So last weekend in Munich was, as the emoticon in my title suggests, a funny shrug. By funny shrug I mean, Oktoberfest is basically everything you could imagine and more. I didn't actually buy a dirndl, which is absolutely stunning that I had the will-power to avoid shelling out. To be honest, while I was not in the actual tents as much as most people typically are, I never really felt out of the place in just regular clothes. I had read online, and my new German friends on the train told me that I would want, if not need a dirndl, because EVERYONE wears them. Which is true to some extent, but either way it wasn't a huge deal. Seeing everyone in these lovely outfits reminded me a bit of Syttende Mai, which made me nostalgic.
So anyhow, my friend and I hit the tents Friday night, after having dinner at our AirBnb on the moon. Yes, somehow I accidentally booked an AirBnb like, in the suburbs. While I was initially super bummed about this, it ended up being like my favorite part of my experience. Because, after the tents Friday night, I woke up late to a quiet little neighborhood, then I took a stroll through the multi-color neighborhoods and took a bus to get to a quintessential German restaurant nestled on the side of a river in the woods. You probably saw this on Instagram. I was so at peace here I never wanted to leave.
Then we explored the city, and ended up meeting up with a group of Frenchmen that I met on the train. We ended up spending the entire evening with them actually, they were sooooo nice. Not sketchy, I promise! We had beers at this pub in the city center, then we made our way to a restaurant nearby for dinner, and finished off the evening at another local biergarten. It was especially nice this way because I think these restaurants and pubs harbored only locals, as all tourists were in the tents.
Sunday I missed my train, and had the most DIFFICULT time getting back. I got back to my place at about 11:45 PM and then had dinner. It was largely difficult because no instructions were ever clear, and then my connection in Mannheim only had signs and announcements in German. No French, no English. It was not a funny shrug, but a shrug nonetheless.
So I've attached some photos. The first two are largely representative of what it looked and felt like. It's difficult to find pictures that can correctly capture a moment.
At the end of the weekend, I'm so glad I went. And I'm so glad I varied my experience a bit. I think I would have been upset if I had gone and spent 100% of my time inside a tent drinking beer without interacting with anyone or seeing any of my surroundings. Not that that's a bad approach to Oktoberfest, it's just not my favorite thing.