Monday, October 8, 2018

Oktoberfest 2018

I couldn’t study abroad in Europe and not go to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

We started off in Dijon and took three trains for a total of eight hours to make it to the biggest beer festival in the world.
A very expensive weekend and a very long journey, but so worth it.

Within our first minutes of being in Germany we saw so many people in lederhosen and dirndls, I was constantly cracking up. 

We arrived in Munich Passing late Friday afternoon and made it to our Airbnb. This was the first time I stayed in an Airbnb and it was really nice.
Our hosts were so sweet and gave us directions and recommendations for Munich.
Our Airbnb was super centrally located, right next to a tram and metro stop.
It was spotless clean, and we overall had a very nice experience.
I would 10/10 recommend this Airbnb if you are going to Oktoberfest. You have to book it super early though, I booked it in June for October.

Our first night we went out to dinner with my best friend from high school, and T&P’s biggest fan, Michelle, for dinner and drinks in the center of the city, Marienplatz. I had the cordon bleu and a lemonade beer. The cordon bleu was delicious, and the lemonade beer tasted worse than a Natural Lite…

On the way to dinner, we got a little lost when we attempted to use the tram and metro system.
The trams and buses are a bit complicated to use, even for this New Yorker, and it is really funny because the metro system is on the honor system, so you don’t really have to buy a ticket. We bought a couple of train tickets, but then realized that the natives didn’t even pay to use the train, so we didn’t even bother. 
 We got to this tram stop and really had no bearings as to where we were, despite my killer sense of direction and intuition. We looked at the map for a while and it just so happens that the girl at the tram stop was American and asked if we needed help. We did, she pointed us in the right direction and that was that!
She was so sweet, and that was our first view into seeing how nice people really are in the world.

Saturday morning, seven in the morning our friends waited online to get into Oktoberfest. 
I slept in a bit and made it over to the fair ground and the tents at a decent hour, as in nine in the morning, all dressed in my dirndl. All of Wake Forest University went last weekend to Oktoberfest, and I couldn’t because I had orientation for the University of Burgundy, so I actually borrowed/bought a dirndl off of Emily because she went the weekend before. 
Nine was the perfect time to get to Oktoberfest because we still had plenty of room at our table and no one in the tent was belligerently drunk yet. By noon in the international tent, the Hofbräu Festzelt tent, was stuffed with people drinking.

We ate some large pretzels and passed the time away drinking, laughing, sharing stories, and meeting new people.
The steins were about three beers and 11 Euros a piece. Very expensive, I only had one stein, that a friend had to finish for me because I do not really like beer. 

Our table in the Hofbräu Festzelt tent, which was not reserved, our friends just threw elbows to get it, had Americans at the table next to us, Mexicans at the table behind us, and Spaniards at the end of our table.
I don’t know any of their names, but they were all so nice and it was such a cool experience to meet so many cool people from so many parts of the world.
I think meeting new people was my favorite part of my Oktoberfest experience.
It warms my heart that everyone we met was so nice and genuine, and it just shows you that there are more nice people in the world than mean.

There was a live band, all singing in German, but it was so fun. Every time someone would chug a stein of beer they would stand up on the long tables, which is not allowed, and chug the beer. If they finished it, everyone in the tent would cheer, and if they did not, they would get food thrown at them. More times than not, if someone chugged their stein, they were successful and finished it and the whole tent went up in an uproar.
However, regardless if they finished their beer or not, if they stood up on the table, instead of up on the bench, the large security guards would escort them out of the tent. 

While we were sitting, drinking and laughing, I was informed all about the dirndl etiquette.
If you tie the bow of your apron on the left it is known that the girl is in a relationship, and if you tie the bow on your right you are single. 
Regardless of where you tied your bow on your dress, the men were still hooting and hollering…

After spending about seven hours in the international tent, our time was up, and we were ready to take a little stroll around the large festival grounds. There were so many people and it was just like a giant carnival, with rides, carnival food and beer.
And of course, every single person in a dirndl or a pair of lederhosen.

We had a really fun time at Oktoberfest. It was so nice getting to hang out with Michelle and meet her friends and for her to meet mine.
I loved meeting and talking to people from all over the world and I loved getting to experience a new culture and country.

Munich is the first German city I have ever been to and it was just very different from any city in France.
Sadly, we did not get to explore Munich as much as I would have liked. But we were only really there for a day. It is a city full of history, and we just focused on the beer. 

I am excited to be going back to Germany in three weeks to visit some of my cousins in Frankfurt, and hopefully get to see the actual city and learn about the history of Germany.


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