Fun, Fun, Fun in the Beeer Tents
By Florin R Ferrs (Beer connoisseur)
Fun in Germany is not limited to driving fast on the Autobahn. There is a time of year when the normally stern Germans let their hair down, so to speak. A time of year when many a letherhosen is dusted off and taken out of the closet in order to celebrate the end of summer and the last harvest before the onset of winter. A time of late summer sunsets and heavier ales to match the crispness in the air. A time for the world famous festival of Oktoberfest. Celebrated in the city of Munich since 1810, the festival, curiously, now begins in mid September, when the mayor of Munich taps the first Oktoberfest beer barrel on September the 17th. So get ready to book your discounted flights to Germany on Vayama to participate in this long tradition which highlights Bavaria’s wonderful beers, cuisine, and perhaps not so wonderful, but still fun, traditional music and leather breeches (lederhosen).
Discounted Flights to Europe
If you find that direct flights into Munich during the festival are sold out, you can always fly using the the cheapest flights to Europe available on Vayama (London, Paris or Frankfurt), and then take a train, bus, or a rental car (with car hire comes the added bonus of ‘fun, fun, fun on the autobahn’, almost enough to warrant a trip to Germany).
The Beer Frau of Oktober
Only beers brewed in the city of Munich can be called Oktoberfest beer. Each major brewery in the city will showcase its festival beers in large festive tents with long tables attended by traditionally attired waitstaff (usually buxom Germanic blondes that do their best to carry as many beer steins as they can manage, while a traditional Bavarian umpapa band plays on, in lederhosen, of course). You can reserve seats on your favorite Munich Brewer’s tent trough the brewery’s website, or simply show up early on the day, very early (around 9am, beer tents open at 10am). My personal favorite festival tent is the one run by Spatenbräu, and most Americans will probably be familiar with the Löwenbräu tent’s product. Apart from the wonderful beer, sausages, cutlets, and sauerkraut, the festival offers many carnival rides, heavy horses pulling beer carts, as well as many an agricultural showpieces or oddities. Best of all, entry is free and most beers go for EUR8 for a whole liter. Prost!
The first Oktoberfest was celebrated in 1810 and nowadays it hosts over five million visitors from Bavaria and all over the world. The festival has survived many incarnations, additions and even interruptions during the two world wars, and it’s now one considered the longest festival in the world. The festivities this year begins on September 17th and runs through October 3rd, 2011. So book your flight to Munich or Europe on one of Vayama’s discounted airfares and get your drinking elbow ready, Oktoberfest is here to stay. Bottoms up!