It’s not hard to guess why, of all the experiences I’ve had so far in Europe, the one that has most excited my friends back home was certainly my trip to Munich for Oktoberfest. Even as someone who really isn’t a fan of beer (yes even German beer) I can defiantly understand the draw. Oktoberfest has this almost mystical quality for foreigners that is encouraged by its attitude towards excess (6,940,600 litres of beer consumed) and its proximity (over 4000 miles away from NYC) . It is, in short, the ultimate dream of the beer or festival lover that seems, much like visiting the Olympics, a nearly impossible destination.
I am very happy to report that nothing you may have heard about the famous beer festival is exaggerated. I arrived by bus with a few of my friends early early last Saturday morning. It is essential to arrive before the sun if you hope to have any chance of getting into one of the giant beer tents. The mass of people is so huge that even at five in the morning there are thousands queuing up (or maybe “moshing” up) in front the Paulaner tent. It took more than three hours and several near tramplings before I finally got in. I had lost my friends in the mob but there was no shortage of drunk Germans to drink and chant with. The atmosphere was unlike anything Ive ever experienced. Take the wildest, most insane party you’ve ever been to and you wont even get a taste of what six thousand drunk Europeans with liter sized beers and giant pretzels are like.
Even outside the Beer Tents Oktoberfest has so much to offer. A likeness to the best state fair you’ve ever attended would be a apt description; hundreds of stands selling Chicken and Bratwurst, the best Custard you’ve ever tasted and dozens of giant rides and games. This healthy mix between debauchery and wholesomeness means you don’t have to be a drinker to enjoy Oktoberfest, or even an adult.
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