Oktoberfest - Italian Weekend (September 25-27, 2009)

There is this festival of German (especially Bavarian) culture that is so famous all around the world. Yes, Oktoberfest is held in many countries but to feel the real German culture you have to come to München.

So, the most important things to have and take for Oktoberfest:

  • Somewhere to stay in München.
  • A sleeping bag and a mattress just in case.
  • Enough rest on previous days (sleep well and tight).
  • Some.. I'm sorry.. MUCH money to spend on transportation, beer, food, souvenirs and other random things.
  • Some stereotypes about German culture, Bavaria.
  • And your wish to drink lots of good Bavarian beer!
So, traffic jam in Germany is awful. It can make your 6 hours trip even longer. Especially near Frankfurt... pffff... just avoid the highways near Frankfurt!
My first impression about München: it's a dirty stinky city full of weird and drunk people in traditional clothes and many tourists which are being quite rude sometimes. Old metro smelling with high humidity.. (Later I will change my opinion). But nice weather :) It was evening..
Unfortunately I slept only 2 hours. Later I had to regret about that.. Waking up at 5AM to hurry up to the place and reserve a place in the tent.. I have to say that the city was really awful in the morning, too. But they were cleaning it so there was a little hope to walk around in clean München afterwards.

Well it was quite tough. I mean, being surrounded with thousands of people who are pushing you more and more and actually standing in the crowd around 2 hours... In the last minutes I was quite scared that there is not enough air around and that actually I will break something.. arm or leg. But after some extreme 20 minutes of having pressure from everywhere and going along with the crowd we managed to get inside and.. whoooopppaaaa. Now we are in a VERY BIG place. I was told that it could hold around 8000 people and it was totally full! People sitting, standing, walking around.

Beer time! Hmmm, we were wondering if we ever had beer THAT early in the morning :D Being very tired, we decided to act efficiently and not get drunk in the first 1 hour. To-Get-Drunk-Not-Too-Early project was successful!

Umh.. prices: well, 1 litre of beer in our tent costed € 8.55. BUT.. there is a big BUT. If you give 10 euros banknote to the waiter, he won't give you a change! "I'm sorry, I don't have coins blabla". He will always have excuses to take a big tip. And if you give him precisely 8.55, he will never approach you again. So let's say, beer costed 10 by default! :) But it was worthy, believe me! :)

Hmm.. Music was typical Bavarian. When they started to play, everybody was already in mood and singing along and you could hardly listen to the music! And there was this popular "game" of drinking the whole beer at once and everytime people were reacting to this. It was really awesome when somebody drinks beer till the end and other 7999 people are shouting from everywhere! :)))

Ohhhhh, Bavarian dresses. Now I want to have one. But later when I was looking for a dress in the city, the cheapest one I saw costed 80 :( So nothing came out of it.
About some stereotypes: many people say that Oktoberfest is not interesting for German people, because it's so common and there is nothing extraordinary for them. But what I noticed is that, yes, many Germans are not so interested in Oktoberfest, it's not a big deal for them. But for Bavarian people it's different. They really live it! And almost all of them are dressed in traditional clothes during Oktoberfest weekends. I didn't expect to see so many Germans in the tent!

We went to Oktoberfest during the second weekend of the festival, which means we were attending Italian weekend. Well, first we found out that there are many Italians living in München. And there are many Italians arriving to München just for Oktoberfest. So we can say that after Germans most of the people were Italians (ohhhh, I missed Italian language so much!).
Ok, 12PM.. After 1 litre of really strong beer (and not sleeping well the whole week before) some thoughts about having an energetic drink comes to my mind. But.. what a shock! They don't have any!!! You just have to drink beer! Welcome to German culture, babe! :D (Respect guys, but I was really wasted and needed it!!! :))

Another litre of beer? Yes, if you want to stay in the tent, you HAVE TO order beer. Otherwise you should leave the place because there are lots of people outside that want to have a sitting place. So, let's have another couple of hours here, especially when it was getting more and more interesting in sense of people around. Our table somehow became more German (we lost internationality :D ). Interesting talks, meeting new people (crazy drunk people), some photos, thoughts about new profile pictures with big glass of beer, standing in a line to go to the toilet (sometimes it took more than half an hour!).. and it's 3PM already! What about going out and checking out city center?

OMG, when we went out, the first thing to notice was.. hey, it's afternoon! :D Have you been drunk in the afternoon? Lots of people, walking here and there, dresses, souvenirs, carousels, entertainment. And even if you are drunk, you start to think.. For what is this? It's a huge opportunity for us to spend lots of money, and for them - to earn lots of money. Pfff... I'm realy afraid to count how much our waiter earned that day and how much I spent. It's a huge entertainment/money roller-coaster!

Some fresh air and even if you are so tired, you decide to go to have a walk in the city. Now it seemed cleaner and really beautiful!

Huge city centre with lots of places to see - fountains, buildings, flowers, people.

And there was a really cool band playing. The leader was amazing - he was Italian.. Such a funny guy and cool music!

Spending even more money to get some souvenirs (if you started to spend money then just don't stop!), having a nice time in a park just sitting and chatting, then dinner and at last - sleep..
I slept 8 hours.. It seemed the longest sleep I have ever had!!! In the morning I just packed, went out to say bye-bye to München and go home.

Oktoberfest is a MUST SEE. At least once in your life. Even if you spend so much money, it's a real place to see German culture. And even if you don't get your energetic drink, afterwards you're feeling really cool just to be there and live in it!

Highly recommended!

Yours truly