I’ve been living in Holland for about a month now, and as much as I love it, I miss home and friends from time to time. That’s why I was especially excited for this trip to Munich, because I was meeting up with 7 other girls from Chicago!
I’ll be honest, before most trips I will do lots of research, reading blogs and watching videos about the place I’m visiting. For this trip, I did almost nothing. I knew that this trip was almost entirely Oktoberfest so I figured I’d had a general idea of what it’d be like. Oktoberfest was bigger and crazier than I could have imagined.
The sheer size of the whole place is what really got me. There are 14 large tents and 20 small tents, in total seating over 100,000 people. While the place seats that many people, at times it can be nearly impossible to find somewhere to sit. Nearly 7 million liters of beer will be consumed by the time Oktoberfest comes to a close by over 5 million visitors from around the world. That’s crazy!
I met up with 7 other girls I knew from Chicago, coming from all over just to meet up with each other for this weekend. Three came from London, one from Budapest, and three came all the way from Chicago! With so many people, coordinating anything can be a bit difficult.
We started off our day early, getting up at 7am to get ready and dressed in our dirndls (I bought mine on the walk there)! Everyone wears the dirndls and lederhosen! It’s not like you HAVE to wear them, and no one will make fun of you if you don’t, but almost everyone there dresses up so that’s half the fun! Check out me in my dirndl 😉
We arrived just past 9am, which is when the gates open. People line up for hours before the gates open in an attempt to get some of the best tables and seating in the most popular tents. There is a sort of buzz in the air because of everyone’s excitement. This place is like an amusement park for adults. There are carnival rides everywhere, with different food vendors all along the streets.
When we arrive at the first tent (Hofbräu), it was extremely overwhelming. The place is massive. There are tons of tables in the middle and a ring of tables along the outside walls. We were a bit overwhelmed so we just did a big lap around the place before we were able to find a table to fit us all.
Besides the fact that it’s nice to sit at a table, it’s also the easiest way to get beer and food. The waitresses and walking food vendors will only sell to you if you’re at a table. And let me tell you, these ladies are amazing at their job. These women can be seen carrying 10-12 masses of beer (each 1 liter) back and forth across the tent. Someone was telling me that these women make enough in the three weeks of Oktoberfest to support themselves for the rest of the year. Becoming one isn’t easy though, there are tryouts that measure your speed and ability to carry so many masses.
After a few hours at this tent, we move on to the next. The weather was a perfect sunny day, not too hot or too cold. We met so many people from all over the world along the way. Many people our age, either from North America or Europe, many of which were studying abroad or living elsewhere like us. But we also met many Germans and a lot of people with their families. We spent a couple hours just hanging out with this German family, who spoke just enough English to have a good laugh with us. It didn’t really matter though because we all were having a good time, drinking and dancing.
While some of my friends were able to stay out past the festival’s close(10pm), I was very beat by about 6pm. It’s amazing how time flies there. Before you know it the day has gone and you’re exhausted. After a long trek back, with some Thai food along the way, we finally made it back to our hotel. My body and mind were especially exhausted, but it was all worth it for the once in a lifetime experience with old friends.
Check out a video I made with my GoPro HERO4 BLACK(Link to the one I use) here: https://www.facebook.com/saratravelseverywhere/videos/515571812125625/
Next week I talk about my beach trip with Nathan and his dog! Who knew there were beaches in Holland (apparently most people?).