Beer, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems — Homer Simpson (paraphrased)

Saturday was the first day of Oktoberfest, the Munich fall festival celebrating the heritage of the city.  Or so they say, since a festival completely dedicated to beer would be a thoroughly irresponsible predicament.  We arrived at the Theresienwiese in time for the delivery of the kegs by horseback followed by the ceremonial tapping of the keg by the Bürgermeister and pouring of the first beer by each Braumeister in the tents.  After the brew started flowing, it was time to leave (really). There is no way we would get served in the beer tent: there were just too many people and we didn’t arrive by the requisite 09:00 hour to get a seat for the 12:00 noon festivities. Plus, we’d never have seen the parade if we showed up so early. No, we left and wanted around the fairgrounds taking in the sights and sounds. Then, we went for a beer and pretzel after the lines had cleared out a bit.

Sunday, we saw a second parade. This event contained costumes of pageantry of the area, including people from surrounding villages, states, and countries (I noticed Slovenia and Poland). Many brought traditional harvest equipment, lots of pipes and drums, and a few accordions. It is neat how such a small area of Europe contains so many distinct outfits and stylings. As the horse & buggies drew near the entrance of Oktoberfest, the passengers got out so they didn’t have to journey with the driver back to the stables. Smart move.

Then, came the beer-y-go-rounds, bumper cars, random lunch on the midway, and another beer-y-go-round. What a concept, get rid of the plastic animals with annoying organ musak and replace with a rotating bar surrounded by moving seating. More to see on each revolution and the feeling of the world spinning with out the need for beer … but beer we did.