72* F, sunny, German music, German food, lederhosen and dirndls and German beer–it must be Oktoberfest in Munich. It is! I cannot believe we are here!
There are fourteen major tents seating between 2,000 and 10,000 people each. We made it into two of them today. Over half the people are dressed in traditional clothing and, surprisingly, nearly all the younger folks are. I think those not dressed in lederhosen (for men) and dirndls (for women) are tourists. The are over 20 minor tents as well and a full-blown midway. People are everywhere and, as the evening takes hold, it looks like hoards more are coming. You simply cannot move quickly.
The tents are not permanent, but look as if they are. They are massive and each one is decorated differently. The bands and singers are on stages above the crowds, and most tents have balconies for seating as well. You sit at tables and the waiters are quick to bring you beer in heavy glass mugs that are about two quarts in size (at $13 each). The food is also excellent, mainly sweinhoxe (braised ham shank) or other pork, chicken or fish with spatzle (German noodles), sauerkraut, German potato salad, enormous pretzels and cheese for sides. The people sing and sway to the music. It is a lively scene.
Outdoors is alive with food booths of every German description and games and singers and horse-drawn carts. It is wall to wall people. They say between 6 and 7 million folks will attend the 18 day Fest this year. By the way, most of the Oktoberfest is in September, but it goes into the first week of October.
What an experience! WEG