You heard it right – it’s time for Oktoberfest! Not at the local bar, not at a local German festival. Tomorrow, we’re going to the heart of it all – Munich, Germany! It’s the last weekend of the 200th anniversary of this fine festival. Alex, Mo, and I will slip on our liederhosen, blend in with the German-speaking locals, and consume some large steins of amber-colored beverages.
If you look in the distant left of the photo above, you’ll see a large, white tent. That’s an Oktoberfest tent, when I was in Stuttgart in 2002. Unfortunately we could not stay long – it was a work night, so I think we only popped in for one drink and then left. Munich on a weekend will be much more crowded and lively.
I’ve never been to Munich, much less Oktoberfest in Munich. But I’m very excited! We have been told that you need to get into a beer tent by maybe 8am to get a spot. Is that scary or what? That’s worse than St. Patty’s Day! I hear people can get pretty pushy for spots at the tables too. I am not sure how long I will last in the tent. Might have to take a German siesta at some point…
Oktoberfest may be an old tradition in Bavaria, but it has gotten hip too. Case in point – there’s an Oktoberfest iPhone app! It’s a great way to guide drunken tourists to tents of more beer. But even better – I hear the app can help you remember how many beers you have consumed, and then it can post it to your Facebook or Twitter accounts!
Although Oktoberfest in Munich is the main purpose of the trip, we will actually be visiting several cities in Europe. We were a bit slow to book travel (oh yeah, so prices for flights got expensive. The best deal we could find had us flying into Zurich and out of Madrid. Which meant that we were in for quite a bit of transit during this trip. The plan: Zurich, Munich, Prague, and Berlin by train. Finally fly to Madrid, enjoy some tapas for a couple of days, then fly home. Fun, eh?
I should mention that these plans are hardly set in stone. In fact, we still don’t have train tickets or hotels beyond Munich. Maybe we’ll go to Austria instead, and see if the hills are truly alive with the sound of music? Or to Poland, to check out… umm… WWII concentration camps? Or to Italy, to eat some yummy pasta and drink fine wine… Well hopefully our plan will work as it is. We’ll see…
The photo above is from Zurich, also from 2002 (when I couldn’t take any good photos apparently). Spent a day there. Really pretty and peaceful. It seemed like a smaller version of Paris, but probably not as fun. For this trip, we’ll only be in Zurich for a few hours.
I haven’t been to Prague and don’t have any photos of it, but here’s a sight that we’ll get used to – the train station. This “haupbonhof” is from Stuttgart. We will have taken two long train rides (plus probably a bunch of metro rides) by the time we get to Prague. I’m very excited to see Prague too, even if it’s just for two days. It’ll be my first visit to the former “eastern Bloc” region.
I haven’t been to Berlin either, so I have no photos to share yet. But when I think of Berlin, I think of the Berlin Wall. And when you think of the wall (and the wall falling), you just have to whistle that tune to “Wind of Change”, no? 🙂 I hope this songs stays in your head for the rest of the day 🙂
Take me, to the magic of the moment
of that glory night
where the children of tomorrow dream away
in the wind of change
Actually, the real reason we’re going to Berlin is that Mo’s brother lives there. Yes, these crazy Mexicans are everywhere! 🙂 Maybe they’ll be able to point us to a good taqueria that makes a special “schitznel taco” or “chips con sauerkraut”.
Finally, we’ll hop on a plane from Berlin and fly to Madrid. I spent half a day there before – this last April, in fact. It’s a beautiful city. This time, we’ll have almost two days to hang out there. And I’ll be with Spanish speakers! Woohoo! And after a long weekend of drinking beer in Munich, Madrid will be a great way to recover – by drinking sangria instead!
After a long 11 days in Europe, I will probably be looking forward to relaxing back home in the States. But life is not so gracious. Looks like October and November will be quite the road trip for me. The following week, I’ll need to hop back on a plane and visit Texas and/or South Carolina. Also Connecticut, New Jersey, California in the following weeks. Not to mention, my next vacation starts at the end of October – in Japan!! So peeps – stay tuned for hopefully lots of travel photos on this blog 🙂