Friday thought #51 Oktoberfest!

Having recently moved to Innsbruck, Austria, it seemed almost rude not to make the 2 hour drive to Munich for our very first Oktoberfest. It’s one of those mythical events that you always hear about and would love to go to, but never quite get round to organising. Well not anymore.

Lederhosen, dirndls, steins and checked shirts as far as the eye can see, Oktoberfest is nuts. It’s one of the busiest, craziest and most fun places I’ve ever been and I think a right of passage for anyone within reaching distance of Munich. If you want the finest possible example of national pride, then look no further. Stereotypes ahoy, Oktoberfest is Germany at its finest. The sea of traditional outfits is enough to make anyone smile, but what really struck me is how much fun people were having. Sure, litres of beer tends to alter anyone’s mood, but I’ve lived long enough to see how consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can have a rather more adverse effect on people. At Oktoberfest, EVERYONE is happy. People as far as the eye can see are squeezed in like sardines and space is at an absolute premium, but no-one cares, they are all there to have fun. I lost count of how many “PROUST”s we did with our new found friends, smashing our litre steins together in the middle of the table, but of the tens of thousands of people there, we didn’t hear one angry voice or witness even a hint of violence; such a refreshing change from your average booze-fuelled night out in a city.

Oktoberfest is simple fun done well. I couldn’t recommend it more highly if you’re a fan of  laughing, smiling, having fun and generally enjoying your life.

The 'Paulaner' tent
The ‘Paulaner’ tent
On the way in
On the way in
So many lederhosen...
So many lederhosen…
National pride at its best
National pride at its best
Fun for all the family!
Fun for all the family!
Be under no illusions that the food will be gourmet. Chicken means chicken (and nothing else!)
Be under no illusions that lunch will be gourmet. Chicken means chicken (and nothing else!)
The kitchen in one of the tents - expecting to sell a few chickens??!
The kitchen in one of the tents – expecting to sell a few chickens??!
PROUST!!
PROUST!!

Friday thought #48 Impressions of Innsbruck

Apologies for the brief hiatus, but the last 2 weeks have been pretty hectic; myself and my boyfriend completely shifting our lives from the French Alps to the Austrian ones, and all the admin and stress that goes hand in hand with it. From furniture arriving to getting the internet connected, and from starting new jobs and learning a new language to most importantly of all, exploring our new home, there hasn’t been a lot of down time.

There will be a lot more to come on Austria, and the reasons for the move, but for now my first impressions of Innsbruck have been rather good:

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The all important Germanic beer at lunchtime outside a mountain hut. As a general rule I don’t even like beer, but Weissbier is different…
Just one of hundreds of secret, deserted and beautiful forest paths the mountains of Innsbruck have to offer
Just one of hundreds of secret, deserted and beautiful forest paths the mountains of Innsbruck have to offer
A local Flea Market; fascinating! It's incredible to see the junk people are selling. But I did manage to get myself a superb town bike at a bargain rate!
A local Flea Market; fascinating! It’s incredible to see the junk people are selling. But I did manage to get myself a superb town bike at a bargain rate!