Having missed Oktoberfest by a matter of weeks last year, I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about – so when Mr R said we had been invited to join his work’s table, I jumped at the chance. Even if it meant that I would have to make my own way there (and try to find them all!) once the children had been safely ensconced with the babysitter. Oh, and we had been instructed that traditional dress was mandatory too. Not a problem – I have a dirndl and I don’t mind wearing it, but travelling across town by myself whilst wearing it was a somewhat daunting prospect…
The evening did not start well. The babysitter had a prior engagement, and couldn’t be picked up until 5.30, meaning that by the time I got back and sorted tea etc. for the Small People, I had barely 15 minutes to get myself ready and out the door before the taxi arrived. Dressed, and feeling like an extra from It’s a Knock Out, I managed to navigate myself around an unfamiliar train station, and onto a train I hoped was heading in the right direction. The taxi driver thought it would be easier for me to travel from this particular station, as there was an FC Bayern match taking place, and he didn’t want us to get stuck in traffic. Dressed the way I was, and not relishing the thought of being stuck with a load of football fans, I felt this was a much better idea too!
I was confident I could get to Oktoberfest from the main station in any event, even if I wasn’t that familiar with this particular line. Relieved I was on the right track, I began to relax and look forward to the evening ahead. And then the train broke down. All my sitting quietly in order to blend in had to go out of the window when everyone piled off the train. I hadn’t a clue where on earth we were, but thanks to the help of a very kind girl from Berlin, we managed to walk and find a tram together, and she then helped point me in the right direction. By this point I was a lot later than I had hoped to be, and on entering the football-pitch sized bier tent (once I had found that – there are several), it soon became evident that I was late to the party in more ways than one. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was up on the benches singing. Our table (once I found it) was in the middle of a hearty sing-song (along with thousands of others) to Bon Jovi’s Final Count Down (rather bizarrely). At this point I might have questioned whether I was in the right frame of mind to deal with the couple of hours I had left to enjoy this experience. Especially as I hadn’t eaten, I was slightly frazzled from the journey, and locating the table had been less than easy… But I had two choices – I could spend the rest of the evening standing about and not enjoying myself, or I could join our group up on the benches, and get stuck in. It didn’t take long to decide which option was best, and seconds later I was hauled up to join the swaying throng (none of whom – apart from Mr R I had met before!), and all balanced on incredibly wobbly bier-table benches. How they don’t all topple over like a stack of dominos, I will never know! I can honestly say, that even though I wasn’t ever going to catch up with the rest of them in the bier drinking department (and I was grateful not to suffer the hangover the next day), this was one of those experiences I will never forget. It was like being at a fantastic party with the most incredible atmosphere, but not knowing a soul – and that not actually being a problem!
I have been back to Oktoberfest since, and I have plenty of pictures to show you, but I will save those for another post. Prost!
Oh, I did love reading this one! It was better than the snippets of Oktoberfest I’ve seen on telly. Now, I’ll wait till next year to see a picture of you in that dirndl :))
Thank you! You never know! :D
Sounds totally epic. Am very disappointed at the lack of dirndl pictures though ;)
Thank you m’dear…. No, not quite brave enough to put any on here. Maybe next year! :D
My memory of Oktoberfest is somewhat more alcoholic than singing. I was once invited to an Oktoberfest many years ago by our German business partners, at that time I was in England. It turned out to be 1966 revisited with pints or steins compensating for goals. It was a game of two halves as they say, my boss falling over rather embarassingly after a rather poor intake, which put the British side behind at least morally. Then our German colleagues then took us around the fair which was a trial for head and stomach. However we Brits managed to recover and take the moral high ground, so to speak, when several German colleagues had a few cases of it was in and then it was out. I believe the russian linesman would have said we edged it.
Thanks for your comment! The people I saw on some of the rides made me laugh, wonder if they would go on some of those things without any alcohol inside them!?
I was out in town last night. I realised it was the last night of Oktoberfest on the way home, there are going to be a lot of very sore heads across Munich this morning!! :D
Brilliant! I am so impressed – I think Dirndl photos are required!
I guess you can’t fail to have a great time with that combination – beer, singing and table top cavorting! I assumed people would sing German songs of a tradition variety – but I guess everyone knows the words to Bon Jovi after a couple of litres of beer.
Thanks Gemma… I was a little surprised by the music too, although they did sing Ein Prosit (a real bier festival song) every few minutes! Emma :) PS. There are a couple of blurry pics on my FB page! :D
Trish - Mum's Gone to says
I think you are very brave tackling trains, taxis and going somewhere new, in a foreign country, dressed in a dirndl!
Shame not to meet up with you at the awards but at least we both lost so can commiserate with each other. :-))
Brave or stupid??? Yes, and we can commiserate over a bier in Munich WHEN you all come over!! :D
Photos of you in the dirndl, please! I’m glad you decided to just throw yourself in to the celebrations. Despite all the setbacks, it sounds like you had a fantastic evening. I am absolutely determined to get there one year. Must practise my beer-drinking well in advance!
I am definitely not brave enough for that. Besides, the pictures that were taken were so blurry it’s ridiculous! The disadvantage of handing your camera to drunken people!! It was a fabulous evening, it has to be seen to be believed! You must must try and go one year! :D
Looks amazing, 3 weekends? That’s a lot of partying! You make wear you live sound wonderful every time you post.
And some people will go nearly every day to that too! Thank you! :D
Every time i read your blog i turn a shade of green
:D Thanks Helen!
Oh sounds like lots of fun. Was everyone in traditional dress? My nightmare would be turning up and being the only one.
Thank you! EVERYONE was in traditional dress. A few people (not in DE!) think it’s a bit odd that I actually have a dirndl, but you just feel so out of place not wearing one, and the Bavarian’s really think you haven’t made an effort if you don’t wear one! :D
I really hope it went well for you last night! Can’t find anything online for some reason.
The Oktoberfest sounds wild! Love a good sing-a-long – bet you never imagined you’d be belting out Bon Jovi… x
Runner up… But hey, it was amazing to get this far! :) Wild would definitely be a good way to describe Oktoberfest, I was not expecting Bon Jovi though, you’re right!! :D
And a big good luck wish to you – fingers crossed. x
Thanks Mum. It was just an honour to get this far! :) xxx
Midlife Singlemum says
Sounds a real laugh. Are there events the whole month or is it a one off?
It was a fantastic night… It lasts over three weekends, and two full weeks! I don’t think I could manage every day though! :)
Louise Lloyd says
Oooh I have LOTS of experience of Oktoberfest – if we class experience as being left behind whilst Daddy Lloyd and his friends make a 4 day visit to it!! For years every end of September he has made that trip across….and would you believe yours is the most detailed account I have ever heard of what actually happens in those bier tents!!
He hasn’t been for the last two years, I think the week long hangover afterwards was beginning to take their toll on him! Glad you made it this year, and sorry your not over here at the MADS, I’ll be watching on twitter to see how you do though x
I can imagine that is one serious hangover! So pleased to be able to fill you in on what actually happens!! Thanks Louise, you are very kind! xxx