Les Zaventures d'Alex dans
Weekend in Bavaria
September 22nd to 24th, 2000
In Munich, in september, there is Oktoberfest, as contradictory as it may seems. We also say "beer fest". During 3 weekend, the six main breweries of the city build huge tents where happy fellows can drink in huge bocks of 1 liter. Of course, at this time of the year, tousists are a plague.
My exchange program, at EPF, have a French-German counterpart. So we often had germans in our classes. I became good friend with some, Eva is among them. At the end of school, she went back to Munich and invited me to go see here. I hoped that more people from the program would be there, but only Eva was in Munich
I took the KLM flight gettign there at 7h15pm. From the airport, I took a taxi to her place, at the student using, which is a big complex with many buildings. Of course the numbers on the buildings are not ordered. I had to find building 4, I saw almost all numbers until I get in front of 41. I finally called Eva with the driver's phone and she came to pick me up. Of course, number 40 was a the other end of the place. Logically.
The building itself is an old military barrack. Rooms are paired but the neighbour was not there. Actually this is not her room but belongs to one of her friend who let her use it so she can find her own place.
When I got there, she served me a typically bavarian meal : roasted pork in vinegar gelatine. It's not bad, but I tought it tasted vinegar too much. Which cancelled my endless appetite for roasted pork. I guess the sandwich served in the plane helped too.
Eva wanted to go at her favorite bar. We first got her sleeping bag at her firend's place, where I found out that germans also have lockers inthe basement, then we got to a small bar (called X) that the average tourist couldn't have found with a local help. I tried my first munich beers. I start softly with Lowenbrau then a white beer not bad at all, which I won't name since I don't remember the name.
First tour of town
Saturday morning, Eva had to sign the contract for her new flat so I was left to myself. After washing in common shower, I left for downtown. I baught a streifenkarte, which work like the Dutch strippenkaart, which is a sign that dutch and german are not so different... I even been able to understand german words because of the dutch words I know.
A got out of the metro at Hauptbanhopf and I seek the center. Two drink Irish guys (10am) looking for a bar or a pharmacy, not sure, asked me. They saw my guiness shirt and took me for a fellow Irish. We set a virtual rendezvous under a tent and left.
It's a nice town, but there was too many tourists. But it's was a nice party atmosphere and many locals were wearing the traditional dress. Water-in-the-basement leather pants and leather suspenders. With a white shirt, long socks and brown shoes. Girls were wearing long dresses, often green, with an apron... very cute. Apparently, people still wear it for feats, sundays, weddings... often
I turned around in town for a while, until I see a Bavaro-Peruvian parade... strange mix. There was latinos but also german girls with pigtails walking in spanish robe and other strange individuales in a dragon dress with Bolivar written in the back
I went back at Eva's place and her cousin joined us to go to Oktoberfest
Once in the plac eof the fest, I realized the immensity of the thing. An enourmous crowd in a big luna park. We had to cross it to reach the tents. We chose a door and waited. After waiting for almost an hour we decided to go to another door. We waited an hour again and nobody entered... it was "overfull" it was 3 pm so we left for a beer garden
Beer gardens are rows of picnic tables with a big guy holding a big bock. he big guy don't always wear the previously described dress. And the size of the guy is not compulsory. The size of the beer is. Also, we can eat.
One of the goals of the trip was to find one of these big bocks, also called Maß Stafneufblblblbl whick means somethign like Big Bock. I holds 1 liter and the glass is heavy. Since I'm a genius, I didn't bring a bag. I drank the liter and ate a Kartoffelsalad, a meal I like very much since I can pronunce it. I hid the bock in my raincoat with subtility and walk with it under my arm. Of course, germans are not (too) dumb, they know that these bocks are seeked so we pay a 2DM deposit, for something worth at least 10 but it lighten my conscience (and I have one more memory : the deposit token). It's not too hard to lighten it since if I had bought one, I would have a big OKTOBERFEST 2000 picture, which sucks. On mine it's written Lowenbrau. Authenticity is important.
We looked for a restaurent and I took a meal of patatoes, sauerkraut, ham since the others were eating pork roast with strange patatoes, drinking Augustiner.
I saw Munich, I had to see something else of Bavaria. First, the world famous german highways without speed limit. Unfortunately there was fog so the electronic billboards were setting the limit to 120 for a part of the trip. We didn't have a speed limit for like 15 minutes, disappointing.
We then got ourself in a trafic jam, and the speed limit boards were now displaying 60, incredible speed that we couldn't reach. We managed to get out of the accident (6 cars) and continued toward Austria. We didn't get there, we stopped at Chiemsee, a lake nearby. On the lake there's an Island which contains a castle. Actually there is 2 island : Herreninsel and Dameninsel. You guessed : men's and women's island. Men have a castle, women have a covent. We just had time to see the caste so we took the boat and got there.
The castle was buildt by Ludwig II of bavaria, also called the crazy king. I loved art more than politics and built beautiful castles, like the one that inspired Walt Disney. Chiemsee is a replica of Versailles but the poor king didn't have enough money to finish it. He only built the central section but the gallery of glasses is longer than the one in Versailles. Also, only 20 romms have been completed, on 78. The most impressive is that big stair that has never been finished, it's just red brick everywhere.
For the moral of the story, it's at this time that Bavaria lost most of its autonomy to become part of Germany. So if you're a king, better have some interest in politics (I hope that every kings who are reading this will remember that)
The time of my plane (8pm) was getting close and we were far from the airport. We took small countryside roads and I could discover other characteristics of Bavarie. Like may masts. Big White and blue totems with crowns of flowers. Apparently people have fun stealing the mast of the neighbouring villages.
We got to the airport in time and I said goodbye to Eva, promising to come back (Maybe for a ski weekend in Alps) Theplane left in time for once and I shaked hand with the taxi driver at 21h41, when the plane was supposed to land at 21h40, not bad.