Friday, October 28, 2011

DAS OKTOBERFEST: The First Friday Travel Blog

Greetings!  Vielen Dank fur mein Blog lesen.  Vielen Dank fur lhre Gastfreundschaft der Zeit besuchten wir lhrem schonen Land.  Ich schatze lhre Freundschaft.

 (Greetings!  Thank you for reading my blog.  Thank you for your hospitality the times
 I visited your beautiful country.  I appreciate your friendship.)
NIGHTTIME AT DAS OKTOBERFEST
My wife, Julie, and I attended the 175th Octoberfest in Munich, German in 1985.  We were the guests of people from Texas for whom I had raised a lot of capital.  Trying to be "one of the guys" with the Texans, I wore a stetson hat, new cowboy boots and a large belt buckle.  We were to meet in Munich, Germany.  Our flight was rerouted due to a huricane hitting New York City.  We flew by way of Toronto and Amsterdam but our luggage went the original routing through New York..  Julie, wise woman that she is, carried clothing and makeup, I did not.  We waited four days for the luggage to arrive, me wearing rediculous, and uncomfortable, clothes, including boots and hat.

TRAVEL RULE #1:  BE PREPARED TO LOSE YOUR LUGGAGE.  If it can happen it will, at the worse possible time.

A BEER TENT AT DAS OKTOBERFEST
There was a reception in the hotel for us and the other members of our tour group. It was a gala affair, but I had been to far too many receptions and I had never been to Das Oktoberfest, whose lights brightened the night sky.  After saying "howdy" and thanking all the hosts, I took Julie by the hand and sneaked out of the reception. It was only a short walk from our hotel to the brightly lighted festival and it would have been difficult to get lost, even for me!
WE WERE IMMEDIATELY WELCOMED TO JOIN IN THE FUN AT A TABLE
Almost in shock at such a crowd, we headed for one of the many very large beer tents.  There were probably 7,000 people inside with an oompah band, playing on a raised bandstand in the middle of the tent.  Of the 7,000, in the tent, probably 5,000 were dancing and singing with maybe 2,000 of those actually dancing on the large picnic tables.  The song they were playing had the same tune as "Old MacDonald Had A Farm".  I grabbed a totally intimidated Julie and started to dance, singing "Old MacDonald".  For the umpteenth time since we had been at the festival, dressed in our large hat, boots and big buckle, we were warmly greeted as "Yanks" and invited to join a group at their picnic table.  We did.

EACH BUXOM WAITRESS TOTED 10 BIG MUGS OF BEER
What do you do at a Beer Festival?  Duh!  You drink beer.  Problem was, neither Julie nor I were much when it came to drinking beer, and, that beer, specially brewed for Oktoberfest, was really strong! The beer is not cold, cool "maybe", served in giant mugs, also made just for the festival.  Ten of these giant steins, each overflowing with beer, was carried by the buxom girls in costume.  WOW! How do they do that?  Or, where do they find all those truly buxom girls, each a real beauty?
ONE, TWO, THREE AND DOWN THE HATCH!
What fun we had, sharing one beer which we never fully got down.  We couldn't understand everything that was being said but followed the general gist of things. In between swaying back and forth with the group, we knew that,  following the counting chant  of "oans, zwda, drei, G'suffa", (one, two, three, down the hatch), we were to clink our steins loudly with the group, slopping beer to belly laughter, and drink the foaming beer.  Perhaps they were all "mellow" from the beer, but their cheerful spirits was infectious.  We loved it.

YA, DAS ISH GEMULT'LICHKEIT!  (Yes, it was wonderful fellowship!)

THE PASTRIES WERE DELICIOUS
What marvelous food they had at stalls all through the grounds.  Fish, chickens, pretzels, roast knuckle,radish and Emmental cheese.  Our favorites were the apple struedel and a sweet yeast dumpling in a vanilla sauce.    Sausage?  Every kind in every way.  We ate our way across the grounds.  Julie got an offer to "share her pomme frits", french fries, with a very friendly German.  Guglhupf is a German cake, there is roast duck and mouth-watering pork knuckles.  Cheese without end.  Our favorite restaurants at home became German, we liked it that well.

THIS BEAUTIFUL HAM WAS CALLED A ROASTED KNUCKLE
The Germans place a high priority on cleanliness and take great pride to keep everything well groomed.  Their underground train stations are as clean as an American hospital--the floors gleam and trash of any kind is non existent.  The walls are not marked up.  They are law-abiding to a fault.  I was assured that not one person in that crowd of people, some of whom had to be intoxicated, tried to drive a car while drunk.  At the train station, you buy a ticket and time stamp it.  You can ride any form of transportation for 24 hours.  NO ONE EVER CHECKS YOUR TICKET!  Get off the train, get on a bus, no one asks for money or a ticket.  Unimaginable!

I RECOMMEND THAT YOU CONSIDER A VISIT TO GERMANY AND TO THE OKTOBERFEST!  I've been twice and plan to go again in my round-the-world trip, which I hope to make some day.

Folks in Germany read my blog today, 48 have read it this month.  Hundreds since it's inception.

Ihr Interesse an meinem Blog ist wirklich sehn gesschatzt. Dank 
Gott senge Sie und Ihre ist.
(Your interest in my blog is truly appreciated.  Thank you!)
(God bless you and your's)

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT?  TELL ME ABOUT IT!
(My email address is in my profile)

GOD BLESS THE USA 

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