Wednesday, September 16, 2015


It's the day after our FIRST EVER day/night in Oktoberfest, and to sum it all up in a nutshell, OH MY GOD! (and btw, note that the "Munich" post is AFTER this post, even though the Oktoberfest is posted AFTER). Sometimes there's funky things going on with blogspot.

Here's a bunch of pictures from MY very first Oktoberfest! I would have NEVER believed I could drink 5 or 6 liters of beer and NOT be plowed under and dead...but I did...we ALL did! Now I'm not saying that we were all walking a perfectly straight line when we left finally sometime last night, but we made it back to the train station, and to our hotel, AND even stopped on the way back for a late night Doner kabab (kind of a German Gyro that looks like a burrito). And so...on with the pictures!

 Jeannie and I at the Hofbrau beer wagon.

 Here I am (in my stylish yet strikingly debonair checkered shirt and green hat) in front of the Paulaner festival hall (which was the first hall we visited).

 We took a ride on the GIANT Ferris wheel almost right away. 
Here are some aerial shots of the festival grounds. This first shot is looking right down the main walkway between the giant festival halls. It's a Monday afternoon, so it's not even remotely crowded.

 A closer look at the festival halls on the left. 
That's Paulaner closest to us where we had our FIRST EVER Oktoberfest beers. Then there's Schottenamel (they drink Spaten in this one...there are only 5 or 6 breweries that make beer for Oktoberfest), Hacker, then Hofbrau (the 2nd house we visited...according to John, this house is NOT for beginners!), and I can't even read the names of the last (first) two on this side. Also keep in mind looking at the crowd and trying to figure out how many people are there, that the big halls can EACH hold 18,000 people!

 And here's more grand halls on the right side...You have Lowenbrau, Pschorr, Augustiner and I can't even spell nor pronounce the next two. There are a total (I believe) of 14 grand halls, and then there are also minor halls that hold a much smaller group of people. Most of the grand halls have been run by the same people/families for decades or longer. And to GET a grand hall most of the people submitted applications for MANY MANY years before ever being granted one....and that's only after running a smaller hall, proving you have what it takes. Then the applications go before a board and they vote. So along with that, the board can revoke your hall any year and give it to someone else. It's quite an honor to run a hall at Oktoberfest.

 Jeannie with our newest friend, we'll just call him " Boo-Boo" (he tried many times to give us his real name, which was similar to "Yogi"...and finally we decided to call him BooBoo...which he liked). 
He's a super nice young man from Munich (22 years old). Also notice how Peggy and I both photo-bombed!

Here's John's first half chicken. This is what it looks like before you've demolished it. The skin is crispy crunchy and OH so delicious! I read that they go thru several million chickens in the 2 weeks here.

 I don't think I'll ever forget MY first Oktoberfest half-chicken. I swear they put crack or heroin (or both) in it, as you've NEVER tasted anything SO fantastically awesome in your entire life!

And here we are with 4 liters of Paulaner goodness! That's the band behind us on the right...pretty great spot!

 Jeannie and Peggy with the golden liquid of life!

 Peggy and I cutting a rug, which is not only allowed but expected 
(I think it's German law that you MUST dance at some point).

And me with my newest friend (whom I'll likely never see again) Boo Boo.

Here we are now in the Hofbrau hall (NOT for beginners).
After surviving the afternoon in Paulaner we are no longer rookies.

Here you see a shot looking at the crowd off to the right in Hofbrau. It was very hard to walk anywhere, and according to John, it's not EVEN crowded! He says a Friday or Saturday night are something to behold!
Later that night, we are now sitting outside of the Augustiner hall with our final beers of the night. The plants on the table are a story unto themselves and quite the conversation piece (everybody wanted to talk to us about them). After this hall we made our way back to our hotel, thus ending my first Oktoberfest day EVER! You might think that this photo MIGHT be just a teensy bit blurry...but I believe the camera tells the story true, and was seeing us as we were seeing the world.

And one final thought: we spent HOURS in two different festival halls, and there was not ONE fight, scuffle or even words shouted out in anger. There were EASILY over 10,000 people in Hofbrau, and when you go anywhere (such as back and forth to the bathroom every hour or LESS), you're slamming into people making a hole in the crowd. I know there is a German beer law stating that beer can contain ONLY water, grain and hops. But I believe there MUST be a fourth ingredient: John calls it "happy juice". It's the only explanation for how SO MANY people from all over the world can jam together with six ba-zillion litres of beer with no fights. Looking back it seems hardly believable. Or maybe it's just the chickens!

It was simply the BEST!

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