December 23, 2008

How we rolled at Oktoberfest

NOTE: Catch-up post

Where we slept...
The Tent (

Nestled in Munich's Botanical Gardens (or Botanischer Garten as the Germans would say it), just off tram line 17, this weird mix of campground and hostel was our home for four painful, painful nights!

Guests can opt to either a) pitch a tent, b) sleep on a foam mat on the wooden floor of a large tent, or c) sleep in a bunk in a very large tent. Being the backpacking scabs we are, we opted for the cheapest option, which, of course, was 'a' – bad move, Lisa and Craig, bad move.

While The Tent itself had the potential to be awesome – warm cafe serving delicious toasted sandwiches, cheap breakfasts and yummy stews and currys for dinner, bonfires each night, cheap as seriously expensive chips, and lots of like-minded people about. Our problem was with the the weather, it was freezing and raining the entire time we were there, combined with the copious amounts of drinking we undertook, we were left with monstrous flus.

One fateful night, unable to bare the thought of yet another freezing, uncomfortable night, we decided to free camp in the van – um, which is illegal in Munich. Oh how warm and snuggly and comfy it was, never had I loved the van more in my life. Then, at around 4am we were woken by a flashlight circling the van, we stayed as still and quiet as possible while we waited for the police/wheel-clampers/robbers/randoms to leave, and then hotfooted it right back to our cold, damp tent.

Where we drank...
The tents at Oktoberfest.

While we did test our tastebuds at a number of tents, we admittedly spent most of our time in the typically touristy Hofbrau and Lowenbrau tents (totally uncultured, yes. But you can't argue with a good time.) 

We wiled away the hours knocking back stein after stein (and in Craig's case, after stein, after stein, after stein, after stein), singing along to German and English songs (Robbie William's Angel seemed to be a favourite, I bet he's proud), waving our stein glasses around, and getting steins smashed in our faces...

Oh yeah, on our first night in the Hofbrau tent, an American guy smashed his stein across Craig's face because he was trying to get on our table and Craig told him to go away. But don't worry, the bouncers were in there like a shot and beat the Yank up good, real good, and we've got photographic evidence to prove it:

Anyway, back to my post...

Who we rolled with...
Adam, Linda, Sam, Andrew, Dave, Edi, Dani and Katie. Never heard of them? Neither had we.

While trying to warm up next to the heater at The Tent after getting drenched in the tent-putting-up fiasco, Craig got talking to Adam, who was there with his girlfriend, Linda, they soon invited us to come along to Oktoberfest that afternoon, where they were meeting their friend, Edi, who was currently travelling with Sam, Dave and Andrew,who had met Dani and Katie somewhere along their European adventures.

Confused? Never mind. All you need to know is two days of heavy drinking and
shenanigans ensued – it's amazing how it only takes a few steins and some cheesy pop songs to make instant besties. 

It's a small world: After we ditched the van and went back to the UK, I was showing my friend  Jackie (who we were staying with at the time) our Oktoberfest photos. 'I know that guy!' she squealed. Turns out her and Fiona had partied with Andrew, Sam and Dave in Mykonos back in July. We later met up with them all again for a messy night at the Walkabout before the boys flew home to Oz.

What we ate...
Meat, meat and more meat.

After weeks of Vegemite-sandwich and tinned-food torture, we went crazy for dead animal. While the foot-long hotdogs, pork stews, schnitzel burgers and the one bit of free meat I stole from a platter going past me (see pic for proud Lisa with free meat) went down a treat, the culinary highlight of our Oktoberfest was well and truly won by the pork knuckles we devoured in the Hofbrau tent.

Succulent, juicy and downright mouthwatering, these chunks of pig goodness will forever hold a place in our hearts.