Randy and I belong to the German-American Friends club in our community and have attended several wonderful and festive Oktoberfest events over the last several years. The club goes all out with great food, good music and beer mugs filled with Warsteiner beer.
Oktoberfest started in 1810 and is an important part of the Bavarian culture. It is estimated that over 6 million people from around the world attend this fun day of beer, food, music and merriment.
So, imagine how excited we were that we would be a part of the fun festival.
Our day started with a wonderful breakfast buffet before boarding the bus for our trip to Munich. The day started with intermittent rain falling but cleared up by the time we reached our destination.
We had to walk quite a distance to get to the fairgrounds. The atmosphere on our way to the fairgrounds was happy, upbeat and festive. We were getting more excited as we walked.
I am not sure what we expected, but when we approached the entrance Randy took one look and said, “I am totally blown away. Walking into the fairgrounds was like walking into a huge amusement park”.
He was right. There was a huge crowd, people dressed in traditional clothing. There were men in lederhosen which are short of knee length leather pants. There were many ladies wearing dirndls which are traditional dresses in Germany that include a bodice, blouse, full skirt and apron.
We were joined by Doug and Sue and spent time walking all the way to the end of the fairgrounds to a complete amusement park. Everything was so festive.
We decided to take a peek into all the beer tents and then decided to spend our time in the Hacker Festzelt beer tent. The tent was so crowded it took a while to finally come upon a table that had some empty seats. Sue asked the German couple sitting at the table if we could join them and they graciously said, “Yes”.
Two young gentlemen came along and asked if they could join us. Of course, we all said, “Yes” too. The couple and the two young men spoke some English but we were all able to communicate just fine. A group of revelers at an adjoining table took a liking to us and joined in the conversation and picture taking.
Getting into the spirit of the afternoon, we ordered the roasted chicken and potato salad and glad we did; they were both delicious. It was interesting to learn that only beer that conform to the Reinheitsgebot, and brewed within the city limits of Munich, can be served at the Munich Oktoberfest.
There was a very good band on hand to play many beer songs and well as other fun songs to sing and drink to. Periodically we would hear a crescendo coming from the hall. We would look and we would see a young man standing on a table and, with everyone adding encouragement, he would attempt to drink his entire beer in one try. If he was successful the cheer cheered. If not, the gentlemen would just quietly sit down. We only saw on man unable to finish. It was really quite fun to watch.
After we finished our beer and lunch, we walked around the grounds a little bit more admiring the beautiful beer wagons that were in the center of the fairgrounds and buying souvenirs. Randy and Doug decided to purchase traditional hats. Randy bought a traditional Tyrolean hat while Doug bought a traditional Bavarian hat. They both looked wonderful.
We were having so much fun it was hard to leave but we had to make our way back to the bus for the return to Seefeld. As we drove through this beautiful Austrian village we saw many picturesque buildings with beautiful hanging baskets of flowers and colorful frescos.
Back at the Marthe Hotel, Randy and I took a short walk and then returned to get ready for yet another wonderful dinner. As we walked around I asked Randy what he thought of the day. “This was probably one of the highlights of our trip and I would like to come back again when we have more time”.
All I can say about today is that it was just fun, fun, fun!
Tomorrow we are off to Germany again to see Bavarian castles and on to Oberammergau.