We had spent the afternoon/evening in Paris because our history class was being held in Paris to go sketching. Kara and I didn't get home till 9 and we had a bus coming for 30 of us at 5am the next morning. I get to bed around 1, and woke up at 4. So....I was already tired. Not good.
Oktoberfest, Opening Day, 200th Anniversary
We got to the airport around 5:45 and was all checked in by 7. The flight was at 8:15 and we got into Munich, Germany at 9:30. At this time, it was about 43 degrees. It was a chilly weekend. Germany had such an eaaaassyy transportation system. It was so easy to follow and understand. A random lady walked up to one of the girls I was staying with in a tent that night at Wies'n Camp, her name is Brittany, and gave her a pass for 5 people to ride unlimited on the buses and trains for the whole day
. (Everything in Germany was very cheap, compared to France, and just in general they were cheap). This pass would have cost 18euros, divided by 5, that's extremely cheap. We ended up finding out very soon that......you really didn't "need" to buy tickets for anything. There were no machines to insert your ticket into to get you into the train and no one checking any tickets anywhere, ever. So after the airport, everyone stopped buying tickets (for sunday anyway, everyone bought the 5 person tickets for saturday). SO transportation this weekend was free :) I think everyone was expecting to see a city right away after we got out of the airport on the train, but we soon found out that....Germany, or atleast that part of it anyway, is a very rural place. We didn't see any towns or anything until we got much closer to the center of the city. Wies'n Camp was about a 20 minute ride on the train from the airport. There were 20 of us that had the 8:15 flight with me. 18 of us were staying at the campsite, the other 2 were staying at "Hangover Hostel", which was in an area surrounded by porn and sex shops and in a pretty weird area. But they had some pretty funny stories. Anyway, when we got off the train we were pretty much in the middle of nowhere. A really small town that really had nothing there. We walked down to the bus stop and took a short ride to a stop by the Camp. It was then about a 10 minute walk to the actual campsite. We checked in at the campsite around 11. We checked out our tents and left our backpacks all in one tent because someone had a lock for the zipper
. It was a good thing we did this too!
The 18 of us went to the train and headed to Oktoberfest. At some point on the train, 7 people got separated because they got on in a different part of the train. For some reason, our phones wouldn't work in Germany. We definitely need to get this checked out because that shouldn't happen. I was left with my group of 11, including me, and surprisingly, we stayed together the whole entire night without any problems. There were sooooooo many people. One picture I will show you is a picture of us going up the escalator at the train station and the mob of people getting off the train and coming up behind us. Oktoberfest was like a huge carnival, but with huge beer tents. It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I went. It really couldn't be "experienced" with just pictures. I took about 15 videos with my camera, and so did other people. It was full of men and women dressed in their traditional outfits, German music with live bands. It was beautiful and jsut so much fun.
The first thing we did was stop for food. I ordered a bratwurst and got two bratwursts on one bun. SO good. Had no trouble finishing that thing. After we ate, we attempted to get into any beer tent we saw. Alot of them you needed reservations to get in. Some were free, but of course those were packed. We then stopped at the Hofbrauhaus (HB) and there was a crowd out there watching something
. One of the guys in my group asked this older guy how we get into the tent. And he's like, "I'll get you in." He said for 10euros each he would get us into the tent. We were all thinking this is a pretty shady deal here. But we said if you get us in the tent, we'll pay you. He took us around the side where the outside benches for the tent were and around to the back by security. He said something to the security men and we walked in. Half our group almost got shut out but whoever this guy was just said no no, they are with us. He got all 11 of us in. So then we said,is that it, nothing else, we're in? He said yup!! So we gave him 10 euros each. He then showed us how to get a beer, so he ordered 11 beers, we bought him one, and that was that!!! We got in! And it was so cool.
Women were carrying armfuls of maybe 8 steins or more. And those things are heavy!!! Especially when they are full!! The singing and the dancing on tables and meeting so many different people was such a great experience. I started talking to a couple guys who were from Switzerland and Australia. They were a lot of fun. We met a ton of people that day and so many poeple came from Australia and Switzerland. But it was so much fun talking to all these people. Hearing all the accents and stories they had about touring other parts of Europe. At some point, some guy jumped off of the railing me and my group were standing next to. He had tried doing a flip but messed up and ended up hitting me on his way down with his feet and landing on his behind. It was interesting. They had a live band raised up on a huge platform at one end. There was a loft at one end holding even more people. Tables everywhere, but there was no way we could get a table. I can't explain the experience!! There was so much singing and, after a while, we started to sing too, though we had no idea what the words were!! We tried. When they would play a certain song, there was a huge angel type "thing" hanging from the ceiling and it would turn and people would try and throw their clothes (underwear) up onto it and try and get it to stay on there
. I guess it was supposed to give you some kind of luck if it stayed on. If anyone knows what the full story/idea is behind this tell me! It was fun to watch. Everything was so much fun!! If I can get any videos up with my horrible internet connection I’ll definitely put them up soon. If not, you’ll have to wait to see those for a while!
So, it’s 1 in the afternoon, and everyone is starting on their first Stein, 1 liter of beer. The beer was amazingly good. The glass was huge, and heavy, but gooood. I figured…..who knows when I’ll come back again…so me and a few others bought ourselves a second stein. We finished the second one maybe around 3 or so. And we we’re good. I went to use the bathroom at some point, and the line to get in didn’t exist. It was just one huge mob of girls screeching things in German and others just staring at each other being pushed and plastered against other people. I took a video of it! Haha. It was crazy, with security waiting at the entrance letting people in one at a time. It was seriously the first time in my whole life I was tempted to just pee in my pants. I can’t believe I made it to the bathroom. It didn’t really take toooo long, surprisingly. I think it just felt longer than it really was. We left the tent around 3:30 or 4, and walked around the rest of the fair grounds.
A few people stole the steins they were using. I had nothing to put mine in, plus they were really heavy so no I didn't take one. Don't ask me and make me feel guilty hahaha cause I really wanted one!! Maybe next time I go back to Germany I will buy one.
We explored the rest of the area and randomly met up with other people from the other groups. We got back on the train around 7 or 8 and headed into the center of Munich. It was a really pretty town with a bunch of stores and food places and people. And everywhere you went, day or night, there we're people playing instruments on the street. So no matter where you walked there was always music. People playing accordians. People playing violins and anything else you can think of. We walked to the real Hofbrauhaus and we were able to go in and that's where we had dinner! The Hofbrauhaus was the place Hitler used to hold meetings and give speeches. From what I understand, this is where Hitler gave his speech stating "the 25 theses of the National Socialist program", which would reconstitute the National Socialist German Workers' Party, aka the Nazi Party. The HB house was jsut as fun as the beer tent at Oktoberfest. I was sitting next to a few guys from Australia, once again more Australians! Every once in a while everyone would get up with their glasses and sing some kind of cheers song. I kept trying to catch it on video but only ever caught the end of it. It was so much fun. They had a live band with accordians, clarinets and whatever else. Some songs the band would play and three guys would be on the stage snapping whips to the beat of the song. So much singing and cheering and talking and beer. You really don't want to leave. Everyone is drunk, but everyone was the happiest drunk youve ever seen. With all those people, you never once saw a fight or anything. It was just a great time. Everyone was so amazingly nice. The Germans are so much nicer than the French in every way
! Everyone, no matter where they were from, spoke english. Everyone talked with one other, people smiled. It's not like that in France!! No matter where you're at, the parties are not the same! The social life isn't the same at all. For dinner, I had another bratwurst (don't know why, I really wanted a schnitzel-something something sandwich!!) and sauerkraut. Heaven. We also had a random plate of au gratin potatoes so me and my friend John split them. Amazing. By this time I was so tired I was falling asleep at the table, along with a couple others. Some people ordered another stein but this time they had Radlers, which is beer with I think it was lemonade in it. It tasted like candy. Soooo sweet. But either way, I think it was a little too sweet for beer. I don't know. Shachi and I had to use the bathroom at some point. On our way back from the bathroom, we were walking past a table with a husband and wife. The husband opened his wallet, and it was on fire. I kinda just stared and thought maybe I was seeing things orrrr it was a candle. I dont know. But neither of them seemed to be phased by the fact his wallet was on fire, as he was pulling money out of it. Back at the table, me and Shachi said nothing about it. We were jsut thinking to ourselves about what had happened and just acted like we didn't see anything weird. Then, I asked Shachi like ten minutes later like....did you see that guy with his wallet on fire??! And she goes yeaahh!!! We were both thinking maybe we were just seeing stuff but I wasn't in that kind of state to be "seeing things" and we were trying to figure out what the heck we saw!!!
! About 20 minutes later, the guy and his wife come sit down at the table behind Shachi. The guy opens his wallet.....and its on fire!!!!!! I'm trying to get everyone's attention because I know I wasn't crazy. And he sees I'm watching him and he's got this smirk on his face. Probably thinking I'm drunk and he's making me think I'm seeing things. His wife is just looking so unphased at the situation, with a face like "please, stop bringing attention to yourself". He did again and we were just so confused. I'm still amazed. We all got up and left around 10.
After dinner we headed back to the train station and back to Wies'n Camp. We got back and the girl with the combination for the lock with all our stuff in her tent wasn't back yet. It was about 10pm. So we went into the food tent we had there and sat down to relax and wait. A guy from London or Switzerland or Australia (can't remember which one) got some breaded pork and french fries, clearly drunk, and came and sat down at the bend with me and and a few of us. My friend Sonia was across from him and I was next to him. He kept asking us to cut the food for him and he was throwing french fries at us and messing around. It was pretty entertaining. At one point, he put a piece of pork in his mouth, and went to give Sonia a kiss. She leaned back and was like noooo. And he goes "What? The chicken in my mouth doesn't turn you on?" haha it was hilarious. Sonia's just like noo. And he goes "you don't think I'm hitting on you do you?" And Sonia says "no I don't think that" and he goes "ok good
. I have a fiance" hahah Sonia is like "well where is she?" he replies, "in the tent, sleeping". It was really funny. When he finally finished his pork he picked up a fry, threw it at my face, got up and walked out. It was pretty funny. I walked into the other tent that was there where there was more music and people singing and dancing and I turn around and 2 guys come running in completely naked. Totally unexpected hahahaha. So many crazy things happened in jsut one day. Our friend with the lock combo finally got back to the camp around 11:30. We got our stuff, changed, and went to sleep in our tent. I had a sleeping back and so did Shachi, but Brittany and Kim didn't have anything, so they jsut layered up and fell asleep. It wasn't the most comfortable night. I used my backpack for a pillow...that didn't work out too well. We woke up the next morning and it was about 40 degrees. It was freeeeezing. My eyes and head hurt. It was cold. But it was my first time ever sleeping in a tent and I would definitely do it again, but with a heavier sleeping bag. All weekend it only got to a high about about 62 and in the mornings and evenings it was in the 40's. Saturday was pretty cloudy but sunday was nice and sunny. Anyway, after we woke up, we went into the tent and I had some scrambled eggs and bacon. It's so nice that everything here, France/Germany, is homemade. They weren't the nasty fake eggs. They were pretty good. Everything here is natural and it all just tastes so good. We checked out and those with early flights headed to the airport but me and 6 others had the evening flight at 8:35. So we got on a train and went back into Munich, first a little outside the center of the city, and then we went on back into the center (Marienplatz) where we were the night before to see everything during the day.
We saw the Glockenspiel again and got to hear it chime. It's really pretty. There were a ton of people out now and we just went around and looked at all the shops
. This weekend was some kind of holiday for the European Union. So, all museums and historic buildings that the public would usually not be able to get into on a normal day were open to the public for free this weekend. We got into one museum for just a euro but it was kind of boring. Just an art museum. If we would have been back in France we could have gone to like the senate building or some political building, where the public usually wasn't allowed. But they're were things like that all over Europe, we just couldn't find any where we were. This was more outside of the center of the city and we saw ther Obelisk at Konigsplatz. There were some pictures up showing Hitler with his army standing in front of the Obelisk. It was really a weird feeling to think that we were in Germany where so much history had taken place. And to think that World War II had been going on there just 60 years before this. I read somewhere that the Hofbrauhaus was the first to be attacked in a bombing and had been almost completely destroyed during WWII. It's hard to imagine. We've only seen all these places in books. We walked around and got lunch at a little place called Rischart where they sold bakery and sandwiches. (At the fair and here also, they make HUGE pretzels and they are sooo good!) I had a pretzel sandwich with some kind of sour cream and chives on the inside. Then, the 4 of us each bought a dessert and we split it all. We had 5 different desserts. The one I bought was applestrudel. It was SOOOOOO gooooood. They all were
. We also had a little choclate mousse cake, some kind of croissant with sugar and a hazelnut filling, some kind of peach tart, and a cheese coffee cake. Very yummy. Randomly, Kara and her group found us sitting and eating and we talked to them for a while. It's weird how we kept running into people in such a big area. After we ate I bought a small stein shot glass which will just have to do for now till I get a real one. Then we stopped and sketched for a few, got some ice cream, then left for the airport at about 5:30. Going up the escalator into the airport, we met up with the 3 other people on our flight! We got thru security and everything (where we all got patted down) and sitting down by 6:30.
Our flight landed in Charles de gaulle at about 10:15. Paris is good for having strikes, especially now that there's some election going on, there are alot of strikes. So alot of the trains weren't working or were just being weird. Charles de Gaulle is on the other side of Paris on the east side and Versailles is on the west side of Paris. So we wanted to get on the bus from CDG to Paris, but it was full. So we ended up running thru the airport to find the train. The train wasn't running, so we followed everyone else and got on a tram to take us to the parking lot and more buses/trains. We got off and everyone made a mad dash for the free bus that was supposed to take us to a train station that was running. We got on and it was about a 15 minute ride to the station which was in some random area that I had never been to or even heard of
. Everyone gets onto the train. 5 minutes later, security comes for whatever reason and they make everyone get off and the train leaves without anyone. Not knowing how long it would take for the next one.....we just stood there. And it was cold. 10 minutes later another train came. This time we were able to get on and stay on. It was about a 45 minute ride into Paris, where we got off at the Notre Dame. Now we knew where we were at. Now it was after 11...like 12:30 and there's no trains after 11. Luckily, I had figured out how to get us home if we had needed to take the night bus. But, now that we knew which bus we needed we needed to figure out which of the 5 streets coming into this one intersection had our bus going in the right direction. I finally found what bus stop we were at after going down 3 streets and we waited for 30 minutes till the bus came (once every hour). Now it was 1:20am. As we were waiting for the bus, I saw my neighbor Lucas walking towards us. He was out there with his friend going out and stuff (this is in the college town area by Notre Dame with all the night clubs and bars, La Sorbonne, I had written about it earlier). It was crazy we kept running into people. Anyway, we get on the bus at 1:20 and it's an hour ride from there to Versailles. We got home at 2:20 and luckily home was close for me and Shachi from there. Some guys had a half hour walk home now that were no buses running yet. We got home by 2:30. And it was over.
It took us 4 hours to get home because of the strikes
. Normally that would have been a 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip. Everyone, no matter what time they left, it took them about 3-4 hours to get home. Crazy.
But, Oktoberfest was amaaaaazing and I am so glad I was able to go. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to go again. It was a great experience. There were 30 of us total and each little group had their own crazy stories to tell. It was great. Some guys, a group of 7, had even rented a car the night before and drove to Germany. That was another story! Luckily they had someone who was 21 to rent the car and someone who knew how to drive a stick shift, since that's all that they drive here. Even the buses are stick shift.
But yeah.....I loved Germany. And I'm definitely going back. This is the end of my story :)
So much to tell, so let's start with friday night.