Mara and I flew to Munich together a couple weekends ago, after I spent the night in Barcelona with her. We didn’t realize that our flight was landing in the “Memmingan” airport instead of the “Munich” airport, which meant we were a long ways away from the city center of Munich. There were tons of American students on our flight who were headed to Oktoberfest as well. We took a bus that was about that took about an hour to get to Munich, and once in Munich came across a coffee shop where we attempted to connect with our friends by using the available the wifi. No one has european sim cards for their phones, which means it is EXTREMELY expensive to call and text. Connecting with each other the whole weekend was very difficult.
We got in touch with Kiersten and Lauren, who were at the fairgrounds already and had been there all day. Neither Mara nor I had realized people were arriving the night before (Thursday night), because we thought everyone was getting there Friday. Anyways, we took a taxi to the Oktoberfest fairgrounds to meet up with our friends, and on the way had a nice discussion with the cab driver who was of course dressed in lederhosen (leather breeches, traditional German attire). It was a beautiful day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. However, right as Mara and I encountered all our Denison friends and reunited with them at the entrance to the fairgrounds, they were all done for the day and ready to go back to the hotel. Sort of a bummer considering Mara and I had just gotten there!
I was okay with going back, because I was tired from traveling and figured we would have all day Saturday. However, it turns out our hotel was about a 30 minute cab drive away. Very inconvenient and expensive. In order to save money, we attempted to cheat the system and “sneak” five people into one holiday inn hotel room that was officially for two people. Typical college students, right? It was a bit stressful.
The next day we woke up at 5:30am in order to get in line for the tents at the Oktoberfest. We arrived at 6:00am and stood there until 9:30. It was cold and rainy, and there were mobs of people everyone shoving each other and fighting to get inside. The festival is huge, with tons of food stands, rides, and tents. It’s like a theme park. At 9:30, one of the giant German security guards (they were so scary and kept blowing whistles!) led us into the tent, but only to the upstairs part. It was packed, and we weren’t allowed to stay there because the tables were reserved for other groups! So we stood in a frustrated mob of people, mostly American college students, who were all trying to get downstairs. The security guard let groups of about 5 people go down at a time, but eventually it got too full and they couldn’t let anyone else in. Myself and about 5 others were kicked out of the tent, after standing in line for almost 5 hours. It was awful. So, back outside we were, standing in the cold rain, trying to figure out what to do when all of our friends were inside the tent.
The rest of the day consisted of us simply trying to get in the tent, or any tent. Unfortunately, we never got in. We went to a pub outside of the festival with a few other Denison people and hung out there, which was pretty fun. Mara and I met some young people from Holland and convinced them we were from Barcelona. Pretty hilarious. Especially when they said “we could tell from looking at you that you were Spanish!”
Overall, it was an interesting experience, and I’m glad I got to “see the scene” and somewhat get a taste of Munich’s Oktoberfest. But most of my day was spent standing in line outside in the cold. I would describe it as waiting in line at a theme park all day and only being able to ride one roller coaster. At least I got to reunite with a few friends from Denison.