I think we kind of confused the driver a bit though - his instructions were to transfer us to the Munich airport, but neither of us were actually flying out today. Bill & Pat were at a hotel at the airport so he dropped them off first. Then we had to try to explain to him that we were catching the train at the airport and going to Munich to go to Oktoberfest. I think he was confused by that, but he finally dropped us off at a "central terminal" or something and there was an information booth that we could ask about catching the train.
So we knew we needed to catch the S1 or S8 train to Marienplatz and then change to the U6 or U3 train to Goetheplatz and our hotel was near there. We bought a "day" ticket for 18.80€ (for the two of us), so not bad.
We caught the S8 train at the airport. Thank God we got on then because we had our big suitcases and our backpacks and any later stop wouldn't have had room for us! The airport must have been the first stop. All the next ones just packed the train even more. We got off at Marienplatz, but all of a sudden we realized we were on the wrong side of the tracks to catch the U3 or U6 trains. See, doors on both sides of the train opened and apparently we chose the wrong side. Ooops! Easy to fix though - we went up an escalator and came down on the other side!
We made our transfer and found our hotel (with a little help from a lady at a drug store on the corner who told us which street to go down and where to turn). Of course it was too early to check in - probably about 10am - so we left our bags with them and decided to go shopping in Marienplatz. Our room would be available at 2:00pm, so we'd come back around then.
We got back on the train to go to Marienplatz. It's where the Glockenspiel is. Unfortunately, we weren't around at the top of the hour(s) to see it. Maybe tomorrow though.
We were looking for beer steins and a new suitcase. We know that we are going to be overweight and when I checked Delta.com, I found that an overweight bag (51-70 pounds) is 150€ to get back home! That amounts to more than $200 USD! A second bag is only 55€. So, we thought it was worthwhile to find a new suitcase. We did actually find a big (5 stories) department store who had a nice luggage selection. Some very expensive and some more "normal" (i.e. our price range!! ). So we ended up getting a little carry-on size one for 60€, but we'll be checking it!
We also found several stein stores, but decided not to buy any until we saw what they had at Oktoberfest. We are back at Marienplatz tomorrow for our Hitler tours, so we can get them then. One of the stein stores had a beautiful pink glass stein with a pewter lid frame. It was hand-etched and the glass part of the lid was mouth-blown. It was beautiful, but unfortunately, the price was not! It was 298€! So, maybe next time.
We ate a sandwich and shared a piece of apple pastry for lunch and did a little more shopping. Oh, we went in to a wine store and Dad got a bottle of "dry white wine". I also got a bottle of wine, but I got Eis Wine - that good, kind of thick, super-sweet, very not-dry wine.
Okay, then back to the hotel to get ready for Oktoberfest! Our hotel is called Hotel Herzog and is about 3 blocks from the Oktoberfest park. Great location! Not the best hotel though. The bathroom is super-small too - not even a place for the make-up bag to sit. But, we're not there for the nice hotel, we're there for Oktoberfest!
So we finally head to Oktoberfest about 4:00pm. Nice easy walk. It is massively huge! Carnival-like, plus beer! I don't remember it being so huge when I was here in 2002, but we only stayed in the Hofbrau House beer tent back then. This time, we walked around a lot. We stopped first at a smallish tent called Augustiner. Beer was good, but the atmosphere was weird. My only prior experience was with the Hofbrau House beer tent, but the people at Augustiner weren't nearly as friendly! We drank one beer there and then moved on.
We rode some of the carnival rides - a roller coaster that did five complete loops, another roller coaster where Dad took a picture from the top, and then one ride that had the seats arranged in a star shape, five on each arm. It was a fun ride that I'd never been on before. There was also a gravity drop ride that we wanted to do, but Dad said it would be better at night - so we'd ride it when it got dark.
We found a WC (Water Closet = Bathroom) and as I was walking into the women's side, I ran in to Sharman (the Australian woman from our Luther tour)!! Small world! I said that me & my dad were meeting just outside the bathroom if she wanted to wait for us. She did, so we hung out with her (or her with us??) for the rest of the night.
We headed to the Hofbrau House beer tent because Bill & Pat were going to be there. Having been to the Hofbrau House before and having seen the throngs of people in there, I was 99.9% sure that we wouldn't find them - or that we would be able to even find a seat. And, I was right. We walked through the whole place looking for Bill & Pat and/or an empty seat. We even checked upstairs! There were quite a few empty seats, even some whole empty tables, but they all had a "reserved" sign on them. After a while, we headed outside. We thought we were leaving, but it turns out we ended up in the outside seating section. But they had heaters, so at least it was warm. And there were empty seats!
A few seconds after sitting down, a waitress/barmaid came and we ordered three beers. I think they were 8.50€ each. Expensive, but I think back in 2002, they were 7€ each, so overall not too bad for 8 years later.
After we left the Hofbrau House beer tent, we stopped at one of the wurst stands (wurst = sausage) and got a bratwurst & french fries for our dinner. It was good to have something to soak up the beer too. Then we decided that we needed something for dessert, so we looked for an apple strudel booth. We finally found a coffee booth that had desserts too, so we ordered an apple dessert to share. It was very good! Then we saw a lady at the table next to us who had a waffle covered in powdered sugar. We decided we needed one of those too because it looked so good! So Dad, Sharman, and I shared one of those too. It was really yummy!
Then we decided that it was time to go on the gravity drop ride. I think it was called the Power Tower or something like that. But first, we needed to find a bathroom so we didn't wet ourselves when the ride dropped! It was amazing at the bathrooms because the line for the men's bathroom was about 3 times as long as the line for the women's! That was unusual!
We got to the Power Tower ride and got in line. Only about 5 or 6 minutes, so not too bad. We got on the platform and got buckled in. It was actually kind of a fun ride and the view from the top was amazing. You could really see just how huge the Oktoberfest park was! I even found the church that I had walked around for five hours looking for a bathroom in 2002! [You can ask me about that later - remember that I was a lot younger back then!]
After the ride, we started to head out of the park and passed an ice cream cone booth. Dad had to have one & Sharman too, but I passed this time. But then we passed a nut booth, so I got some candied cashews that were really yummy. Then we finally left the park. We were going to walk outside the park for a while to wear off some of the beer and both Sharman and Dad said they'd walk to the church [from 2002] and walk around it with me and take some pictures. The church was only about a block away.
After walking around the church, we headed back through the park to find the entrance/exit that we originally had come in. We just thought it would be quicker to go back through the park than to try to figure out the street route outside the park. When we got back to our hotel, we got our stuff ready for our tours tomorrow and went to bed.
We'd have breakfast in the hotel tomorrow, then head down to Marienplatz early so we could do some shopping before our tour at 10:15am. We were 2 train stops away from Marienplatz.
|The Glockenspiel in Munich (these first pictures are from our morning shopping trip - we'll head to Oktoberfest soon!||We sat on this concrete ring to eat our lunch while we people-watched||That's me (Angie) in the light colored sweatshirt in the middle. I just bought our lunch from the deli behind me. I would have waved or something if I knew he was taking a picture!|
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|Our first look at the Oktoberfest crowd!||Angie at Oktoberfest||Oktoberfest Clydesdales (I think that's what kind of horses they were, but don't quote me on that!)|
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|Dad in the Oktoberfest crowd - just waiting for his first official Oktoberfest beer||Ah, our first Oktoberfest beer||Our first stop was at the Augustiner Beer House|
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|One of the roller coasters that we rode - it was a lot of fun!||View of part of the Oktoberfest grounds. Dad took this from the top of a roller coaster (a different one than the picture before)||Angie & Bruce in front of the famous Hofbrau House Beer Tent at Oktoberfest|
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|Whoa - how in the world are we going to find Bill & Patt in here? This is the inside of the Hofbrau House Beer Tent.||Sharman and Dad - still in the Hofbrau House Beer Tent||Ah, the infamous church from my last Oktoberfest experience in 2002.|
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|Dad and his first Hofbrau beer||Angie and her first Hofbrau beer of 2010.||Sharman and her first Hofbrau beer|
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|Sharman wearing her souvenir Oktoberfest hat while drinking her beer||Dad with his beer AND mine!||Our three beers|
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|The lady that we sat with took our picture. That's Sharman, Angie, and Bruce.||We're making progress on our beers!||And they're gone!|
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|The Power Tower - this is the "gravity drop" ride that we saved for when it was dark||There it is at the top. We're not on it yet.||A closer picture of the infamous church|
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|Angie reliving her 2002 Oktoberfest experience - trying every door to see if it's open so she can use the bathroom. Only this year, I didn't really need to use the bathroom.||This was the last door to try. Funny thing - as I was standing there waiting for the picture to be taken, I heard footsteps inside and a group of people came out the door!||The front of the church|
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|The Memorial for the Oktoberfest bomb in 1980||Angie & Bruce at the main entrance to Oktoberfest (this picture was taken on our way out though!)|
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