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My Reminiscence of Oktoberfest 2008 in Munich-Germany

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My Reminiscence of Oktoberfest 2008 in Munich-Germany

Mangaluru: While I was taking part in the Beer-Food-Fun extravaganza at the ‘Beach-Side Oktoberfest Brunch’ hosted by Mangalore Round Table 115 and Mangalore Ladies Circle-82 at Golden Reef, near Panambur Beach on Sunday, 23 October 2016, my memories went back to the year 2008, when I had gone to Germany along with my German friend Geremaiah for the biggest “Oktoberfest” party in the world- in Munich, Germany. The nearly seven hours flight from Chicago, USA to Frankfurt International Airport, Germany on German Airlines, Lufthansa was also filled with fun- few of the air- hostess were attired in German traditional outfits, ‘Hacker Porsh’ the traditional ‘Oktoberfest’ beer along with Heineken was served, and of course, lots of food served during the entire journey. Reaching the airport during the early wee hours, had a hot cappuccino, and then we hired a cab to go to Munich.

Germany has about the best roads in the world. Everything is marked clearly, and you will be driving along with many other tourists. It was about 260 miles from Frankfurt Airport to Munich-the party place of Oktoberfest. My friend decided to drive so I could experience part of Germany. Driving the Romantic Road from Frankfurt to Munich was simply awesome. The Romantic Road which runs from Wuerzburg to Fuessenand is for the most part one lane in each direction. The highway was quite decent, and luckily it wasn’t snowing. The Romantic Road isn’t that much different than other roads nearby. It is largely a marketing gimmick to entice people to drive through some nice towns and see some nice sights. However, with three exceptions (those being the Residenz in Wuerzburg, the walled town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Neuschwanstein Castle), other nearby places were equally interesting.

Because we wanted to spend little time and probably not have enough time to really see other sights, I took the autobahn to Wuerzburg, got back on the autobahn to Rothenburg and visited there, and took the autobahn to Fuessen and saw Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle near there. By doing this drive on the autobahn paralleling the Romantic Road our driving time was under three hours. It took little more time from Frankfurt to Wuerzburg due to heavy traffic, and from Fuessen we took the back roads through the Alps to A95 into Munich, which took over two hours. The palace at Linderhof was interesting to visit after leaving Hohenschwangau. Finally we reached Munich, and we were all ready for the big bash. I had taken so many pictures, but unfortunately can’t find them now, some are soiled already.

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Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest beer festival, was first held in October of 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig, later King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Beer is the major source of income at Oktoberfest. Currently in its 183 th edition, Oktoberfest has seen thousands of visitors ever since the world’s most famous annual beer festival opened its doors to beer drinkers . The 16-day-long festival was declared open with the tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest beer by the Lord Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude. The Bavarian capital saw a spectacular start to the beer show featuring dance and music. The traditional opening ceremony also included a 12-gun salute.

Some facts about The 183rd Oktoberfest 2016 which started on September 17 2016 and ended on October 3rd: Cool and rainy, in between, however, late summer weather attracted Oktoberfest fans from Munich and all over the world. They got to enjoy a traditional Oktoberfest, as Wiesn-boss Joseph Schmid put it. Strolls without any hurry, open tents and a relaxed atmosphere were typical for this year’s Wiesn. The visitors felt safe and felt positive about the new security concept with the new fence, additional stewards and luggage checks. An estimated 5.6 million people showed up, which was the first “small Oktoberfest” to last a day longer.

In 2008, approximately sixteen beer tents at the Theresienwiese fairground in Munich have been brimming with beer-lovers as several carnival rides, Bavarian restaurants and souvenir shops continue to entertain visitors. The Schottenhamel tent is the most important at the festival. It is here that the Mayor taps the first Oktoberfest beer barrel, after which the other tents are permitted to start serving. The Schottenhamel tent, which in 1867 was just a small beer booth with 50 seats, has become the largest Wiesn tent with circa 10,000 seats. The Schottenhamel is the favourite hunting ground for Munich’s young people, who meet there to drink and party.

The Munich Oktoberfest is also a showcase for Bavarian culture. The women wear a traditional outfit – Drindl – which consists of a bodice, a skirt, a blouse and an apron – and revellers are dressed in regional costumes. Munich’s largest and most traditional breweries cordially invites its visitors to join the festivities. Drink beer by the litre (tee-totalers don’t need to worry: sodas and water are also available), eat traditional Bavarian food such as pretzels with a diameter of 15 inches. Listen to live brass bands playing traditional Bavarian music as well as more up-to-date music, and enjoy yourself with hundreds of other people from all over the world, dancing and singing the hours away.

Hippodrom:

Located to the right of the main entrance, the Hippodrom is the first tent that welcomes visitors to the Oktoberfest. Bavarian traditions and a rustic atmosphere are combined here with a dash of international flair, making this the place for above average sightings of celebrity guests at the Oktoberfest. Spirits here are accordingly high, with the tent offering more than just food and beverages due to its long tradition.

Augustiner Festzelt:

For a cozy and traditional experience, we headed for the Augustiner Festzelt. Its particularly authentic atmosphere is partly thanks to the fact that the beer served here comes from Munich’s oldest brewery and is still tapped from classic wooden kegs. The regional delicacies and the friendly waiters and waitresses also make the Augustiner tent one of the most rustic of them all.

Armbrustschutzen-Festhalle :

Run by the shooting club ‘Winzerer Fähndl Schützengilde’ it is providing room to accommodate around 7,500 people. Decorated in the unmistakable style of the Alpine foothills, the German crossbow championships are traditionally held here every year during the Oktoberfest. The meat for the Bavarian delicacies comes entirely from their own livestock and great attention is paid to ensuring the quality is carefully monitored.

Fischer-Vroni:

If you feel like sampling something other than the traditional roast chicken, pretzels and other standard fare, the highly traditional tent of Fischer-Vroni is just the place. As well as the usual Oktoberfest delights, the menu includes numerous fish dishes and, of course, the original Bavarian Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick) – a typical speciality. This rustic and cozy tent is not quite as loud as the big beer tents.

Hackerbrau-Festhalle:

It truly is the heaven of the Bavarians: the Hacker Festzelt. With its famous white and blue ceiling, which was designed by Oscar winner Rolf Zehetbauer and can even be opened up depending on the weather, it is one of the most famous tents of the Okotberfest. It provides room for around 9,300 guests and is the size of a football pitch. The Hacker tent remains firmly in Munich hands and also attracts many young visitors.

Hofbrau-Festzelt:

The Hofbräuhaus is known far beyond the borders of Bavaria, with its reputation extending around the world. The same goes for the Hofbräu Festzelt. Almost 10,000 people can be accommodated here and there’s even a standing area for enjoying a swift litre of beer. The ceiling is decorated every year with 16 tonnes of hops, in the middle of which the angel Aloisius sings his grumpy hosanna.

Lowenbrau-Festhalle:

Although it’s pretty hard not to spot the Löwenbräu-Festzelt with its 37-metre high tower, you certainly can’t fail to hear it. Above the entrance sits a mighty lion which roars its unmistakable “Lööööwenbräu” every minute for all to hear. It therefore comes as no surprise that the players of TSV 1860, better known as ‘die Löwen’ (the lions), are regular guests here.

Schutzen-Festhalle:

New and yet as rustic as can be, the Schützenzelt was renovated in 2004 and extended to accommodate 700 people. The traditional Oktoberfest shooting competition of the Bavarian Sport Shooting Association takes place here and guests can watch the action at the 110 shooting stands. Because the garden of the Schützenzelt is protected against the wind, it is still pleasantly cozy outdoors even when the weather is cool.


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