How impressive is that? As my lovely friend Isabella is pointing out, these guys at Oktoberfest possess some serious talent when it comes to carrying those steins. One of the largest and most popular fairs in the world, Oktoberfest takes over Munich, Bavaria, Germany each year for the last two weeks of September up to the first weekend of October. Let me tell you, it’s a kickin’ good time. Actually, I don’t have to tell you. Check out the video clip below, and get a feel for it yourself!
There you go. Now you have a better idea. It’s pretty lively, to say the least. Now, let me tell you a little story… the one about how we ended up at Oktoberfest in the first place… Two friends and I were sitting one afternoon/evening/night in Paris at our favorite wine establishment. After sampling a few of their finest, we decided it would be a fabulous idea to rent a car and drive to Munich for Le Festival de la Bière, as it is known in French. What a great idea! Who cares that it’s only two weeks away, and we don’t have accommodations booked, nor any other logistics worked out… we have wine, they have beer, let’s do it!! And that’s how we decided to drive the 8-9 hours to Munich from Paris, overnight, sleeping in the car, and brushing our teeth in the bathroom at the McDonalds near the highway.
Luckily, we only ended up lost for an hour or so in one tiny German town in the middle of the night, and it only took 3 other cars of also lost Oktoberfest-bound foreigners to collaborate and figure out which way to go. We arrived in one piece, found a place in a field to park/camp, and headed to the festival.
There were lots of other people who shared our great idea. The only places you can buy beer inside Oktoberfest is in the beer tents, or their respective beer gardens. Needless to say these were the most popular hangouts. We never made into a tent, and we only made it into a garden because we ducked under the chain rope while the guard was looking the other way (and had the good sense to scatter when she started trying to round up the others who had done the same). Once we were in, it was all golden from there!
For Oktoberfest each year, the good people of Munich serve their brews to thousands of eager participants. There are very specific guidelines that a beer must meet in order to be served: it must conform to the Reinheitsgebot, be brewed within the city limits of Munich, and be a minimum of 13.5% Stammwürze (approximately 6% alcohol by volume). My favorite part – watching those eager participants enjoy their specially crafted brew.
Those are some happy faces. Some of ours included in that mix as well. We’re the ones with the extra baggy eyes, looking sleep deprived because we spent the previous night sleeping 5 in the car in the parking lot of a German rest stop. Oh memories…