No harm, no foul…………. (deep breath this is a long-un)
So we’ve finally started our big trip and the first stop is Munich. This isn’t exactly the typical start to one of our travels as after the first day we split up. Rach with a group of girls in her place of a hostel and me with a group of mates to a bitterly cold campground with a few thousand other revelers.
Before the split we did get to spend a night in Munich, walking round the main squares and orientating ourselves, although you may notice a distinct lack of pictures. This was due to a lack of lens protrusion upon our first attempt to turn our camera on, a lens error message and general grinding from the camera. This led to many camera hitting, bashing and shaking attempts to ‘fix’ said camera culminating in me ripping the lens cover off. Luckily being from the technology savvy generation we were able use the powers of the internet (laptop check, free wifi at hostel check) to locate the Nikon repair centre in Munich and go there the next day. It was going to cost 80 euro to fix but Andreas at the repair centre ‘broke’ the main board whilst fixing it and gave it to us all on warranty (which we didn’t even have on us). “We have rules for everything in Germany” says Andreas “even a tax for coffee”
This also leads me to a wee story which if I left out Rach would never forgive me. Straight after landing and while trying to get a train ticket to central Munich, I misplaced my wallet on the airport floor (which contained a few hundred euro). But not to worry as helpful German information guy found it and handed it into lost property and two police officers guided us to it. No harm, no foul.
So finally we get onto the real action, euros in pocket and camera on the mend. I’ll leave you here for a bit and let Rach go over her beerfest experience.
The 1st day was a bit of a flop for me. We stood in a sea of smelly people for 3 hours and then sat outside in the freezing cold for 4 hours drinking beer. I don’t even like beer!
Anyway………. by the 2nd day we had it sussed and got up super early (alittle too early) and got a great table in a fun tent and the games had begun.
So back to me and my cold, cold tent. Which if I didn’t mention before was cold.
First night after leaving Rach and meeting up with the boys was a real hit in the face. Turning up to the campground (after running into / throwing my sleeping bag at Ruben Prier) with thousands of people all amping up for the opening day in the morning, there was not amount of earplugs able to drown out bad renditions of ‘wonder wall’ and ‘living on a prayer’ but ah well better have just gotten used to it as this was a recurring theme for the next 4 nights.
Again if I haven’t said it already, it was freezing. Which made the whole getting up at 7 for breakfast and an early bus to the opening day of the festival a bit harder. I’ve gotta give a big ups to the Top Deck staff who if sometime a bit enthusiastic for dawn, (I’m sure one guys job description was to stand in the middle of the breakfast tent and play air guitar) always made the mornings a bit more sunny.
Besides the whole waiting to get in on the first day all subsequent Oktoberfest stories follow a similar pattern,
a) get to the grounds,
b) get a table,
c) pay ridiculous amount of money for ludicrously sized beers,
d) eat sausage and
e) play on the dodgems.
There are a few deviations from this though ie, on the first night I chivalrously took a broken stein to the hand to save a frauline, resulting in a trip to the police tent to get stitched (super glued) up. On the second day me and the boys took a wee morning off to take in some munichy tourist stuff and one night me and McFly (random friend) got chanting to some old Bavarian dudes (kein anglish), but he was able to eek out that one of them trained homing pigeons.
Eventually I was finding it hard to keep up the lifestyle so dipped out one day to catch back up with Rach.
JAMIE AND RACH ALL TOGETHER
The 4th and 5th days of the fest me and rach took a leave of absence form the groups and did our own thing. Intentions on being tourists took a dive right away when we ended up laxing in a coffee shop and having lunch at a Maggi café (oh yes in Munich they have their own cafe).
The next day was a bit more productive as we went out to the dachau concentration camp, a massive place which was the first and model camp for the 3rd Reich. Very, very somber place especially the cremation ovens used to ‘clean up’ the dead and gas rooms (apparently not used in dachau).
Nice to see zero spin on the place, just the facts and loads of people paying respects those victims of an atrocity.
All of this was very educational but we did need a bit of cheering up so went back to the new and youthful face of Germany, Oktoberfest. We managed to find Rach’s group (mined had already ‘checked out’) surprising as everyone of them seemed to have lost either phones, money or their way home during the last few days. We spent our final night in a beer tent singing away to random German drinking songs (swim, swim, swim) and a few English ones, country road anyone.
And just so I didn’t get to comfortable I retreated that night to the coldest night so far at the campground. I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with something.