Trip Start May 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, October 4, 2010

The countdown to Oktoberfest, as evidenced by my Facebook status updates, began on Monday.   

5 days to go - I was starting another week of work and getting more and more entrenched in Dexter and Underbelly.   

4 days to go - I was hungry, but that's pretty standard for me.   

3 days to go - I cured my hunger when I went out for dinner with Fergs, Huggins and Shazza in Covent Garden.  Fergs updated me on the price of sheep.  I told her I was from the country but I wasn't that country.   

2 days to go - I started to pack my bags and sort out my 100mL toiletries so as to avoid another "Glasgow episode".  

1 day to go - I was so excited I sprang out of bed, went to work, and then hit the airport with Nat that night.   

And then the madness began... 

Our flight from Heathrow to Munich was delayed for an hour.  So, having already purchased a bottle of Peach Schnapps duty free, Nat and I thought it only right to fill in the delay by getting tipsy on the peach goodness in the dunny.  On the way out of the toilets I waved to the same cleaner that suggested we have a smoke in the toilets.  We finally boarded our flight and after a major kerfuffle at the other end, met Phil, and made our way to Thalkirchen, temporary home to many drunk foreigners and fiercely guarded by burly members of the scooter-riding Hell's Angels.  Those guys are cool, but they don't take sh*t from anyone.  We found our tents and set up our beds one-handed (we had to keep the other hand free to hold the Schnapps) before we sat down together and went through the 12 commandments: 

1.  One must not dance on tables
2.  One must not participate in illegal activity
3.  One must not lose their party
4.  One must not mutter anything along the lines of "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy"
5.  One must not lose their belongings
6.  One must not lose their sh*t
7.  One must not fall over but, should one find it necessary, one should do so spectacularly and have a camera at the ready
8.  One must tip the beer wenches at all times
9.  One must eat
10.  One must not expect a speedy or warm shower experience at the campsite
11.  One must sleep in their clothes so as to stay warm at night
12.  One must survive. 

We thought these rules would be easy enough to adhere to but none of us were game to make any promises.  Come Saturday morning we were pumped and ready to hit the beerhalls so after breakfast (a swig of Schnapps) we offloaded our passports to the friendly tour managers and jumped on the first shuttle bus we saw and took a deep breath when we saw the festival grounds come into view.  We took a reminiscent stroll of the grounds before settling in for beer o'clock (9am) at the Lowenbrau tent and getting our first litre of the day into our systems.  Sitting out in the beer garden we made friends with some Swiss guys and an Aussie couple, and Nat took a disliking to some Italian dudes who were being suggestive and crass.  Her solution: throw a beer at them and then leg it out of there!  Gold.  Shortly before this our group became separated and we spent a good part of the afternoon texting and calling each other to regroup at the agreed meeting point by the big statue.  By the time we found each other we were exhausted (drunk?) and ready to head towards home via either a pub or McDonald's.  We stumbled upon McDonald's before we saw any pubs and had a beer with our McChicken meals and some free thickshakes.  We still don't know why they were free.   

On day two we rose early again and shuttled and shuffled into beerfest again and found a place inside the beerhall with Fergs and a crew of other Australians who demonstrated the benefits of snuff and stuff.  Phil, after having lost his hat on Saturday, lost a second hat but made it home with a third hat on Sunday.  I made it home with a much more impressive loot of stuffed toys which would later become known as our adopted children.  To keep the balance, and so as not to discriminate against ducks and Sesame Street characters, we adopted Leticia, who only likes chicken and has a penchant for Schnapps.  When we'd had enough (and when I couldn't carry any more free stuff) we sat on the hill trying to work out why Nat had chewing gum all over her jeans and why I had a pocket full of plastic dummies.  Darkness descended and our lack of orienteering skills was evident when we repeated our mistake from day one.  You'd think we'd have learnt our lesson when we walked a couple of kilometres in the wrong direction to get back to the campsite, but nooooo, we did it two days in a row.  Walking, walking, walking, pushing each other into bushes and generally being destructive, until one of us comes out of the beer haze and alerts the rest of the posse to the fact that we actually have no idea where we're going and suggests that we get a taxi to take us the rest of the way.   

Over a pork knuckle, cold glasses of Coke and the enchanting sound of the Glockenspiel, we reviewed how many of the 12 commandments were broken, and could think of only four.  Quite impressive really.  I think we broke some rules that weren't in that list however! 

Oktoberfest, once again, did not disappoint.  And if I'm still in the vicinity come October 2011, I'll definitely be going back for a third round!
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gemma on

with you on that one mate, if im around ill join you!

kim gallagher on

Sounds awesome Heidi, I'm very jealous!

Tara on

Heids you were born for Oktoberfest.. it should be illegal to be having that much fun - lol - missing you but loving your tales ! X

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