Oh man I LOVED Germany. I’m getting all happy just thinking about it because it’s bringing back all the good times we had in Berlin and Munich, and also all the delicious things I ate that were well worth the weight gainz.
Our first stop was Berlin, where we had four nights to explore it all.
We spent the first couple of days laying low and doing some wandering around the city. I spent one day shopping- Berlin is where I had my first Primark shopping experience and honestly I’m a changed woman because of it. Bargain city. I was in there for over two hours.
Obviously Berlin also has a super interesting history, so we decided to splash out some cash for a tour and did a 5 hour bike tour with Fat Tire Tours, who are also around in a few other European cities like London, Barcelona and Paris. Five hours sounds long but the time flew by – it was so amazing and informative. Our guide was Australian and so were most of the people on the tour, so there was some good banter. I chose the bike called ‘Hallumi’ because it reminded me of delicious cheese. The tour took us to old remains of the Berlin Wall, old watch towers, where Hitler’s bunker was where he hid out and died, parliament buildings, gardens and a super German lunch spot.
This isn’t a photo from the bike tour, this is me trying my first German bratwurst that I just needed to pop in. It was a good saus.
For our last day I wanted to see the Eastside Gallery so we headed there, and it was a lot of art on an old part of the Berlin Wall that was still standing. People are so good at art it’s depressing that I can hardly draw a stick figure.
We spent one night at the observation deck at the TV tower which had EXCELLENT views of the city and it was fancy so we felt fancy for a little bit. We also went to Hofbräuhaus where I had my first (and last) pork knuckle. Honestly it was super delicious and don’t even get me started on the crackly-ness of the crackling, it was only my last one because it was super sickly and about 20£ at Oktoberfest and please help me I’m poor.
OH AND SPEAKING OF OKTOBERFEST. That was our next and final stop of Germany.
We had another four days in Munich to enjoy all that Oktoberfest had to offer. Nick genuinely believes it is the happiest place on earth, and quite a few agree with him. I thought it was pretty damn cool.
Here’s a dot point version of what Oktoberfest is all about, from the perspective of a sometimes-but-basically-never beer drinker, who tried to get involved by drinking chandies.
• Dress super cute in your dirndl/lauderhausen, and pack a jacket. Fun fact; these outfits are hella expensive.
• Arrive at the festival sometime around midday, if it’s a weekend arrive earlier to get a table in a beer hall of your choice
• Find table/friends
• Order steins
• Drink steins
• Sit and watch as the beer hall as a whole becomes more and more rowdy
• Watch the waitresses carry about 9 steins at once and then struggle holding one on your own and seriously question why you have no upper body strength even though you did push ups that one time. Surely they must do some weight training for the gig.
• Depending on the hall you are in, watch people stand on a table and skull their stein, only to then be kicked out of the tent
• Order food, half chicken was my favourite. Pork knuckle was popular.
• Leave beer hall when you’re sick of having beer spilt on you and explore the festival grounds, there’s heaps of rides and games and food stalls out there, so it’s a good time beyond the halls
• Go back inside an hour or so later and assess state of your boyfriend/travel companion and decide if it’s time to leave (departure time for us was at various times, ranging from 6pm to 10pm)
• Not leave for another hour because you need to go on at least three of the rides first and eat some more food
• Stumble home
• Repeat the next day
Everyone should try and have the true Oktoberfest experience at least once in their lifetime. I had so much fun and I don’t like beer (I may have also had a few sneaky vodkas to get me through, spirits for life) and everyone is just happy and excited to be there. There were heaps of families as well and it was so adorable seeing a two year old in the traditional outfit. We were super super lucky also as there were about 15 people from home and friends that we had met along our travels at the festival at the same time as us, so we always had a bunch of legends to enjoy the day with, including Nick’s brother Luke and his gf Tegan which was the cherry on top!
Worth mentioning that we did spend one day exploring Munich, because apparently there is a city beyond the beer halls. It was a beautiful but small city, so it’s easy to see most of it in one day! To be honest we did it in half a day then went into the festival for a few beers before eating schnitzels the size of our heads for dinner. Seriously look at the size of the schnitzel.