Friday, 25 September 2015

Oktoberfest 2015, Munich

Oktoberfest 2015, Munich - Friday 18th to Monday 21st September 2015

Where to start on this one. This is the biggie. Six million people cannot be wrong.

Oktoberfest runs for two weeks from the end of September and culminates on the first weekend of October. It has been running for over 200 years and was initially held to commemorate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. It has now turned into the largest folk festival in the world.

I, and my drinking buddy SH, have become something of a pair of veterans of this celebration. Although we have never got a table within the major beer tents, we have drunk in a couple fo them and also in the outdoor beer gardens that surround them. We are many-time visitors to the pair of stand up beer bars and have been in a couple of the smaller tents to eat and drink.

We no longer see the beer festival as the be all and end all of our Munich visits as we now try to hit the other bars and restuarants in the city in order to soak up the great Bavarian atmosphere generated by this weekend of festivities.

This weekend ended up being a Paulaner weekend for us. We did have one or two half-litres from other brauhauses (Lowenbrau and a few others whose names escape me at the moment) but mostly we drank Paulaner.
Friday: We arrived at the airport on separate planes, SH caught an earlier one than mine, and met at the bar directly outside Arrivals. We had a bottle and a half of Paulaner to whet our whistles and then booked into our now usual hotel - The Dolomit.

We quickly got booked in, changed and headed straight into town to find a bar that was showing England's opening Rugby World Cup game. The bar we ended up in was Ned Kelly's.

Frauenplatz 11, 80331 München, Germany
One side is an Irish bar and the other, connected at basement level, is an Australian bar. We had a half-litre before heading into the other bar to watch the rugby.

We managed to join a bunch of English lads who were watching the rugby at the tables on the right in the picture above (the tables had been turned lengthwise along the room when we got there). That is the big screen at the end of the bar. Most bars in Munich tend to have table service, and our waitress, Rebecca (her first time working in Munich) was fabulous. She brought us two large pitchers of beer and a fantastic burger throughout the match, as well as introducing us to the English lads watching the rugby and got us a space on their table.

After the rugby we headed back to our home turf where we grabbed a 0.5m pizza between us (and another beer) at the local pizzeria, Pipasa. We have spent a lot of time in this great little pizza bar over the years; to watch the parades, have an after beer snack or just relax and watch Bundesliga on one of their many TVs.
Schwanthalerstraße 24, 80336 München, Germany
Saturday: We got up early and grabbed breakfast in a great little cafe that overlooks the central Munich food market. We then returned to watch the brewery street parade from our hotel room which overlooks part of the main route it takes to Oktoberfest. After that we headed down to the Oktoberfest for a few beers and a go on a rollercoaster ride. We returned to our hotel after a few hours for a bit of a rest before heading out again into the rain for a few beers at one of the stand-up bars selling Paulaner Weissbeer. We met a great chap called David from Alaska and we chatted until closing time before heading to a local kebab shop for a beef doner in a wrap.

Sunday: Following a terrible night's sleep (it was very noisy with revellers all night) SH and I headed down to Pipasa to meet up with a few friends who we had met on our previous visit a couple of years ago; Peter (a retired US fireman), his girlfriend Mary-Beth and Matheus, a long time friend of Peter's. We watched the business and local village parade (a lot more colourful than the brewery parade) and then got a mini-tour of Munich on our way to the English Garden where we had a great time over a halbe-hendl and a maas of beer.

From here we then returned to central Munich via a small bridge where surfers ride the waves created by a tight narrowing of the river - a great spectacle. Matheus showed us a few more sights of the city, including an art exhibition detailing the various Oktoberfest brauhaus tents, before taking us down a small side-alley into a most wonderful sausage restaurant. It was full of locals, not a tourist in sight, and served the most fantastic sausages.

After saying our goodbyes, SH and I headed back to our hotel to freshen up and then returned to the Oktoberfest for a couple more beers and some souvenirs for the family.

Beers drunk on this visit : Mostly a variety of Paulaner, but also some Lowenbrau and a few others

Visits : This was our 7th trip to the Munich Oktoberfest.

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