Hi readers!! It’s Tuesday, ‘bee’ happy! <– too corny?
What a bum.
It is a beer festival, a lot like the world-famous Oktoberfest in München, but this one, so we are told, is more fun because it isn’t quite as chaotic and crowded, and you don’t have to fight for a table in a tent (more on this later). Some people have gone to Oktoberfest and never got inside a tent. Otherwise, they are the same type of event. I didn’t realize that beer festivals were all over Germany and not just in München. The Volksfest or Wasen (as the locals call it) was much less touristy, too. Those darn American tourists, sheesh…heh heh. I’m such a hypocrite.
What an experience this was. We were entirely engrossed in the German culture. I was maybe kinda vaguely reminded of a state fair…because like a state fair it goes on for about three weeks. That’s where the similarities stop. This fest is chuck full of brats, beer, liederhosen and drindls (which we still need to buy — they are a little expensive and I’m still looking for the one). There were rides and food stands as far as the eye could see. They even had American style hamburgers, although I didn’t try one…
|“The Giant Hamburger”
A lot of the older folks walk around with their hands behind their backs like this guy. It’s very elegant and sophisticated. I suppose I might try it…it seems very European.
|When we came back at night, the giant blow up man’s eyes were closed. Apparently he sleeps too. Creepy.|
|I spy a Viper Pilot bringing me food!|
|They had “fun houses” in the carnival, it reminded me of the movie Grease!|
rides were INSANE. They don’t have rides like this in the states. I find it really hard to believe they are safe. The ferris wheel was awesome, and I actually agreed to ride that. I don’t mind the view but by the time we got around to riding it it was late and it was closing time.
|The Viper Pilot and the boys rode this swing, spinny ride Saturday night. I got sick just watching it…Helen and I stood below to watch and practiced our British accents…that’s another story, though.|
|Riding the spinny roller coaster.
I wonder if they make those goofy faces when they fly the F-16, too…it’s kind of like a roller coaster, right?
Aside from the massive amount of rides and food, there are…um, well, they call them tents, but really they are “tents.” There is a huge long row of these “tents” and each one has the exact same thing to offer: beer, food, and music. Oh, and fun. 😉
|This is the “tent” we frequented.|
Because there must be at least a million or so people there any given weekend evening, you really need to have a reservation to get a table inside the tent. We were able to get a table on the front porch by waiting in line for quite a while. After ordering some food and beer, aka spending money, our awesome waiter Christos let us in the tent.
When I say beer, I mean a lot of beer. If you order a beer, you don’t get any size options, you get a really neat glass stein with the Volksfest logo on it. They hold a liter — it’s heavy and usually requires two hands to drink out of. Unfortunately, you don’t get to keep the stein, I found this out the hard way. I left the tent carrying my empty stein and the two guards were all but hauling me back inside. Petrified and completely confused, I realized they just wanted their stein back. Okay, no problem guys…I’m not a bad person!! I apologized (entschuldigung!) and gave it back. When they saw that I wasn’t trying to be a thief, and had just made an honest mistake, they were cool. However, as we were walking away from the tent, we happened to run into our waiter, Christos, who slipped a stein our direction.
He was a really cool dude, and I now have an even cooler souvenir.
Our friend Sean, who was a groomsman in our wedding, happened to be in Stuttgart (thank you, Air Force for the cowinky-dink) so he stayed with us over the weekend. We know Sean from our days in Columbus. It was great seeing him and being able to catch up. When we said good bye to him at our wedding, we never imagined the next time we’d see him would be in Germany…
While we were sitting at our table on the porch, we made friends with the Polish and Czech people also at our table. They were really fun (but apparently they aren’t into smiling in photos…) and we had chili pepper eating contests with them. We ordered the appetizer plate that had peppers, cheeses out the wazoo, radishes, a giant pretzel, liverwurst, prosciutto, and other meats. Between the five of us, there was nothing left.
|Helen, Stephen, Polish and Czech friends, the Viper Pilot, me, and Sean|
Once we got inside the “tent,” it was a totally different scene. There was a live band and everyone, everyone, was standing on the table benches, swinging their steins back and forth, singing, and dancing. It was so…jolly. We learned several German drinking songs/chants that evening, though I’m sure we butchered the pronunciations. My favorite and the easiest to learn/remember was,
Leader: “Ziggy zaggy, ziggy zaggy!”
Everyone else: “Oi, oi, oi!!!”
And every human being in the place participated. It was started by a German gentleman who set the record as the fastest
beer drinker. He was the champ for eons, but he died a while ago at a
ripe old age (what does that say for his hobby of beer drinking?) and
now it is a popular drinking song. Drinking beer is serious business
Everyone was in such good moods, it was a really upbeat atmosphere…have I mentioned that it was so much fun?! Check out how huge and packed this “tent” was…
|This is only the front half of the “tent.” It was equally packed in the other half behind me.|
We were lucky enough to get a table front and center by the band, which was some cover band. We made friends with some locals also at our table. The band played a few German songs, but mostly they played American music. That was perfectly fine with us. We (literally) belted out the words to AC/DC, Lady Gaga, “It’s Raining Men,” and Tina Turner to name a few all while standing on the table benches. We even got to see a Tina Turner impersonator…HE was actually a great singer and dancer.
I have a video, but all you can hear is me singing at the top of my
lungs, it was pretty hilar, but I’m not going to let you hear it.
On our way back to the train station, after the “tent” closed down for the night, we saw this sign by a ride. Being the mature 20-somethings that we are, we had to get a picture.
I really think I am going to start charging the Viper Pilot for his, er…well, nevermind. The word “fahrt” actually translates to “ride” in this instance. All the exit signs on the Autobahn say “Ausfahrt” which means “exit.” When we first got here, we couldn’t figure out where the heck Ausfahrt was. Maybe I’ll try to snap a picture of the sign one of these days.
Yeah, I see you giggling. 😉
We stayed for one more night of fun on Sunday and got up early Monday morning to drive back in time for me to go to work. The Viper Pilot had the day off, but I didn’t. Monday was a rough day because I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, but it was worth it.
Well, what’s in store for you this week? I’m working, cooking dinner, chilling with the Viper Pilot in the evenings, maybe setting up a few new things we ordered for the house that finally arrived. We have a three day weekend this coming weekend so maybe we’ll get around to planning something fun. I have no doubts that there is another festival happening nearby…