While I may not remember a whole lot about the first time I attended the München Oktoberfest (5 years ago!) I do remember that it was awesome.
This year, I finally got the chance to return (in appropriate Bavarian attire!), and it did not disappoint. Despite drinking less Bier than I would have on a Thursday night while in grad school, and not eating a single gebrannte Mandel, I did enjoy the tastiest rotisserie chicken on earth, saw the Wiesn from the top of the Ferris Wheel, and got to sing my favorite German ‘act-it-out’ song (here some German hipster children will show you how it’s done).
I let my friend Kelly take care of photo duties, so here are some of her best ones.
Spaten tent in full force
with my Maβ and hand-me-down Lebkuchen heart
From the Ferris Wheel
While you may think all my spare time is spent looking at the bottom of a liter of Bier, sometimes I partake in more cultural activities. Our second day in Munich was much different from our first. A two hour train ride followed by an arduous uphill trek led us to another Bucket List item: Neuschwanstein Castle.
Nestled high in the German Alps with views to die for, we were not disappointed.
God is punishing me. For what, I am not sure. But I am definitely in trouble for something.
Saturday, on our way back from an impromptu trip to Prague (aside: don’t go to Prague in December. What a terrible idea) Emily and I found ourselves on the losing end of European air travel and stranded in Munich airport. Luckily, we were beckoned to a secret rebooking desk where we were able to secure not only a flight back to Hannover for the next morning, but also a hotel room for the night, provided so kindly by Lufthansa. After a frigid trip to Eastern Europe a complimentary night’s stay in a bed and breakfast in the suburbs of Munich was just what we needed. Granted, we had no luggage (and still don’t) but at least we were warm, could get a shower, and slept in real beds.
Though a cot does beat a cold metal chair.
Monday morning, I had no choice but to confront the Hannover airport (“hell within hell” as a friend of mine has coined it) once again for my trip back to America for Christmas. After a 430am wakeup call, a broken train and a shared taxi ride to the airport, I thought I was home-free. My flight to Paris was delayed an hour, but still on the board at least. However, after checking in (and checking my luggage) I was informed that the Paris airport is closed for the morning, and my flight won’t be leaving until noon. Five hours, a few naps, and a passionate conversation with Jakub about our hatred of being stuck in Europe later, I was in the air and on my way to Paris. Though of course, I did miss my flight to Philadelphia. Thankfully, the help desk line for Delta was non-existent (real bonus to flying on an American airline at this time) and I was barely able to be rebooked on a flight to Philadelphia… 20 hours later and via Pittsburgh and Detroit.
During my time as an airport vagrant, I walked up and down the entire building, tested many chairs to find the best sleeping conditions (and therefore slept through the sleeping mat/ cot/ blanket distribution), got lucky in a vending machine and got a bag of peanut M&M’s for free, and have been rationing the 5 clementines and 3 granola bars I brought with me. 4 ½ hours until my flight is supposed to leave… we shall see.