Munich Stories and Tips

The Opening Ceremony

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

After a night of partying with some people we had met at dinner, we were supposed to meet them at 9am at the Hofbrauhaus, but since our hangovers deterred us from that, we decided to watch the opening ceremony. The main strip of beer tents was roped off and hoards of people were eagerly awaiting the start of Oktoberfest.

As the clock neared 12 noon, the police stopped people from walking around the roped off section and the party was about to begin. Then, off in the horizon, horse drawn carriages started to head down the street with scores of people dangling off the sides and back, waving and taking pictures of the crowd as tons of onlookers waved back and took their own pictures.

We were lucky enough to situate ourselves very close to the intersection of the parade route, allowing the maximum amount of viewing. Unfortunately, there was this woman next to me who was edging through the crowds, causing my viewing area to shrink and making my camera bounce. Even when she finally rushed her way to the front, she was still unsatisfied because there was a police officer in her way.

Anyway, as the carriages made their way into my view, I noticed that they were the specific brewery’s carriages. Meaning, there was a Hofbrauhaus carriage, a Spatan carriage, a Lowenbrau carriage, etc. The names of breweries were spelled out on old wooden beer barrels. It was really cool. All of the horses were decked out, and crapping everywhere, and the atmosphere was starting to get crazy. Then at 12 noon, the mayor of Munich came out, did his little wave to the crowd and tapped the first keg, officially starting the Oktoberfest festivities. Then, 16 fireworks were sent off into the air to signify the 16 days that the festival would be going on.

But now, it was the universal time to start drinking and getting crazy. As we headed over to the tents, though, the crowds so long that drinking there meant waiting at least 4 hours for a spot, so we decided to head off to the carnival part and enjoy that. I mean, we had all night to get crazy, maybe the day should be spent doing the carnival and then head home for a siesta so we could be prepped and ready for the evening. And that’s just what we did.

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