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Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Saturday, September 22, 2007

We started the day in Stuttgart with breakfast at the hotel—one of the things I really liked about this particular hotel. Breakfast is served in a sun room, with a nice selection of hams, cheeses, fruits, and breads.

We checked out of the hotel, saying goodbye to Phillip our desk clerk, and headed to the train station to catch the 10:54 train to Munich. From the Munich Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), we took the U-1 Wettersteinplatz, where we checked into the Hotel Wetterstein on Grűnwalder Strasse 16. There, we had a note waiting for us from our friends who had arrived earlier, instructing us to meet them at the Paulaner Keller, where we would begin the festival honoring Munich’s beers (or otherwise, honoring the anniversary of the wedding of King Ludwig to Therese.) After a couple of beers and some sausages at Paulaner Keller beer garden, we headed to our traditional first beer stop, Augustiner Keller beer garden.

Paulaner Keller Biergarten

<---- Augustiner Keller Biergarten

Afterwards, we headed out to the Theresienwiese (the fairgrounds) to the Oktoberfest festivities.

We rode lots of rides including one we’ve dubbed “the shoeripper,” as well as the Tobaggan, which zips people up on a conveyor belt before they slide back down. I also rode one that looked harmless enough, called the Hupferl. It spun around and throbbed and had no seat belts, sending me hurling into the middle of it. Jonathan thought I would come up bleeding. In general, the rides seem much more thrilling than US rides do, twirling in spinning in ways that would probably be illegal in the US.

Then around 10:00 pm, we decided to hit the festival tents, (Bierzelts), starting with the Haufbräu Festzelt. This is the largest tent, holding 10,000 people. Being Saturday night, and late in the opening night of Oktoberfest, this was not the most pleasant place to be. After rushing the stage and standing under the angel Aloisius, a large figure hanging in the middle of the tent (who was mysteriously dripping on us), we left to go to a calmer tent (Augustiner Festhalle.)

Inside the Augustiner Festehalle

After the tent closed at 10:30, we decided it would be a good idea to stop at a little pizza bar on our way home. We stayed there way too late. (This was the first of three nights we ended there—great pizza. Luckily, the other nights weren’t quite as long.)

Sunday, September 23

The next morning, I slept in, then Jonathan and I headed to Marienplatz to do some shopping before meeting the others back at the hotel. We had 6:15 pm tent reservations at Hacker-Pshorr, so we left again for the Theresienwiese to do some more rides before entering the tent. This time, Jonathan, Mark, Lisa, Geoff and I rode the huge Ferris Wheel, giving a great view of the fairgrounds and the city.

The view from the Ferris Wheel

The Ferris Wheel at night:

After the Ferris Wheel, we made our way to the Hacker Festzelt for four and a half hours of listening to the band, singing Ein Prosit, and drinking beers. The tents are amazing—they look more like permanent constructions, but they are taken down and built anew every year.

Inside the Hacker Tent:

After leaving, we once again ended up at the great pizza place, but luckily did not stay as long this time. However, we did end up hanging out in the lobby bar of the hotel for a bit upon our return, where we met a group of Danes as well as some Swiss who, coincidentally, had been just tables away from us at the Hacker-Pshorr tent.

Monday, September 24

I got up much earlier on Monday, headed down to breakfast with the gang, and then we left for a day of bike riding. We rented bikes from a place just behind the Haufbrau House downtown, and spent the day biking along the Isar, the river running through Munich.

One of the amazing sights—people actually surfing on the rapids.

We had a nice ride, that started out relaxing, but by the end was pretty exhausting. Along the way, we stopped at a couple of beer gardens, one along a nice lake. The other was the Hofbräuhaus Keller.

We then left there, riding back through the city after a liter of beer in rush hour traffic.

After once again trying on Lederhosen (for future reference, I need EU size 50), we headed to see what tent beer gardens we could all be seated at. After many trials, we settled upon the Ochsenbraterei tent, which serves Spatenbräu, and specializes in roasted oxen (the meaning of its name). It was quite tasty.
Outside the Ochsenbraterei Tent

Afterwards, we strolled around inside the Hacker tent again, before watching people fall on the Tobaggan (again) and heading to our little pizza place (again) which was amazingly fun. And again, we hung out at the hotel bar for a while before bed, with Jeff and Nancy bringing out the German “black pirate” game they had bought—evidently, the most popular board game in Germany.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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