Three-and-a-half hours. That’s what it took me yesterday to reach Munich in a regional train for the Oktoberfest. One-and-a-half hour is how long I actually stayed at the “world’s biggest beer festival”.
Yes, you read that right. For starters, I hadn’t planned on staying for such a short while when we first started our journey. Ever since the Oktoberfest kicked off on September 20, I had been very excited to visit it. Oktoberfest had never been something that was high up on my bucket list for many reasons, the first (and the main) being that I don’t drink at all. For a long time, my interest in Oktoberfest remained only in the fact that why it was called an “Oktoberfest”, when it actually starts in September! The second reason why the festival never had my fancy, was because I don’t eat pork or beef. So, nope, no food to look forward to either!
No, don’t roll your eyes and think ‘why did I then go to the Oktoberfest, duh!’
Well, the idea of experiencing Oktoberfest first piqued my interest when I visited a “Sommerkirchweih” (a smaller, more local beer fest organised on a similar format of an Oktoberfest with beer stalls, live music, German food, and the famous roasted half chicken) was organised in the town we live in. It was the time of the football world cup and the Sommerkirchweih gave us a perfect atmosphere to join in the revelry, while sit with some friends and cheer for Germany! The Sommerkirchweih brought life into our town — for the first time since the famous Christmas markets, I saw some merry making! And it was also the first time when I became acquainted with the Bavarian costume of dirndls and lederhosen. My husband and I went there for three days, enjoyed some nice live music, had the most delicious roasted chicken and garlic bread, watched the live screening of the football semi finals, and also got to interact with some really friendly Germans. So, when my husband told me that Oktoberfest is similar, but imagine it to be at a five-times bigger scale, I was obviously excited! How could you live in Bavaria, just over 200 kilometers from Munich, and not experience the Oktoberfest?! Every one said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (If you enjoy the drinking and the food, there are more than one reason for you to visit the Oktoberfest). And that’s how I decided I had to attend it.