A whirl around Oktoberfest

This week, it’s time for a whirl around Munich’s Oktoberfest. The park is filled with beer tents, food stalls and amusements for a few weeks every September / October. The atmosphere is welcoming and fun, full of tradition, bright colours and music. It’s thoroughly worth a visit even if you don’t like beer!

Marstall – First tent on right from main entrance

Many people step out in their classic dirndl and lederhosen, but a beautiful traditional outfit will set you back a euro or two. At least 300€ for good quality dirndl, it seems, and it’s easily possible to spend a lot more than that. I also learned that if you are planning to be a regular visitor to the festival, you should have 3 outfits. Not because they wear out but because your waistline increases.

Dressing up is not compulsory, though, so don’t let that put you off. And you’ll soon see that some prefer a more light-hearted approach to their couture.

The chicken hat was quite a popular item, and available on site if you felt the urge. I didn’t. But the dancing legs on those hats gave me a smile or two.

When you come through the main entrance, you fall straight onto the main path that is flanked by the flashy beer tents, with smaller kiosks dotted around, and leads down to the funfair. Coming during the day gives the chance to try out all of the entertainment, and more chance of getting a seat in a beer tent.

That said, this is a whirl around not a sit-and-drink amble. We’ll come back again to explore the tents, but for now, let’s enjoy the sunshine. And the horses.

Each brewery shows off their barrels and their horses outside the tents.

Click on the gallery below to see larger

Enough equine admiration for now – it’s time to go mad and try out the rides. I’ll warn you now, strap on or remove anything fragile or easily removable. The fun begins!

Let’s start with the olympics. Barth’s Olympic Looping rollercoaster flies along for 1250 metres, circles 5 loops, reaches 100 km an hour and delivers 5.2G pressure. It is the largest transportable rollercoaster in the world.

And so much fun.

I didn’t find the Höllenblitz (above) so appealing – less speed and less upside-down-ness, but each carriage spins on the track and my back didn’t appreciate being tossed around so much in the carriage.

Now time for something more sedate, I think.

The Willenborg Ferris wheel has been on the Wiesn in Munich since 1979 and has become a symbol of the festival. It provides some great views too.

How are you doing after that leisurely spin? Ready for another stomach churner?

I seriously recommend not doing this next ride after a few sausages and pints (I know, litres not pints, but that doesn’t sound so good to a British ear). I saw evidence around me of people who didn’t follow my digestion rule, so take heed. Now strap yourself in well and enjoy the Predator, my favourite ride of all.

It spins, turns and flips with more time spent upside-down than right-way-up. Just as you reach your limit it kindly returns to normality and slows down. And as you sigh with relief, it sets off again. I heard a lot of shouting and complaining from people near me who really didn’t want more. But I loved it.

More gentle pursuits abound, and with the big rides under our belts, let’s slow down our tour, admire the outfits, take a selfie or two and grab an ice cream.

And we’ll end the tour with a massive Cheers!




Copyright Debbie Smyth, 7 October 2019

Posted as part of Jo’s Monday Walks

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