Many people said that Oktoberfest was overrated. For me it’s not a matter of rating: I enjoy having a good beer with friends, or even with strangers. A beer in a foreign city, thousand miles from home, with a festive atmosphere and some costume parades – all the better. I came to Munich this time mainly for the parades (did I mention beer? No, it’s not the sole point of my trip.) And Munich didn’t disappoint.
On the first day of Oktoberfest, I arrived early at the starting point of the breweries parade. I could see from afar the beer barrels, the flower garlands, the proud horses – all in a standby status. It excited me I almost jumped up.
I took many photos of the horses – I adore them. Aren’t horses the most beautiful and noble animal?
People had already lined up along the pavement, and I found myself a good spot. I heard many languages spoken around me: French tourists complaining about waiting time, Italian tourists sharing some biscuits among them, Asian tourists wearing traditional Bavarian outfits which is quite a sight.
Even the police put on fancy dresses.
Yes, that woman was a police officer, I saw her badge.
The parade started with a cute pair of stallion:
Then, a galore of fanfares and colors and robes. Since it was the beginning of the event, everybody was still fresh and smiling. The next day when I watched the Riflemen’s Parade near its end point, the marching people were tired after 2 km of waving and shouting (and after much beer the previous night I guess), so they were a little bit more silent, but still smiling. Some photos I took of both days:
I like the Bavarian costume for this event: it looks casual and fun. In fact, for me it looks rather like a joyful maid’s clothes, so the city seemed to turn into a giant beer tent on this occasion:
Children also participated in the parade, from their tiny wagon:
Audi staffs cheekily push their Audi vehicle into walk:
When the parade ends, it started to rain. I went to the drinking tents in the Wiesn, like any sane person would do. It was quite a merry playground, and I tried a fruit skew dipped in chocolate there – so delicous. I think strawberry skew in chocolate is the best of them, apples or bananas come far behind.
I entered a tent, and realised that I forgot to reserve a seat (though I had told myself again and again to do it. Don’t be surprise, I’m really an absent-mind person.)
I walked inside the tent for 15 mins but couldn’t find any vacation seat. Waiters with huge food trays on their shoulder, or a dozen of golden beer mugs in their hands – I don’t know how they did it – passing by me only to increase my misery. I surrendered and went to another tent. The situation was similar except that anyone who left for bathrom for too long would risk losing their seats. Apparently, some guy was too drunken and fell into the toilette bowl, so he/she couldn’t return to his/her seat, and the waiter put me there. I was happy for my hard-earned seat and dived into the meal. The food was okay but the beer was excellent.
So I was alone in the table, among a group of people who all knew each other. I didn’t mind, and neither did they. They spoke with me, were amiable with me and toasted with me. Lovely people. I didn’t remember how I left the table, or how I returned to the hotel, but at least I returned in one piece. I was even sober enough to cook up a healthy meal in the common kitchen of the guesthouse, to dilute all that beer.
On the second day, always on that playground, I ate at a stand of Steckerl Fischer, where they had these rows of marinated whole fishes on sticks, roasted by open air charcoal. It was like one of the tastiest thing I’ve ever touched.
People took pictures of it, and I of them:
It had stopped raining at that moment, but I was unlucky enough to stand right under the edge of the roof. At one moment, all the water on the roof decided to come down, right onto me. I was peacefully eating and admiring my grilled fish when “pouff!” a torrent of dirty water poured over my head, my fish, and my CAMERA!
Like a true “photographee”, I tried all means to dry my camera bag and thought nothing of my wet head in the cold weather. Luckily, Fury (my brother, in case you forgot) had given me a very good camera bag: none of the water penetrated to the interior.
Also, the waiter was kind enough to offer me another grilled fish to compensate for my accident, but, silly as I was, I politely declined. I regretted that 2 hours later, when I felt hungry again. So much for acting noble T_T
Then I visited Marienplatz (the pretty Town Hall Square), strolled through the open air market Viktualienmarkt not far from that, saw the Glockenspiel show on the Tower at 17h.
Of course the local knight would win in the dual fight in Glockenspiel. You’d know what I’m talking about if you’ve been to Munich.
Lots of music around. A street artist played something quite beautiful nearby. A choir of school children sang in the square for a charity cause, under the directing of their teacher – many people gathered to listen, to watch and to donate.
I enjoyed the scene to the last minute before I caught a train to leave Munich, and finish my short but amusing trip.
If you want the photos in original size, here is my stock website:
Thank for reading my first Trip Report on this blog ^___^