Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
Trip End Jan 01, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Friday, September 25, 2009

Where do I even begin this? 
 Oktoberfest was ridiculous, a lot of what I expected, and a lot of what I did not. Lets start with a little bit of history for those who do not know. This is the biggest fair in the entire world with over 6 million people attend yearly. That is a whole lot of people. Most of the tend to be from Bavaria. I met quite a few of them and they were very nice. To even drink beer, you had to enter one of the fourteen tents. Once in there, it was like its own giant party inside the actual event. Which is like a huge carnival, with a bunch of rides and fried food. Each tent has their own aspects that make it unique to the type of beer served. All of the hotels and hostels sell out during Oktoberfest months in advance. We got lucky because the International desk at Bocconi had a trip set up for us. For a small fortune, we got on a bus at 10pm on Friday night and took a 10 hour bus ride to the Golden Land, Theresienwiese. The literal translation is "field or meadow of Therese". It was named after a princess at the time. The original "Oktoberfest" occurred in Munich, on October 18, 1810: For the commemoration of their marriage, Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig and Princess Therese. At around 5am, we were awoken to our leader, Ricardo, informing us that we were at McDonald's for some much needed food before our big day. I had my favorite Egg McMuffin, that they dont have in Milan, and a diet coke. Breakfast of champions! Forty minutes later, my tummy full, we got back on the bus for the remainder 40 minutes. We arrived in the Meadow of Therese at around 7am, two hours before Oktoberfest actually opened. We roamed around the empty streets through the carnival until we ran into some Bocconi students in line for allegedly the best tent. We decided that we better get in line, although it was freezing cold and the line didn't look too long. I was mistaken, it was the craziest line. It took us until after nine to get in and once inside we all sat down. We were served our first beers at around 9:30am and the fun began! We had the traditional pretzels and sausages, and some more pretzels. Maggie and I decided to go wandering around the tent and found more friends and finished our liter of beer with them. That is when the music started. In our tent a traditional Bavarian style band played and when they played everyone inside the tent, that held 3000 people got up on their tables, and clapped and sang along. I was watching all the Germans, trying to mimic them, it was a great time
At around noon, Maggie and I were getting restless, so we decided to leave the tent and go out to the festival. Note to the wise, make sure you really really want to leave the tent before you do, because you will not be able to get in. Nonetheless, we went out and around, rode a few rides, got the longest bratwurst I have ever eaten and walked up to the statue of Therese. There was a great view of the "meadow" and quite possibly the best people watching I have ever encountered. Maggie and I walked around the different booths and met some really nice German boys. We bonded over the common love of San Diego, although he had never been there, he would love to go. He also told me Blink-182 was the best band of all time, complimented me on my Von Zipper glasses, almost tried to walk off with them, and invited us to sit at one of the tables with their friends. He told me he referred to himself as Sexy, he heard this word once, looked it up on Google, saw that it meant good looking, and believed that it fit him. He refers to his better looking friend as Fugly and in general was making me laugh so hard that I could not breathe. I told them all the places that I was going this semester and he approved telling me that Austria and Germany were the best. I also tried to teach them some California slang, this was equally as funny and they taught me German cuss words. We chatted with them for the better of an hour and then went to sit with them and their friends at a table. Once arriving there, there was no room for Maggie and I so we decided we should try to find our friends back at the bus. We had a much needed rest at the bus and some great people watching. We watched grown men barely able to walk in a straight line, saw people passed out in front of the buses on the grass, and just general craziness. 
We then ventured into downtown Muchen, which was a few subway stops away from where we were. We walked around and had a quick German dinner that was awful. I ordered the meatloaf, which ended up being more like baloney then meatloaf, nonetheless, it was a wonderful evening. We were exhausted, so we decided to head back to Thereseinwise, where we got great chocolate covered strawberries and a nutella crepe. We made our way back to the bus where it drove us to our hotel just outside of Munich. At around 2am, I was showered and fast asleep in an extremely comfortable Best Western. At 10am we were up and at breakfast in the hotel. It was amazing and by 11 on our way back to Milano. It was a whirlwind trip but an amazing one to say the least. I don't know if I'll ever go back to Oktoberfest, but it was an experience that I will never forget. I definitely want to go back to Germany though and explore the countryside. The bus ride home was punctuated by snores and the Swiss Alps. I'll definitely be back.

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