So. Oktoberfest. Does any more need to be said? Perhaps beer + rides + dirndls?
Admittedly, I was a little unsure of how much I’d enjoy the (current version) of the wedding celebration between King Ludwig and Princess Therese. With more than six million people over the 18 or so days, and many of those six million trying to cram into the tents to drink, it certainly had the opportunity to overwhelm.
My advice? Go with Germans. We had a blast.
There were dirndls. Lederhosen. Carnival rides. Fair food. And just a little bit of beer.
We caught the train around 9am with Tom, Steph and several of their friends. It might have been early but there were plenty of people already getting started on the train to Munich. Two hours later, we arrived, took a final head count and made our way to the Weisn (meadow) where the insanity takes place. We meant to wander about the grounds a bit and see some of the sites, but upon arrival the boys decided their throats were parched so off to the tents we went. And although it was only noon, the tents were packed.
Luckily, we tracked down a couple colleagues of Tom’s, squeezed our way onto the benches, flagged down a decidedly non-cliche Oktoberfest server and were off and running.
With the band taking a break, the buzz of conversation throughout the tent was impressive. Once the musicians returned to the stage though, conversation was quickly replaced by singing and toasting and dancing on the benches. It’s hard not to get into the spirit when several thousand other people are swaying along next to you.
Eventually, we decided to move on. Turns out the rides at the festival are *nearly* as impressive as the beer situation. Which I suppose gives the children more to do than sit in the tents with their parents? (Yes, totally allowed. But definitely felt odd.)
Eventually, the day slipped toward evening and it was time to head back. We left with the same number we started with and we ended up back in our own beds. And I think by German standards, that is a successful Oktoberfest.