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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Munich, September 2012 – Oktoberfest

I flew into Munich on September 25 for my 8th Oktoberfest. It has become a tradition I look forward to every year.

I stayed at Le Meridien again this year, conveniently located across from the main train station and between the center city and the Oktoberfest grounds. After arriving Thursday morning, I checked into the hotel and immediately made my way to the town center to buy a third pair of Lederhosen. My other two pair were a bit too big, and I wanted a nicer pair. Then, after dropping my purchases off at the hotel, I made my way to the Englischer Garten, one of the largest public parks in the world, to meet my friend Yuri at the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) for lunch. 

Chinesischer Turm at Englischer Garten

That night, my friend Julien from Paris arrived and we had dinner at the Hofbräuhaus. It was his first time in Munich, so I thought the Hofbräuhaus was in order. 

Earlier that evening, I noticed that my friend Jakub from Prague had checked into the Munich train station on Facebook. I got in touch with him, and he met us outside the Hofbräuhaus. A few years before, Jonathan and I went to Prague before Oktoberfest and I randomly ran into him, having met him on a previous visit to Prague. It's a small world.

On Friday, Julien and I headed back to the C&A in the town center for him to buy his Lederhosen. Afterwards, we walked over to the Viktualienmarkt, a large outdoor market with lots of great food. (I'd had a weisswurst there the day before.)


For lunch Friday, we went to one of my favorite biergartens at Augustiner Keller. 

At Augustiner Keller

Augustiner Keller Biergarten

Friday evening, Julien and I took the train out to Erding, the home of Erdinger beer. We met four friends Liz, Ed, and Loren there for dinner at the Erdinger Weissbräu. Erding was a very charming village.


The next morning we went to the opening parade. I had seen parts of it before, but usually after it had started and from very far away. This time we were early and had a front row seat.

After leaving the parade, we took the train to Dachau. Definitely not as festive as the rest of Oktoberfest, but something that was important to do. For that reason, I'll have to write about that one in an entry all to itself.

Needless to say, after the Dachau, we needed a beverage, so we headed back to Munich, changed into our Lederhosen, and headed down to the Oktoberfest grounds, the Theresienwiese.

We walked into Bräurosl Festzelt and found a couple of spots by some fun folks from New Zealand who were living in London. 

With our New Zealand friends
We left there to meet out my work friends Dave and Jay, and we once again ran into Jakub from Prague. It was a crazy night.

The next morning (Sunday) we headed back to the Oktoberfest grounds to Bräurosl where I caught up with other friends from work, Mike and Jeff. I also ran into lots of folks I had met last year from DC and London:

We left there to meet Ed, Liz, Loren and the gang at Augustiner Keller for lunch, then back to Oktoberfest to ride some rides.  

A yearly favorite, the Toboggan
After rides, we entered Hacker Festzelt for our annual tent reservation:

Hacker Festzelt
Monday we met Ed, Liz, Loren, Mark and Lisa at Hirschgarten, the largest biergarten in Munich. We had a great afternoon, telling stories and laughing. Then we headed back to the Oktoberfest grounds for dinner at Augustiner Festzelt and some more rides before calling this year's Oktoberfest a grand success.

Augustiner Festzelt 

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