Monday, December 27, 2010

Travel Tips: Oktoberfest

The bf and I took a quick trip to Munich in September for a little festival you might have heard of - OKTOBERFEST! I know, first thing you are thinking is, "umm aren't you a month early?" No my dear friends, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September. A quick history lesson for those of you less booze inclined: the very first Oktoberfest was actually the best wedding reception ever held in honor of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. The reception was such a hit that the event was held again the following year and so on. Traditionally, the festival last either 17 or 18 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. This year was the 200th anniversary of the world's largest festival which annually attracts over five million guests. Try to imagine the biggest state fair ever in combination with the largest beer tasting in history. You have Oktoberfest! The set up itself is a large section of the city center with 14 beer tents. The guests typically wear the traditional German lederhosen and dirndl. Here are a few tricks of the trade to make your next journey a success: 1. Look the part. The bf and I arrived in Munich sporting our typical travel ensemble of jeans and sweater. Turns out we are the ones who looked ridiculous! Take some time to find some lederhosen or a dirndl. It is worth the bucks to look like a local.
2. Learn how to order beer in German. Thankfully, the bf did this VERY well and we were served post haste!
3. Make reservations at the beer tents NOW! We had no idea that Oktoberfest is basically the Oscars minus the celebs and plus a few mean German ladies. We were lucky enough to finagle our way into THREE beer tents and even ended up SOMEHOW in the famous Hofbrau House at the end of the night. However, we were VERY lucky. Make reservations now for your favorite brewhouse to ensure you get prime seating a at least one stein of the magical deliciousness. 4. Hydrate. The beers in Germany are serious. The beers in Germany are huge. I don't care if you won every beer guzzling competition at your frat house. You are not prepared for this. Make sure you take a time out between steins to gulp some good ole H2O. You can thank me later.
5. ENJOY. This was hands down one of the most fun times we have had in Europe so far. It is impossible not to enjoy yourself once you are inside one of the famous tents. Grab a beer, eat a pretzel, make new friends and most importantly don't forget to PROST!

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