Becca and I were planning our first meetup in Germany before she even left, so on the morning of Friday, September 30th, I flew from Abu Dhabi to Munich. Bec had taken a 6.5 hour train from Berlin and arrived around the same time that afternoon. Our hotel on the first night was near the main train station and also close to the first beer garden we went to during our previous trip to Munich, Augustiner Keller. We couldn’t resist going back to have some dinner and a few beers.
The next day, we transferred hotels and would spend the next 2 nights near Isartor (old city gate near the Isar River). We visited the Oktoberfest site known as Theresienwiese. I think Bec and I were both surprised at the scale of it all. We walked through the midway with lots of thrilling rides intermingled with traditional food stands and small beer gardens. We wandered over to the huge beer tents, 14 of them in total. There was quite a party atmosphere in the first one we went into with people standing on the wooden benches singing along to the music being played. It was getting to be a bit later in the day and there were some people who were truly enjoying themselves. It was a little crazy for Bec and I so we opted for a small outdoor beer garden and enjoyed a few weiss beer (wheat beer). That night we had a nice al fresco dinner at the hotel.
The next morning, we were picked up at the hotel by our tour bus. We would be visiting 2 of Ludwig II’s castles in the foothills south of the city. The drive through the green Bavarian farm land was very scenic and we soon arrived at Linderhof Palace. Ludwig II was responsible for the construction of 2 palaces and a castle and was sometimes referred to as the Fairy Tale King. The castle tours in Germany are very efficient, like many other things, and our group arrived at the designated time and were given a brisk tour by a very knowledgeable guide. The neo-French Rococo style palace was completed in 1878 and has been kept in perfect condition. We had a little time to wander the gardens before setting off to the next destination.
Oberammergau is a small village famous for its tradition of enacting the Jesus’ passion every ten years and involves just about everyone in the village. It’s also known for its woodcrafts and we had time to visit some of the craft shops…great place to buy a cuckoo clock. We were then on to the highlight of the tour, Schloss Neuschwanstein. We arrived at the bottom of the hill just as it started to rain so we ducked into one of the restaurants and had a hearty lunch. We walked up to the castle and around the back to view it from the Marienbrucke bridge. We then had our tour of the castle itself. It is one of Germany’s most popular tourist sites and we really enjoyed it. Back in Munich we had dinner at the Hofbrauhaus and shared a roasted half chicken, one of Oktoberfest’s most traditional meals.
Monday was a national holiday in Germany and the last day of Die Wiesen so we thought we’d give it another go and headed down to the grounds. This time we visited the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The atmosphere was much more reserved than the tent we visited on Saturday. The tent is made to look like an open-aired traditional Bavarian setting and the oompah band played on in the centre of the tent.
That was the end of our Oktoberfest-ivities so we packed up and headed for the airport.