This is maybe the quickest I’ve written a blog from the time it happens so pat on the back for me. This last weekend was probably one of the funniest I’ve had in Munich so far and its all thanks to my amazing friends, old and new. So many new inside jokes have been made; getting railed and freshed, dropping kids off and getting tear gassed; which I think proves this holiday was a success.
Saturday was probably the most stressful day of the whole weekend. I had booked 2 airbnbs for the group, Ely and I picked his and Ed’s keys up in the morning but the other airbnbs just never replied to any of my calls, texts or whatsapps. He basically catfished (yes I’m using that as a verb now) me out of £200 but luckily I was able to get a full refund within a few hours. The situation wasn’t too critical as they could just stay at my house and actually it turned out really well.
The rest of the squad arrived at 3 so Ely and I were there to meet them since I didn’t pick up Ely when he arrived and it turned out to be quite difficult to walk him through the process of getting into the city. A bit later in the evening we went out to a classic Bavarian restaurant for tea, joined by Erwin. I think he enjoyed meeting everyone but was a tad overwhelmed by us all talking over each other and about the randomest topics.
Sunday was the second day of Oktoberfest and the Trachten Umzug which is a parade of around 9000 people all wearing traditional dress of their region all over the city, finishing at Oktoberfest. There were loads of pretty dirndls and lederhosen of all different styles, countless marching bands, horses pulling carts groaning with massive beer barrels and loads more. It went on for quite a while longer than it was due to but as it ended the crowds started flooding to the Wiesn (the place where Oktoberfest is held) so we followed along with them.
Once there we headed straight for the Teufelsrad! It’s basically just a spinning wheel on the ground that you try to stay on as it spins around, with wooden steps all around it to spectate. Each round is a different age/gender category so they’ll call ‘boys 8-12’ or even ‘men over 40’ which was probably the funniest to watch. When the groups are called everyone piles on and ideally you want to be in the middle so you can’t get thrown off by the spinning. If you manage to stay on for about 20 seconds then they start swinging a big plush ball over your head and sometimes right into people’s faces, to try to push them off. Then the brave few who survive that have ropes thrown at them from both sides to try to tie them up and pull them off. It’s even more mental than it sounds and I could watch it for hours.
Laura and Cara were the first of us to have a go and did quite well, apart from a few burns. Then a few rounds later Laura, Cara, Ed and Ely all went on it in one round which we got some hilarious videos of.
A few rounds later they announced a special boxing round and called for boys to come forward. We presumed they’d box the soft ball they usually hit people with like a piñata but no it turned out they were boxing each other with boxing gloves on. The first round was sooo awkward to watch, the boys started fighting and one of them literally just socked the other in the face until he was nearly crying. The mother of the boy got hella mad and dragged the other boy over to apologise and then started fighting with the fairground workers. Tbh I think it was bad how violently they fought but also don’t let your kid into a boxing match if you don’t want him being hit. There was another round of boxing which was much better and funnier since they were just joking around and not trying to kill each other. They set off the wheel spinning as they wrestled so they were falling all over the place.
After we had definitely got out 4 Euros worth we headed out to get a drink and check out a beer tent. We wandered through one to see what it was like and stumbled upon an almost empty table outside. We sat with a ridiculously attractive German couple who kindly ordered our first beers and within a few minutes the woman was showing us their wedding pictures and all her family photos. We chatted with them for a bit but then they had to go and gave us their half-finished beers. By this point we had ordered 3 beers to ‘share’ between us, however it turned out that Cara and I just drank our beers alone and Cara had finished hers by the time I was halfway through mine and it started to show. We made friends with some Australians all wearing crazy shirts and a table of Danish people who only communicated with us in Oasis lyrics after we told them we come from near Manchester.
A few hours of cheersing and chatting and it was time to go for tea; mainly to try and sober Cara up. We carried her through the streets of Munich until we reached the restaurant as she repeated the same few phrases over and over, mainly about how much she loves us all (not including Ed) and how she always forgets stuff when she’s drunk. We went to hans im gluck for tea (mentioned on this blog so many times I should be paid by them) and had some amazing burgers.
On Monday I had to work all day so the crew had a wander around the city and explored the English garden and a beer garden.
Finally it was time for the crew to learn some of the rich history of Munich ranging from a church endorsed by the devil to a Michael Jackson memorial. I basically just made my own tour up from the millions of other tours that I’ve been on and bits of interesting stuff that’s happened to me around the city.
After that I had to run off again to pick Mimi up but the gals came back for a chill soon enough. I showed them the wonders of German recycling with the magic Pfand machine in the supermarket. You save up loads of plastic bottles and then put them into a machine which gives you about 25 cents for each bottle so you end up with a coupon for the supermarket for about 5 Euros! We stocked up on breakfast and snacks for the next day and then headed back into the city to have another hans im gluck sesh with Ed and Ely. Nearly got final destinationed on the u bahn but managed to get out unscathed.
Now for the last day and our full day at Oktoberfest! We were up bright and early to get to the beer tent just as it opened. We chose the hofbrau tent which is one of the main 6 breweries in Munich and probably the most famous. When we got there, we were actually one of the first groups in there so we could get a seat right by the band, in the centre of the action. We were all happy to wait a bit before ordering a beer (since it was 10am) but Erwin insisted on getting the first round in and we weren’t gonna pass up free beer! The next few hours the tent began to fill up and we began to fill up with beer. We made friends with a pilot and some flight attendents next to us and some English lads on the table next to us and basically just drank and chatted for a while. Some blog worthy stuff probably happened in that time but not like I remember that much! One blog worthy thing which I’m sure will be funny to everyone but me was that I got vomited on. About 2 hours after the beer started being served some idiot behind me vomited on the floor behind me and splashed it all down my back. Luckily Ed managed to mop most of it off me but my nice new dirndl will definitely need a dry clean when Oktoberfest is over.
A bit later on we saw a guy near us holding a full stein of his own vomit as he was in the process of filling another one. Classic Oktoberfest. Saying that, the atmosphere in the tent was incredible and just so funny. Every few minutes someone stood up on their bench and chugged their stein to the cheers of everyone in the tent. The best part was the worried look in their eyes when they realised that they may have underestimated how difficult it is to chug a litre of beer in one go. The people who managed it got a triumphant cheer from everyone watching but the people who pussied out got boos all round. Both groups looked queasy and regretful afterwards regardless.
After I don’t know how many beers we decided if they were gonna make it onto a plane today then we should probably get some food. Me and Cara had the ultimate beer-soaking meal, roast pork knuckle and potato dumplings with sauerkraut which was gooorg. The funniest part was that when Erwin ordered for us in German, the waitress commented how good his German was! So funny but I really don’t think he looks like he could be English at all.
Unfortunately, just as the day was getting into full swing we had to leave. Of course, by this point we had made friends with a load of random groups so actually getting out of the tent was a struggle. Then we had the problem of a very very drunk Ely and Cara duo. Ed took Cara, who told him that she missed him multiple times (they’ve just spent 4 months together) and Erwin took Ely… literally. He picked him up like a dead sheep, feet over one shoulder, arms over the other and carried him out of Oktoberfest and all the way into the underground down 2 flights of stairs. Safe to say we’re all now convinced that Erwin is a big strong manly man… and also mental.
We managed to get them to the train in once piece (Ely taking a rest on the floor) and shove them on the right one. Then it was time for me and Erwin to go back to his and pass out at 8pm like the true party people we are.
Thanks so much to my wonderful friends Cara, Laura, Ed and Ely for making this first weekend of Oktoberfest so fun and for putting up with me stressing out half the time!