We awoke to cold rain this morning, but that didn't stop us from getting ready for a day of Oktoberfest. After a trip to the breakfast buffet downstairs, we caught the U-Bann.
Before heading to the festival, I wanted to visit Galeria Kaufhof. Its a German department store we found on our last trip to Munich. On the 3rd floor they have one of the best model train shops I've seen in Europe. It's fantastic. And Brandon really likes the toy section. Since the store is closed on Sundays, I wanted to shop a little before I ran out of time.
Brandon and Katrina in Marienplatz
Many people were dressed for Oktoberfest, even in the city.
Even the windows are full of Oktoberfest spirit. Many store employees were dressed up as well.
Brandon and I ended up buying several items. Model train accessories for me, Legos for Brandon. This resulted in us having to ride the U-bann back to our hotel to unload before heading to Oktoberfest.
Brandon watches the control booth of the subway train.
As we neared the exit for Oktoberfest, the last few station stops really packed the train.
The "Weisn", as Oktoberfest is locally known, celebrates its 200th year in 2010. It takes place each fall on a 71 acre site in the center of Munich. Oktoberfest usually funs 16 days, but for its 200th event, it will run 17 days. On average, 1.6 million gallons (6 million liters) of beer are served each year to approximately 6 million visitors. 500,000 chickens, 100 oxen and and unknown number of pretzels are served each year.
The crowds exiting the U-bann to Oktoberfest, and this was early in the day.
All the breweries have their own beer tents...more like buildings. The largest can hold 10,000 drinking, singing people.
Random photos of Oktoberfest attendees
Looking out from the line of the Reisengrad
Riding the Reisengrad, the huge ferris wheel.
Views from the Reisengrad
These cookies are popular, especially with messages for your loved one
Much of Oktoberfest is carnival rides. This rollercoaster does 5 loops, and its a portable ride!
Katrina and Brandon give the Fun House a try
More carnival rides
Katrina bought Brandon a cookie
We spent most of the day at the festival before heading back into the center of Munich for dinner. We would have eaten at Oktoberfest, but we wanted a sit down meal and the only place to do that is in the beer tents. If you don't get a table early in the day, you probably don't get a table. Many of the tents are closed due to full capacity by mid afternoon.
We were going to eat dinner at the Haufbrau Haus, but there were long lines to get in there as well. So, we found a table at a restaurant just across the platz. I had a 1/2 chicken with fries. Brandon had brats with saurkraut and Katrina had a traditional German soup. We chatted with some Norwegians at the table next to us. They had obviously been drinking for much of the day and were a funny bunch. They bought me a shot of Jager and they bought Brandon an ice cream sundae for dessert.
Tired from a long day, we slowly made our way back to the room for the night. We did stop at a bookstore along the way. Katrina found a book she was looking for, I found two Clive Cussler books and Brandon found a DVD he wanted. Maybe I should call this the Oktoberfest shopping spree?!
Tomorrow we will visit Oktoberfest again, hopefully a bit earlier in the day so that we can experience a beer tent.