Michelle with a pretzel the size of her head! Oktoberfest
We arrived in Munich last Thursday at the respectable hour of 6am, having slept very little on our 20 hour flight the first day was a struggle, in fact I am convinced that time stood still.  Our first look at Germany was Munich Airport and our first taste for the famous German efficiency was waiting an hour for them to clear just our flight through passport control…
We stayed with a German lady about 10 minutes outside of Munich and she offered to hold onto our cases until we were able to check in at 3.  So we navigated on the German metro system to our station.  Everyone says that the trains in Australia are bad, but to what extent you don’t fully appreciate until you see for yourself.  German trains are so efficient which makes travelling easy.  We had time for a coffee before setting out to explore the city.
BMW I-Concept Car using Clean Energy
The rest of Thursday was sadly uneventful; we wandered around the main city centre.  Sussed out the free wifi in Munich (long live Starbucks!) and headed to check out the little Bavarian festival currently happening in town!  After an early lunch and a little more exploring we returned home to crash at about 5 and slept soundly through till the morning.
A Classic BMW
Friday was a new day and feeling slightly better rested went to do some more exploring and check out the BMW museum.  It provided us with a fascinating look at the history of BMW plus a look at their newest models on the showroom floor.
The Different BMW Models Produced
That night we enjoyed dinner at a local Irish pub and got to sample our first taste of proper German food – Roast pork and the quintessential German beers!  It was good to be able to take a bit of time to relax and unwind having been on the go since we landed.
On Saturday as everyone back home knows was the Australian Football Grand Final, we returned to Kennedy’s – our Irish pub to take in the game.  The only problem was that the game started at 630AM local time and being a pub the expectation that you have to drink…first beers were 6:35.  The game was great, live sport in a pub is the only way to watch sport on TV, unbelievable atmosphere plus on the other side of the world drinking with so many passionate Australians was a great experience.  The pub even got into the spirit of things throwing on Australian beers (only VB but still) and Vegemite on Toast to win points with the tourists!
A Very cool Z series roadster
In Germany the standard size of beer is 500ml so by the time 10am rolled around both Michelle and I had already notched up 2l – amazing breakfast beers hasn’t caught on at home…  Given our fine start drinking we felt Oktoberfest was a must, with all intentions to go into a tent and have a few beers with the crowds we were surprised to see that in fact every tent was full (this is at 11am) plus there is a line waiting to get in that would rival the most popular Australian Nightclubs – for every tent.  We were fortunate to find a beer garden where we were able to enjoy a relaxing beer before heading into Munich to relax and pick up the final things that we had forgotten back home.
6:30AM beers for the AFL Grandfinal
That night we went out to a local restaurant where we enjoyed a schnitzel dinner.  The food in Germany is fantastic, and reasonably sized.  Schnitzels were good and the service was friendly as well.  We decided to call an early night to prepare for Oktoberfest the next day.
The Reaction of the crowd at the end!
Sunday at 9am we arrived at Oktoberfest and to my amazement the Hoffbrau tent was already 90% full.  We quickly took our seats and ordered our first beer (Oktoberfest serve by the litre!).
Oktoberfest is unbelievable.  Everyone at the festival is so friendly and looking to party!  The best part about it was that you didn’t need to speak the language to be able to have fun or get to know the people sitting next to you.  Most people in the world know about Oktoberfest but on a scale that is bigger than most people realise.  The beer tents hold about 8000 people.  A staggering number!
Oktoberfest before the drinking!
The Beer Gardens at Oktoberfest
We were fortunate to sit next to a group of Americans from New York and New Jersey and it was great to have several beers with them across the day!  Chris, Brendan, Deidre and Christine spent the day telling us stories from the US and gave us some great ideas on where to go and what see.  I really hope that we can catch up with them when we get to New York!  They rocked!  We also met some Italians from all over Italy as well as a group of Germans who had come down from Northern Germany for the festival.  Michael, Lars, Andrew, Marco (and I am sure that there were a few others the beer has forgotten) it was such a great day!
We spent all day at Oktoberfest and it was great to make new friends from all over the world.  We also caught up with Michelle’s cousin who has spent the last 9 months on this side of the globe.  We called it a day at Oktoberfest about 5 having finished about 4 ½ glasses of beer (4.5L) Michelle was game enough to try a German sausage for dinner, I however decided sleep would be a better alternative and booked a raincheck on the food.
Number 1 – Oktoberfest
Number 1 – Oktoberfest
Monday morning was very rough.  There is something about drinking while you sit and not feeling it until you get up.  Monday hurt!  Also coupling as my birthday we spent the day doing some sightseeing.  We checked out a quaint toy museum in Munich near the main station, we headed to the serene English gardens and attempted to check out the Opera and National Gallery, but much to our disappointment was mostly closed because of a fair being set up.
My German Friend Michael
After returning to the main part of town we spent about 20 minutes searching for a recommended restaurant – the Hoffbrau Haus.  Here we enjoyed a traditional German dinner of Pork and Bavarian Chicken.  We also tried Apple Strudel which was nice!  Also something didn’t sit right about being in a beer house and drinking water so we braved another litre of beer each!  We were about ready to call it a night when we met a lovely Irish couple Nathan and Nicola who had arrived in Munich that day for Oktoberfest.  They were fantastic fun to drink with!  We spent the rest of the night drinking with our new friends from Ireland and listening and trading stories about where we have been and where we must go when we go around Europe.  It was such a great evening and highlighted the best part about Oktoberfest – the people!
Drinking with Our American Friends,
Chris, Diedre, Christine and Brendan
After a late night out we had a reasonable start as we are currently on the train to Salzburg.  It is quiet and relaxing and is giving me a chance to write the first part of my blog.  For which I am grateful.
The Highlights:
German Friends and Cousin Cath!
Drinking with Our Irish Friends Nathan and Nicola
Oktoberfest was amazing.   It is something that I recommend everyone does if they travel to Europe, to be able to sit and drink with people from different countries is unbelievable and something I will remember for the rest of my life!
The people in Munich are really friendly as well.  My German extends to a few phrases but the locals were happy to have a laugh when we pulled out a phrasebook to try and speak, or help us in English if we didn’t make any sense (which was most of the time)
The city was also brilliant, so much history in Munich and such beautiful sights to be seen, truly amazing.
The Lowlights:
The morning after Oktoberfest, should have definitely had more water…How did the Bavarians do this for 2 weeks!!!!
The funniest thing I saw.
I know Europe is quite different to Australia censorship wise but you get a better appreciation for exactly how when you get here.  For example I am not sure that this sign has the same meaning here as it does back home.
Parking Europe Style

 

 Parking in Europe is an experience, I am not driving in the main cities for this reason, and it’s pretty much Open Season over here on the roads.

The funniest thing I see is almost entirely summed up by this picture.

I hope thats not beer!
The biggest cheers in the tent were for this little kid and oh how I hope that he is just drinking juice!
The Final Word.
All in all Munich is an amazing city, somewhere I would definitely come back to and the people are extremely friendly.  All in all a great start to our trip.
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