At 10 am on September 23, 2012, we left to go check out the parade.
Ivan found us a good spot so I could see and take pictures.
The parade was really long with bands playing. There was lots of people in traditional Bavarian clothes. Even the horses had fancy stuff on!
There was also flag twirlers and lots of barrels of beer being pulled by horses.
We headed to Marienplatz. Ivan and I found a place selling food and we got a vegetarian sandwich for each of us and a pretzel with cream cheese & chives to share.
We met up with for the Mike’s Bike Tour at 12:30 pm. Ivan and I have done this before the last time we were in Munich, but it was raining hard so the beer gardens just weren’t the same. Our tour guide was an Englishmen named Charlie. The bike riding was easy since Munich is a very flat city. My bike was pink and had wide handlebars which took me a short time to get used to.
The group stopped by many places like Parliament, Hof Garden, Odeonplatz, Residenz and the English Garden where we saw the surfing. Ivan wishes he could jump on a rubber dinghy and jump on the water instead of surfing.
We stopped at the 2nd largest beer garden in Munich which is next to the Chinese Tower.
Here, we stopped for an hour. Ivan and I shared a beer and chatted with some Americans about Oktoberfest.
At Theatinerstrasse, we got to go inside the pretty St. Cajetan’s Church.
We had a fun time on the bike tour. Ivan and I really enjoy bike tours because you get to see more versus a walking tour… plus you get some exercise.
It was time to head to Oktoberfest.
If you don’t have a reservation at any of the tables inside the tent like we didn’t.. you have to walk around asking at tables if you can sit in their free spaces. We walked around a few tents and Ivan was asking about spare seats.
Probably about 80% of the people wear the traditional Bavarian outfits. Ivan thinks the dirndl makes the girls look better since it’s tight at the waist and really shows off their boobs.
We got to join a table that was clearing all out at the big Fischer-Vroni tent. The rest of the table got filled up quickly with young Germans. Ivan and I shared the Edelstoff beer. We got the mackerel and char fish to share. Ivan thought we should buy some silly hats for souvenirs.
The oompah bands play traditional Bavarian music along with some pop songs like We are the Champions and Country Road. People will stand on the benches, dance and sing along to the music and drink their beer. People at your table with hit your glass and say Prost! (Cheers).
It’s such a fun atmosphere – you can feel the energy.
We had a fun time in the tent for a few hours. Then, we checked out the rides. Some of the rides are really funny when you’re drunk. We checked out the Psychedelic ride where you have to wear trippy 3D glasses. The glasses have bright colors that make everything groovy. You walk through and see lots of lights and 60’s music.
Next, we checked out the Hofbrau tent which is filled with tons of tourists. We stood near the band and danced. Ivan and I shared a beer.
The last ride we checked out was really funny. There’s a big spinning wheel and the announcer says who can go on like girls, boys or boys in liederhosen. The wheel starts to spin and eventually people spin off. The last person, the winner, is left. A ball from above drops trying to hit the winner. Two guys throw ropes to try to grab them and pull the person off.
I tried the crazy ride Teufelsrad with a bunch of girls. The flat wheel goes really fast. Some people link arms to last longer. I was linked with one girl and she started going and I was dragged with her off. I think the best way to win is to be in the middle and really hang on to the wheel.
Watch a video of me on the Teufelsrad ride:
Ivan and I watched for awhile and then decided to head back to the apartment.