helping keep hungry backpackers fed:

Friday, 2 March 2012

50 Things to do Before You Die 2: Oktoberfest

The magnificent Lowenbrau tent
There is nothing quite like Oktoberfest. It’s like a music festival in which the headlining act is beer. Munich itself is well worth a visit even in quieter months but during September and early October it truly comes alive. Despite the less than tropical temperatures every campsite becomes full of revellers. So full that tents are pitched almost on top of other tents. We returned to our camping spot one night, rather worse for wear, only to find that a group of kiwi travellers had pitched their own tents in a circle around ours, making it impossible for us to open or enter our dwelling without trampling all over delicate canvas and possibly possessions!

The mayhem of the campsites, however, is nothing compared to that of the beer halls. Vast Bavarian women battle their way through the hordes with 20 jumbo-sized glasses in their arms, inebriated octogenarians wearing lederhosen dance nimbly on tables with paralytic Australian backpackers and Asian couples armed with multiple cameras watch on with bemusement.

The BF worries that he may have shrunk
Be warned, the beer served at Oktoberfest comes in one size and one size only- huge. It is strong too; often up to 7 or 8% ABV, almost making it worth the 9 euro you will pay for it (essentially 10 euro as you will never, ever receive your change!) It’s all worth it though to mingle with travellers from every country you can imagine and really soak up the atmosphere. Try a massive pretzel or a meter long bratwurst hotdog (everything at Oktoberfest seems to be huge) you never know it may alleviate the unavoidable hangover you’ll no doubt be suffering the next day. My main piece of Oktoberfest advice is ‘get involved!’ Dance to the band, chat to the strangers and sing along to the covers of songs you know. Trust me, the memories you actually have, you will treasure!

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