Saturday, September 10, 2005
The Last Post
Billed as the biggest drinking party in the world, the Munich or 'Munchen' Oktoberfest or 'Wiesn' is a great way to unwind. Originally held in 1810 to celebrate the marriage of Bavaria's King Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen it is now an annual week long 5 million litres consuming Barvarian beer fest. Huge tents, each sponsored by one of the many Munich breweries stand shoulder to shoulder, ornately decorated with brewery advertisements and sumtuously adorned in the Bavarian way: all banners, bells and beautiful frauleins. The idea is to trawl your way round and visit as many (of the tents) as you can before walking mysteriously becomes impeded.
Silly hats,strong bladders and an ability to crash steins every five minutes with any German who happens to be near, and they make themselves near, are all that is needed. Each time the assembled 'oompah' band strikes up a cue - and you soon get to recognise it - the deal is to join in with raucous songs (any words will do) and copious howlings, hugs and handshakes.
Remembering this has put me well and truly in holiday mood. Somewhere differant this year which will no doubt, at some point, feature here.