A Travellerspoint blog

OKTOBERFEST

and other shenanigans.

sunny 70 °F

IMG_2032.jpg

IMG_2031.jpg

I just realized that I haven't written a new post since Monday of last week, and my life moves much too fast here for me to remember everything between then and now, so I'll try to hit the highlights, but the bulk of this entry will probably be about Oktoberfest in Munich this weekend and the shenanigans that went down there...

Last week's highlight

My class schedule last week was pretty light, so there's not much to say I guess. The highlight was Wednesday's class on International Management, which is actually turning out to be a pretty interesting class. The class is pretty interesting, the professor is very low key and open to ideas but teaches a really interesting and engaging class at the same time. During class, she mentioned a program that ESC Dijon offers called the incubator program aimed at entrepreneurs who want to start businesses. It helps you design and build your business I guess and then helps you get it started and off the ground for a bit. Of course, I immediately began thinking of my business that I want to start and run in Chamonix someday, here in France. So, I emailed her afterwards and I think she and I are going to talk about it this week. It's aimed at their French students obviously so it's probably a bit odd that an exchange student has interest in it, but I'm looking forward to discussing it with her and seeing what it's all about. It's possible that it could be the connection I need someday to start that business in Chamonix. (Side note: I want to start a business in Chamonix that starts as a bed and breakfast, simple and easy to start/run/manage, and then when that gets going what I really want to do it to start a mountaineering business that runs guided tours up Mont Blanc in the summer and guided backcountry ski tours in the winter. I figure I can use my love of the mountains, degree in International Business, and knowledge of French, Italian, and English to manage most clients I come across. And even if all I do is live there, run it, and breakeven every day, I'll still be the happiest man alive.) So hopefully, that'll be a good place to start with this program here. I did some research on Chamonix that day, and it looks like it might take a couple years to get everything in place and lined up, both businesswise and I'll need to get more into mountaineering and avalanche certifications and stuff, but what better place to be that Colorado to go after all of those things? That's my new life goal, since after years of trying and almost making it, music just didn't quite work out. And after this, my friends and I left on Friday morning for Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Oktoberfest

Friday morning we all convened at the train station for the first train of our travel day to Munich. We took 5 trains to get there in total, making many stops along the way. One of the stops we made only had 5 minutes between our train arriving and our next one departing, which was wild. We knew it would be close, and for those who have never traveled by train in Europe, the trains actually close their doors 2 minutes BEFORE departure to ensure proper departure time, cutting our window down to 3 minutes. We sprinted from our train to the next one across the station, probably looking like a bunch of idiots, but we made that train nonetheless. And now, no transfer in a US airport will ever feel rushed. We actually had a stopover in Basel too, which is apparently in Switzerland and not Germany or France, so everything was in Swiss Francs currency during our hour there. It was pretty cool to wander around, even if only for an hour, since the thought of being in a new country was cool. That night we arrived in Munich at about 6pm, and immediately went towards Oktoberfest to explore, even though we had no city map to guide us there. Just follow the people in lederhosen outfits, and you'll get there just fine. We wandered around there for a bit, had German sausages for dinner (of course), and then realized how hard it is to get into the tents and beer gardens, so we took some pictures and left for our hotel.

Staying at a hotel was awesome. Your standard hostel is an upgrade from my "residence" here in Dijon, so as far as I'm concerned, the Marriott we stayed at was a 6 star hotel. When we arrived the first thing we did was headed for the pool and sauna area. In total, we used the Sauna 3 times, the hot tub 2 times, and the pool 2 times during our brief stay there. It was super nice! We also enjoyed the TV, which is such a simple concept but since none of us have access to one here in Dijon, we're usually glued to it every time we travel places regardless of what's on or what language it's in. After a few relaxing soaks that night, we ventured out to a street in Munich where a lot of bars and clubs are and had a few drinks at a local bar. Best beer I've ever had! Then we went back to the hotel and passed out, ready to hit Oktoberfest in the morning.

We woke up the next morning at 8am, ready to head to Oktoberfest. You wouldn't believe the crowds and how hard it is to get into these tents! We arrived at a tent at about 9:30, and fought through a crowd to get into the garden, and then another crowd to get into the tent, which is huge and had absolutely zero seats available. So, we took a seat at a table outside, and ordered our beers. At 10am. I bought a pretzel nearby to help absorb that much alcohol, and later bought a second one before my second stein of beer. It is absolutely the best beer I've ever had. We met a lot of really cool people as well, since the group of guys from Holland next to us were very nice, and the Italians that joined us were also very enjoyable. We each went through about 2.5 steins of beer, before making our attempt to steal the steins they came in. In order to buy the steins, you have to make it back inside the tent, which wasn't letting anyone in because of capacity. I saw the sign that said "Taking beer steins is punishable by German law", and was a bit worried, but my friends said we were going for it anyways. So, we scoped out an exit with only one security guard, and used a plan of one person talk to the guard in English (he knew none, by the way) while the other two run off with the steins in my backpack. The plan was a great success, and we decided to head back to our hotel to put the steins with our bags checked there, and then head back to Oktoberfest. We had to avoid the main subway stop by Oktoberfest as well, which is loaded with security, I think more for preventing drunken fights than anything else.

After checking the steins at the hotel, we headed back to Oktoberfest for more beer, but had no luck getting back into a garden or a tent, since all of them were completely full by this point. However, we got right up to the front of a crowd (it's a bit like at a concert where the crowd goes up to the front of the stage and then security is there to prevent you from getting on stage). The security guy was using a metal bin full of empty steins to block people, so we used our 3 man team again to get some steins and put them in my friends backpack. While we didn't get in there for the beer, we still made off with some nice steins for souvenirs and saved a couple bucks on buying knockoffs elsewhere. After this we headed back to the hotel again to pick up our things and head for the train station to catch our night train to Paris. Oh the unforeseen adventures of traveling...

Our train departed Munich at 10:45pm, and was completely full. Doing like we do on every train, we all tried to sit together until someone made us move. Of course, the two guys from Kentucky had seats together and I ended up having to move into a cabin next door, with some not so awesome travelers. I will say, while Americans don't seem to understand the concept of adequate leg room on flights, at least they understand (usually) the concept of personal space and "I paid for this seat so you stay in yours and out of mine". I had a woman taking up half my seat sleeping, a woman across from me with her feet on my ARMREST, and there was a couple next to me who were speaking in a language I didn't quite understand who pointed at my backpack once or twice. When we were delayed in Munich for about an hour, I got up to walk around and ran into my companions in an open area reserved for travel bikes with no bikes in it, so I took my backpack, used it as a backrest/pillow, and moved in there to sleep. As we arrived in Paris one of the girls sleeping saw me in the open car and looked a little bit startled, but that's ok with me. I wasn't about to leave my bag in there or sleep without it attached to me, even locked up. But because we were delayed in Mannheim for about an hour, we ended up missing our train to Dijon by about 10 minutes in Paris, and consequently had to stay in Paris for a few extra hours before heading back home. We all took naps for the most part and watched some movies on our computers before the next train. We arrived in Dijon at about 6pm, much later than we wanted to, but safely and with all of our things, and headed back home. It was definitely a trip I'll never forget, as most of these seem to be, and I have some awesome souvenirs from it as a result.

This week I have a few more new classes, but I'm looking forward to my next travel adventure: London this weekend with my Filipino friends via the Chunnel from Paris. I'll be there for about 2 days traveling and sightseeing with them, and hopefully I'll be able to meet up with one of my DU friends who also attended the same Colorado high school as me. Small world sometimes! I'm also in the process of planning my next adventure the weekend after this, and it's looking like I'll be heading to Switzerland with friends. That'll be my birthday weekend, so I'm looking forward to spending my birthday in such an awesome place. Life ain't too bad over here right now, even if it is expensive at times. Until next time, enjoy the pictures and 360 panoramas I have posted below!

Pictures from Munich and Oktoberfest: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2488662977907.2141807.1292672395&l=9e003ffea7&type=1

360 from inside the beer garden: http://360.io/gwJq8K

Cheers!

310639_101..28441_n.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 12:34 Archived in France Tagged mountains art parties night trains beer london cathedrals paris france travel hotel train trekking germany backpack ski friends philippines cathedral circus photos europe mtn switzerland international dijon german swiss colosseum abroad alps munich business american bern panoramic residence osprey marriott oktoberfest study euros 360 scouting esc kehl camera+ mannheim francs

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login