Oktoberfest. The final destination before beginning a life in London.
Three months of un-interrupted partying had destroyed my liver and increased my waistline. Therefore, we decided to use the week between Berlin and Oktoberfest to detox.
We chose a location on the map that was far enough from civilisation and wouldn’t lead us into temptation.
Four kilometres from Heiligkreuzsteinach, the nearest major town, we found a lovely house in the middle of a forest far away from any fast food temptations. However, without a car, this meant that we had to walk the four kilometres from the house to the supermarket.
For a few days we were strict, minimal carbs, no sugar and lots of exercise throughout, however, after just a few days in the Biggest Loser camp, cabin fever had set in. I needed to leave the forest immediately.
We were only a short bus ride to Heidelberg, a town renowned for amazing castles and lovely cobble stoned alleyways was only a short bus trip away. My highlights were not the romantic castles, rather good coffee at Coffee Nerd, fresh pretzels and amazing homemade dip.
Clearly we’d fallen off the wagon, just in time for Oktoberfest, which was all kinds of crazy but we made the mistake of camping.
Busabout offer both camping and hostel stay options, but $300AUD for three nights accommodation, breakfasts and bus to and from the festival sounded like the most economical option. In reality it was B.Y.O sleeping bag, on a blow up mattress that deflates as soon as you touch it and a cold egg roll in the morning. And to top it off, on the last day when you’re suffering a three day beer hangover you have to roll up your li-lo (which, thankfully is already deflated) and clear your tent of rubbish.
It is essential to get to the beer halls early to get a table, if you don’t have one you won’t be served. Tips are mandatory if you want to be served as the beer maids won’t return without one, and they deserve every cent, they carry up to 12 litres of beer at one time!
We spent our first day at the Lowenbrau, there was so much happening inside the tent that it was hard to leave. By day you sing along to traditional German songs while eating pork knuckles and drinking steins and by night, everybody is dancing on tables.
Costumes are not mandatory but almost everyone wears one. Dirndls and lederhosen are available on eBay but most opt for the more traditional costumes which are available throughout Munich.
Oktoberfest isn’t just about the beer, it’s a celebration of Bavarian culture and a big part of that is food. The beer halls are abundant with pork knuckles and schnitzel and outside the halls you’ll find many stands selling bratwurst, pretzels and confectionary.
If you’re not a fan of beer there is a wine hall and some cocktail stands throughout the festival. Unfortunately beer is the only alcohol available in the beer halls but if you’re not a fan of ale you can try a radler, half lemonade and beer.
Munich is an amazingly beautiful city and I wish that I had of stayed after the festival to explore it. But London is only a two hour flight away so there will be a long weekend there in the future.