Christian had said his other friends & we should all meet between 10 & 11am to try to claim a table inside a tent nice and early. I didn't sleep well at all because of my sore throat from the smoke the day before (I wouldn't have been so bad except one of our actual party kept smoking immediately next to me, which did me in entirely before the evening was over), even though I brewed my one bag of throat coat tea & used Zicam which didn't help at all, so I struggled to get up at 9am, but I was there just strolling onto the Oktoberfest grounds as Christian, Franziska & Nina showed up right behind me. Christian's friends were already inside a tent but had called him at 9:45am saying the tents were already closed since they were full! Now that is true dedication to drinking beer all day that none of us had, that's for sure! No one expected it to be that crowded today, but it also was Saturday. We were still trying to get a table in one of the tent gardens as Christian's friend Christian showed up. Not confusing at all, eh? They also call each other the same nickname Izzy! ;) We found some food at the booths, including Kaiser Schmarrn finally, which was as delicious as Franziska said, rode a couple rides, the geisenschloss "mit lebende geisen" (ghost castle with living ghosts) which was REALLY silly, and the other roller coaster which was quite fun. We also went in to watch the Devil's Wheel, one of the really old Oktoberfest attractions, where people jumped on the wheel in the center that spun around, then it was the game of who could stay on the longest, including big balls and ropes being thrown at them. Amazing how the simple things stay funny over the years & transcend translation! I didn't get a lot of the verbal jokes the announcer was saying, but just watching the people fumble around on the wheel was pretty darn funny for 3 EUR. ;)
We finally found our way to the weissbier pavilion, one of the few non-tent places to get any beer, so even I had a weissbier = "white beer" made form wheat instead of barley, and it was indeed not as bitter as normal beer, but I still wouldn't pick it out of a drink lineup as my favorite. Christian's friends inside texted him that a table next to them was leaving so we might be able to get inside, so we tried to play the game, but gave up just barely too soon, since as we were on our way out of the grounds over to an offsite beer garden, they texted him again saying the security guard had finally agreed to let us specifically in. C'est la vie...I never got to see inside the tents with the crazy dancing on the tables, etc, but honestly my throat was so sore, that even normal air hurt to breathe, let alone the tiniest bit of smoke around me, so I probably would have been miserable anyway since everyone inside would have also been smoking. It was hard enough for me to swallow bretzen & radler, let alone deal with people smoking next to me in the open air beer garden. Boy I wish I didn't react this way to cigarette smoke! :( I'm looking forward to Ireland where smoking is already illegal inside all the pubs...heh...
The 6 of us stayed in the beer garden for a few hours, then Christian & Franziska had to leave before dark since they're moving to London tomorrow for Christian's new job...nothing like cramming everything in all at once! The rest of us stayed for a liter or two more each, until Marcoh & I left Nina & the other Christian on their own since they were having so much fun by themselves. Ironic that I'm back in my hotel room earlier on Friday or Saturday night than I ever go to bed at home! Ah well..hopefully being out of the smoke my throat will recover which will make life much easier for the rest of my vacation.
Christian, Marcoh, Nina, Britta, Christian (ck) & Franziska at the Augustiner Beer Garden in Munich - Oktoberfest 2006
(full Day 3 photos start here)
Andy is due to fly in tomorrow, then we'll tour the city, maybe catch a pipe organ concert (I thought I saw one advertised at Frauenkirche on Sunday but we'll check as we tour the church), dinner, check out Monday morning, then see some more of Munich before we get the rental car & drive to Füssen.
Until next time!