand. Much to our surprise we saw a cozy warm, most importantly, dry tent. Husband and I hurried in from the rain and grabbed a small table. And this is how an Irish Coffee became our first ever drink at the World's Largest Beer Festival.
2nd Visit- Later that night Husband and I headed back to the Weisen to see what a sight it would be brightly lit from the rides and attractions. Rows and rows of rainbow flashing, chasing lights advertised the bumper cars, roller coasters, and tiny tick shows. A very cool sight. The not cool sight were the men laying face down in the grass on "pass out hill". Cops shining strob lights in drunk peoples eyes and bright yellow strechers wheeling people out in the midst of alcohol poisoning was not the best second impression of Oktoberfest. The good thing is this whole scene is kept at back of the Weisen. We only saw this because we turned down the back road. The other thing that grossed me out was the amount of trash and broken glass out on the streets. They definitely needed more clean up staff sweeping the streets. Still no beer this visit, just a giant chocolate waffer ball.
3rd Visit- Husband and his colleague, Benny, took off Thursday afternoon. This is normal to take off half a day of work to visit Oktoberfest. The three of us headed to the Weisen in hopes of finally getting into a beer tent. Husband and I were excited to have a true Bavarian show us newbies the Oktoberfest ropes. We spent the afternoon in the Spaten tent near the center in close view of the traditional Bavarian band stand. For lunch I had 1/4 chicken, potatoes, and chicken broth soup. I washed it down with Radler. This is a mix of Oktoberfest beer and lemonade. Everything was delicious and our waitress was awesome. We were joined at the table by two Englishmen and a newly married couple both just finishing their medical residency in Detroit. They now are spending a year traveling the world before beginning in the workplace. The couple behind us were visitors from Houston. All around we were in great company talking and singing along to songs like Sweet Home Alabama and Sweet Caroline. It was an amazing great time. The best part was nobody ended up on Passout Hill or with their head in a can at the train station. Just a good o' time by all. Hopefully next year I will be properly dressed in the traditional dirndl dress and Hubby in lederhosen!
So who is coming to visit us next Oktoberfest?