A European Right of Passage: Oktoberfest

As someone who is fairly new to the European culture, I had read all about the abundance of festivals that people travel to, seeing as traveling between countries in Europe is fairly cheap and quick. One of the most iconic festival is obviously Oktoberfest in Munich.

Go to Oktoberfest they said, it will be fun they said. I was skeptical at first, being that I don’t drink at all, and from what I understood, that was basically the only reason you go. Let me just tell you right away, it was probably more entertaining being completely sober, than anything else.

Apart from the actual festival itself, we got to spend a day exploring the incredible city of Munich and tasting some of best coffee the city had to offer. Germany is definitely a country that surprises me every time I visit. I am always surprised by its cleanliness and how efficient it is, it epitomizes the Idea of a first world country. I’m boring you, because I know you already know this.

Five days after we landed back in Italy we packed our small carry-on bag and headed to the other side of the Alps. Our trip started with an unexpected surprise and we landed at Munich Airport, somehow we didn’t know that we were going to land there, we thought we would land at an airport outside of the town, and had planned an entire bus route to get to the centre of Munich. Then, surprise! We were 3 hours ahead of schedule. Traveling can sometimes have its good surprises.

Luckily, Kerri (my best friend) met us at the train station and we headed to look for a Dirndl, unfortunately for my poor husband, Angelo. Searching for a modern day corset dress is an experience all in itself. I have never felt so restricted by a  piece of clothing in my entire life. There is one upside though, you have cleavage for days, what girl doesn’t love that?! I eventually picked out a a green and pink Dirndl, something girly. Angelo is not one to dress up much, so he just went with a plain checked shirt, and beige pants.

Our first day we spent wondering around Munich. Our first stop, as mentioned, was to try out a coffee shop that we had already looked up, Man vs Machine. The vibe was amazing, a man rode his bicycle directly into the coffee shop to order his daily fix and was eagerly greeted by the barista who was wearing her Dirndl in true Oktoberfest spirit. I was ready for the day.

We walked around that periphery of Munich, and then ventured a little deeper into the centre to go and watch the people surfing in the canals of the English Garden. Right in the heart of Munich there is an incredible surfers paradise, where surfers ride a wave created by the rapids in the canal and large crowds gather to cheer them on.

Then we had lunch at the “Chinese Tower”, a real German lunch with beer, a band and pretzels. Ironic isn’t it. After our German lunch we made our way out of the piece of country side located in the middle of Munich, and back into the concrete jungle.

The next day, Saturday, was the day that we had been waiting for. The day that I officially gain access into the exclusive club of European life. We woke up early, got dressed into our dirndls and boarded the trains with the masses headed to Oktoberfest.

Just to clarify, it is actually possible to visit the festival of beer without actually drinking yourself, there are carbonated fruit juices, called Shorle, which are just as delicious and come in those awesome beer jugs.

Okay, so where do I start, this place is essentially Disney land for adults. There are beer tents lining the streets, carnival rides, carnival games, candy shops, Wurstel corners, pretzels, and half chickens that you can order on the go (to eat, not as pets).

We enter through the gates, heavily guarded by security which check your handbags as you go in and make sure you don’t have a backpack, otherwise I would have taken my brand new Binny Bag. Nevertheless, our first stop is a place called “pass-out hill”, which is basically a hill right at the back of the festival next to a beer tent that is known as the tent where all the foreigners go. So this hill, is the place where, when you pass out, not if, when, you get carried out by the paramedics and left there to sleep it off. We got to the festival at about 10 am and we counted a total of 9 people already on the hill (I repeat, 10am). Now when I say “on the hill” I don’t mean just casually sitting there, having a picnic, I mean, questioning their life choices in the fetal position.

We then wandered around the festival a bit, eating pretzels and looking at all the different rides. To be honest, if you’re not sitting in one of the tents, or binge drinking your life away, the festival can get slightly tiring as you have to fight through at least 100 people every 4 steps,  so being there for more than 6 hours was exhausting.

We managed to find a table to sit, have a drink and eat something, which we spent a good hour at, while our feet recovered from all the walking. I must have eaten at least 3 full pretzels, and those things are just huge.

Before heading home we decided to head back to pass-out hill, and I am not over exaggerating when I say that you couldn’t see the grass. It was full on mayhem out there. We saw people vomit on themselves, couples breaking up, a man being escorted by the police for fighting, it was pure mayhem. But in true German fashion it was safe mayhem. The police were present in large numbers and ensured that any one who was getting out of hand was swiftly escorted away.

Before this blog ends…..

I want to tell you a little bit about a company that has completely changed my outlook on life. They want to change the world, and so do I.

I have never owned a “real” pair of sunglasses before, and have always kind of understood that whenever the sun is out, I will be squinting. There isn’t really a compromise. Then Execuspecs came along and changed the game. They have given me a pair of Polar sunglasses, and well… let me just say, I am never going back. They came in handy this trip as it was warm and sunny every day in Munich, and I found myself wearing them all day. Thank you Execuspecs! Welcome to the world of hip sunglasses and never squinting again.

So check them out, really you wont be disappointed.

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6 Comments

  1. Travel.stylista
    November 22, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    Such a lovely read and has made me really want to go to Octoberfest next year, cant wait to read more of your posts. x

    • courtneyciarrocchi
      Author
      November 23, 2018 / 2:29 pm

      You really should, it is so much fun! Even if you don’t drink.

  2. November 24, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    Love your pics! My mom, sister, 2 aunts, uncle and cousin were all there this year! My sisters dress was very close to yours ha ha. Some of my family lives in Germany and I loved it when I went there years ago. I can’t wait to go to Oktoberfest myself sometime! Thanks for sharing!

    • Courtney
      Author
      November 25, 2018 / 4:54 pm

      That is so awesome! I think it’s definitely time you visit again! 😉

  3. December 13, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    I really liked this post. A friend of ours is planning on having his bachelor party at Oktoberfest. I only had an inkling as to what it is like, and now I have a much better sense thanks to your pictures and description. Beautiful blog!

    • Courtney
      Author
      December 14, 2018 / 9:56 am

      Ah, I am so glad, it really is such a cool experience! Just make sure you go early, because the crowds are quite something!

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