As many of you may know, yesterday was the beginning of Oktoberfest, one of the biggest drink festivals the world over. What many of you may not have known is the ridiculous time you need to get there on opening day to secure a table. Giving ourselves a semi lie-in we made our way to Theresienwiese at half past 8. The site was already a hive of activity, with thousands of people wandering round in Lederhosen and Dirndl. Even at this hour there were people who had gone too hard too soon and were having to be propped up by friends – an ominous sign.
After a short queue we managed to get into the Hofbräuhaus tent, the largest on the site, and met up with our friend Izzy and her friend Katie. These two had been particularly eager and had arrived at 7. They were still only able to get a standing table. So there we were at 9am in an enormous tent waiting for it all to kick off. Beer was not to be served until 12pm when the mayor was to take part in the time-honoured tradition of tapping the first keg of beer. As his cries of ‘O’ zapft!’ rang out, the room erupted and the party began.
Our small group was intended to be a lot larger but events conspired somewhat unfortunately. Katie’s 3 friends from Erlangen were supposed to get the train down with her at 5am that morning but had overslept and had to shell out for new tickets. When they finally arrived on site at around 9 30 they were desperate to get in and meet up with us. However, the wooden decking surrounding the tent was particularly slippy and one of them fell quite badly, breaking his arm and needing to be taken to hospital. He’s being kept there until thursday as he needs a plate put in his arm. Not a great start. Our other friend Hattie had overslept so only got to the tent at 9 45, by which point the queues were huge and they’d stopped letting people in. After 2 and a half hours waiting she was about to call it a day when we overheard a few people who had sneaked in the back way. 10 minutes later and she was in, sipping on her first stein of Oktoberfest beer.
Songs were sung, beers were drunk friends were made but seeing as how we’d been there since 9am a few of us were ready to leave around 5pm. It had already been a long day. Izzy, Katie and I headed off towards Odeonsplatz to Vappiano’s, a restaurant we’d been highly recommended but which was bloody hard to find. At this point I’d’ve been happy with a Maccies but we persevered and boy was it worth it. Still slightly drunk, the diavolo pizza that i had was to die for and it filled me up good and proper. By this point is was 9pm and definitely time to head home, I jumped on the U-Bahn and made my way back to Michaelibad, safe in the knowledge that I’d enjoyed my time at Oktoberfest without making a fool of myself or breaking my arm. That’s got to be a good thing right?