This article is being re-posted from FLiP Magazine October 2016. FLiP Magazine is a great publication with insight into pop-culture for both men and women! Aeri Rose is a regular contributor to FLiP W, the female focused half of the magazine. You should definitely check it out, and subscribe for the free digital editions! Even if I’m quiet here…I’ll always find something to say there!
Travel Destination: Oktoberfest
By: Aeri Rose
“The barrel is tapped! Cheers!” two men in lederhosen and white shirts shout as they clank their massive glass beer-filled tankards together. Others around them are singing traditional German drinking songs, tankards sloshing in one hand, legs of roasted chicken waving in the other.
Welcome to Oktoberfest. Where each year in late-September and early-October millions flock to Munich, Germany to celebrate beer and Bavarian life.
Beer is a lot of what Oktoberfest is about. There are over 30 beer tents at Oktoberfest, though the term “tent” doesn’t do justice to the massive wooden structures temporarily erected at the Thereseinwiese Fairgrounds. Each tent has a different theme and different beer served, hinted at by the elaborate decorations at the entrance. Inside, traditional German music plays, while festival-goers sit at long wooden tables with long wooden benches, drinking German beer, specially brewed by German beer companies for the festival. Barmaids in dirndls walk the halls balancing heavy trays of full masses (what the full liter glass tankards are called) rapidly bought up by drinkers with empty or nearly empty cups. Traditional Munich brewers that adhere to strict Bavarian Purity Requirements are the only beers served at Oktoberfest. There are only six brewers that serve beers at the festival, the youngest of which was founded in 1634. These are old giants of the German beer industry. They are Augustiner (the oldest Munich brewery, founded in 1328), Hacker Pschorr, Hofbrau, Lowenbrau, Paulaner, and Spaten.
But beer is not all that Oktoberfest is about. Its also about the food, the clothes, the song, the shopping, the games, and the rides. Some beer tents sell hot food inside. Try foods like roast chicken, pork, sauerkraut, and specialty German white sausages. Or take a break from the hall and wander outside where a carnival atmosphere fills the air with excited energy. Vendor stalls sell traditional foods like pretzels, bratwurst, and fried potatoes; and sweets like fried cakes, ice cream and pastries. Try a carnival game or two and win your beau a stuffed bear as a prize. Decide that you too need to look the part and outfit yourself in a completely new Bavarian look: leather breeches (lederhosen), suspenders, and a white shirt for him; a below-knee length skirt with blouse, bodice, and apron (dirndl) for her. Or maybe a traditional alpine hat is enough for you. These hats are made of a thick wool felt with a small brim and a decorative braided band, sometimes enhanced with a spray of feathers.
Properly attired, return to the beer tents for another round. Before 6:00 pm the music is quieter, with traditional German folk bands playing on center stage. In the evenings things get kicked up a notch, with modern electronic music replacing the polka bands.
Oktoberfest can be enjoyed fully in one day, or make it a weekend adventure. If you are traveling far, consider adding a couple extra days to spend exploring Munich itself as well. It is a beautiful town full of history, culture, and ambiance. Always bustling, you’ll catch it at its most excited and energetic when filled with other curious travelers like yourself, trying to experience all this lovely city has to offer.
Start your day at the Altstadt (old city), at Marienplatz, the main square in the center of the city. From here wander towards the Viktualienmarkt, and graze your way through your favorite food vendors for lunch. Sample fresh produce, cheeses, and traditional German foods. Car buffs should visit the BMW headquarters with their famous BMW museum where visitors can see classics, race cars, prototypes, and many others in the BMW family. For dinner check out the Hofbräuhaus, a traditional beer hall and Bavarian restaurant.
Whatever you decide to do on your trip, be prepared to eat, drink, and be merry in Munich.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you were doing, pack a bag, and set out on an adventure? Seven years and over two dozen countries later, Aeri Rose is proof that excitement, independence, and discovery await those who are bold enough to say “yes” to life’s craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack, Aeri Rose an be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as a writer and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri on all her adventures, check her out online at travelingwithaeri.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aerirose.