So Oktoberfest was easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever been to in my whole life!

It started Thursday night when Kara, Kate and I had to take the train to Pisa and stay the night there to catch our 7:30am flight to Memmingen, which is 2 hours by train away from Munich. Since you can only carry on one bag, it’s a bit difficult to fit a lot of things, so I went ahead and wore my dirndl (traditional dress) on the plane and basically never took it off the whole weekend! The flight from Pisa to Memmingen was just one hour and it was our first experience with RyanAir. We were a bit nervous because the flights are so cheap that we weren’t sure what to expect. But it turned out to be a great experience which I am happy to do again when I travel to all of the rest of my destinations!

When we arrived in Memmingen we found a taxi to the train station and made friends with 2 other American travelers (the plane was all American students studying abroad!). We had 30 minutes till our train so we all got sandwiches and our first beer of the weekend at 9AM! Not exactly my idea of a delicious breakfast, but for this weekend it had to be done!

Bavaria has a pass where it’s only 28 Euro all day to travel by any means for 2-5 people, so my friends and I split it with these other 2 girls and it made it very inexpensive to get into Munich! One of the best parts was getting on the train and at every stop seeing all of the locals get on in their lederhosen and dirndls! There was hardly anywhere to sit, so one group of guys just camped out in the passageways placing their cartons of beer between the doors so they could still chat with each other, I found that rather funny and clever!

When we got to Munich we walked to our hotel, noticing the difference in the air there and in Italy, it just seemed fresher and with less cigarette smoke, which we appreciated. Then we checked in, did a quick refresher and headed out to the city center to show Kara and Kate around before we went to Oktoberfest since they had never been there before. We went to the Glockenspiel, Hoffbrauhaus, Cathedral, and wandered around the streets for several hours getting fruit and snacks along the way.

When we were too tired to keep going we took a taxi back to the hotel and took showers to get ready for our night at Oktoberfest. Most people will tell you that you can’t get into any of the tents without reservations past midday, but that proved to not be true for us!

We followed the crowd, in the rain, to the festivities and had a bratwurst at one of the stands. We asked a group of guys around us to take our picture and we started laughing when after they took our picture they came back a few seconds later with little roses for us, that was sweet but also awkward while we were trying to eat a very unattractive food!

Next we set our sights on getting into one of the tents and decided on a side entrance to one of the bigger tents that had some servers on break outside. We went and chatted them up, saying we were from Texas and we were only there for the weekend. After a minute or two one of them went and talked to the guards, got us in, brought us beers and put us at a table with a bunch of his friends! It could not have worked out more perfectly! We had a lot of fun standing on the benches watching all of the local Germans do their beer chants and what not. We also bought on of the biggest pretzels I’ve ever seen and got to know the people around us. Kara met some Americans sitting behind us, one of which worked for some company that has to do with her major and talked to her about jobs for a long time which was awesome! Kate and I talked to our new German friends about Oktoberfest and all sorts of funny things.

When we left Kara somehow snuck out her beer mug, only to have it taken away when we tried to find a cab though, so that was her goal for the next day!

By the time the tents closed (around 11pm) we were all so exhausted that all we wanted to do was sleep. We could never find a cab so we just walked back to the hotel and fell asleep with the intent of waking up very early to get back into a tent the next day.

Well… that did not happen considering how tired we were, so we didn’t wake up till around 9:30, get ready, go and eat one of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever had in my life! They pulled out hot chocolate croissants when Kara went to go get sugar for her coffee and she literally stopped dead in her tracks saying…. are those hot?…. can I have one? almost stuttering from her excitement. It was the best one I’ve ever had by far and was a great start to our day even though it was starting later than we would have liked.

Next Kara went to meet her friend at the Hoffbrauhaus tent while Kate and I went to buy our train tickets back to Memmingen for that night because I booked a hotel there that night so that we could wake up and not have to worry about getting back to the airport. Then we went to meet Kara with her friend Jacqueline who we are going to stay with in Barcelona next weekend! We tried to get into the Hoffbrauhaus with her, but they were pulling people out and arresting them during that time so we didn’t think that it was probably our best option for the day.

So we stopped for some coffee, and decided to look for a small tent. There was a little (in comparison to the others) gingerbread house behind us so we went up to the reserved entrance and asked where to get in, he told us there was no beer in there and we said that was ok, and so he just went ahead and let us in! Easy peasy!

Inside was the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, tons of little sweets hanging from the ceilings and a band was playing on top of the bar with people standing in their seats dancing around. They even had little crowns for everyone to wear. We walked around, met a few people, had a drink danced to the band and then decided it was time to move back to a more traditional beer tent.

Across the street was Lauenbrau so we went to one of the guards there and chatted him up, asking where the entrance was, what to do if we didn’t have reservations, and when we could tell he was thinking about letting us in, we pulled out one of Kate’s CD’s and told him that it was her and shes very famous in the states and she would sign it for him if he let us in. He didn’t believe us at first so he made Kate sing for him, then he said Ok go on in! So thanks to Kate we got into our third tent of the weekend easily!

We walked around to find a table (you don’t get served unless you’re at a table) and being three girls it’s pretty easy to find a table with a few spaces and guys that are willing to let you stand there to get a beer. So we stood with one group for a little bit, got our beers chatted with them about where they were from, and then moved on. We met some Americans from Alabama, some German girls who were sweet and let us sit and eat a little bit with them, then we bought another pretzel, met some italians, more germans, more americans, more germans, stood on the benches and participated in the songs as much as we could (some were even american!) then it was getting late enough that we needed to catch our train back to Memmingen. We said bye to all of our new friends and then Kara was able to smuggle out her mug like she had wanted from the beginning

We got on our train to Memmingen, fell asleep, woke up, found a taxi that took us to the quaintest little hotel! That was when we were sad we didn’t have an extra day to explore the little town of Memmingen before heading back to Pisa, something for the future maybe!

The next morning we got to the airport, found our friends we made from the first plane ride, exchanged stories and went home. It felt good to come back to Arezzo and it really does feel like home now!


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