Welcome to Oktoberfest!!!
It sounds a bit crazy when you really think about it. A beer festival…
Any beer drinker out there has heard the legend of beer Shambhala – a place that only comes out once the days get a bit cooler and the yeast has time to ferment and become the nectar of the gods. Where beer comes in 1 liter mugs carried by a buxom blonde with 6 in each hand. A place that has all the beer friendly food you ever need, Weisswurst (White sausage), pretzels and pulled wild boar sandwiches are just a small sampling.
Our German Lunch
And don’t forget the beer tents! There are big tents and small tents, all made of wood and put together before the big event. The small tents are more catered to food with seating of 500 shoulder to shoulder which have a calmer but joyful atmosphere. It was one of these that had the smallest lines when we first arrived so we took the chance and set down to some of our first liter beers and schweinshaxe, a ham with the bone in German delight. Biting into this made us all feel truly German, with no where else to be we sat and drank and enjoyed the great company of each other ordering one round after another.
Inside one of the largest tents
The large beer tents could hold upwards of 10,000 people and it really was like a crazy drunken German party. There were groups of people standing on tables singing their own tunes, some other large groups were finishing off their 3rd and 4th liter beers, and everywhere everyone was smiling and having a good time. We found that there weren’t really any differences between the various large tents. Aside from the type of beer they serve all the giant tents are just a massive amount of people getting drunk and having good times.
Think this is a good idea?
Once we had enough drinks we decided to take on the challenge of rollercoaster’s. As you may know from our previous post, we knew drinking and riding was a big problem to the Brits. Now we had a first hand show at the old German Iron Stomach, and have to say we were never stopped once for an “essential cleanup”. Even on the rollercoaster that had 5 rings like the Olympic Circles, we were scooted on and off with efficiency.
We spent two days at Oktoberfest drinking and riding roller coasters. I felt that our Oktoberfest experience was super fantastic and lived up to all of my expectations before we even hit the evening of day one… It was then that needing to sit down with our beers in an outdoor beer garden we experienced something that will make us remember our Oktoberfest experience forever…
Some lovely ladies from Belgium we met…
And their great husbands!
The outdoor beer garden was packed, and we had just gotten off the big roller coaster, feeling quite tipsy and dizzy. Feeling the need to sit we kindly squeezed into the tight seating at a table filled with some random people, I can say I never expected what would happen next. We were chatting with some ladies who were dressed up in traditional German dresses. Their husbands were also dressed up in lederhosen and all of them were there on a company promotional trip from Belgium. We ended up talking with these ladies for over an hour. Our original plan then was to have one beer and leave in the search for some dinner, but the moment we started making motions to each other to head for dinner is when they order us all another round and asked if we wanted to come along with them to their company dinner in one of the tents. A couple of their employees were not able to attend at the last minute so they had some extra seats that were already reserved and paid for.
Our amazing dinner!
It took a couple of seconds to register this random act of kindness. That these people were inviting us to a free dinner, here, at Oktoberfest!! This is the sort of stories you dream of experiencing. We graciously accepted and were on our way for a treat. Inside one of the food tents we sat down and had even more beer and then magically the food appeared on giant platters. Out came half a dunk for each person, with Kartoffelkloesse (potatoes dumplings), gravy and sweet red cabbage. Desert came around with an assortment of apple strudel, cheesecake, and crepes and a tray full of schnapps. Then just as our stomach felt like they were going to burst, more beer was ordered, another tray of schnapps went around the table (however half of it landed on Steve’s lap) and a cheese and fruit platter appeared!
The long table of great Oktoberfest friends… and yes the night was starting to get a bit fuzzy by then!
We all really do have to say thank you to Ellen and Imre, you were very generous and great hosts, as felt as if we were eating a Christmas dinner with our German family back in Canada. If we don’t find a Christmas dinner during our travels in Thailand we will just have to think of this glorious meal we already experienced. Thank you and to your Company!
So that was our Oktoberfest, it really is the Shambhala of beer drinking greatness. Nothings better than going on some rides, eating delicious food, drinking fresh beer from the beer making capital, and spending quality time with old and new friends.
Check out the rest of our photos at our flickr album here or by clicking on a thumbnail below: