Saturday, October 2, 2010

Oktoberfest and the Motherland

*Wow, 13 posts in one month! Surely this is a record. I don't expect it to slow down any time soon though; so much yet to do in so little time.*

Scratch that, this post was meant to go up 3 days ago but alas, blogger and I have been arguing over whether or not it's going to let me post my pictures, so far, blogger has been the victor but not today.

We intended last year to go to Oktoberfest but little did we know that Oktoberfest actually is primarily in September. It ends the first Sunday in October. So, by the time we realized what was going on last year, the festival was practically over. Really, it was all for the best though since we would have been going by train last year which would probably have meant being suck in Munich for a whole weekend. Not that Munich isn't a beautiful city and all but it is a bit crazed come Oktoberfest (6 million people visited last year!) and on this trip we established that despite our exploration into the world of wines, spirits, and beer this past year, we are hopeless lightweights, so spending the whole weekend at the festival would have been pointless.

Thankfully, this year we have our lovely Lune Rousse to get around with, which meant that after deciding that we had had our fill of beer and crowds, we were able to take off and visit the alpine portion of Michael's ancestral homeland, Bavaria.

Welcome (or Willkommen, rather) to Oktoberfest!
and welcome to the Hofbräu "tent" (really, how do they get away with calling these things "tents?)

All of these people were drinking liters of beer at 10am

All of those people included us

We sobered up with a beautiful view of the Bavaria statue which was commissioned by Ludwig I, grandfather to crazy Ludwig II whom we will hear about later. The statue is massive though, thought to be a technological masterpiece at the time it was built (between 1844 and 1850)

A live carousel, how cool!

We always feel so healthy after Germany trips.

Does this look familiar to anyone?

Munich's New Town Hall -- we missed the clock performance but were able to enjoy the beautiful building with the cascading flowers. Nearly every house in Bavaria was covered in cascading flowers.

Another Hofbräu establishment, this time the beer hall for dinner.

We finally sober up and it's time for another liter for Michael at least, I had a half liter (which is still huge compared to tiny French beer bottles).

Our German heritage may not have presented itself in the beer tolerance category, but when it comes to food we are German through and through. I had a crispy pork knuckle (at which the older German man across the table laughed and laughed...I guess he's never seen a small girl eat so much) while Michael had a slice of roast pork. We both had some deliciously sticky potato dumplings and sauerkraut on the side.

The rain set in after dinner so after heading back to our tent for some warmer clothes, we went back out to enjoy the Oktoberfest night scene.

And what is Oktoberfest without spiced (if slightly soggy) almonds? Don't listen to me, I just made the correlation up.

The next morning we packed up and left our interesting accommodations (we slept in bunk beds in a white tent on the right)

And took off for a sometimes quaint (see above) and sometimes breathtaking (see below) drive on the Deutsche Alpenstraße (German Alpine Road).

Lune Rousse was a champ,

those S-curves are nothing to laugh at!

Can you imagine waking up to that?

We went a little crazy at a German grocery store. There is a picture of everything at home later but these delicious caraway meat sticks didn't make it anywhere near Metz.
Inside these walls is one of the most ridiculously ornate Rococo styled churches I have ever seen (the only one I've ever seen, really).

The Wies church was erected to house the statue of Jesus (figure of the Scourged Savior) when it was noticed to be crying and pilgrims began to flock in hoards to be in its presence. There are 3 houses in the town. I kid you not.
Ludwig II grew up in this castle, it looks perfectly adequate to me.

Apparently he didn't think so, he had this castle build next door. It's called Neuschwanstein and was later used by Disney as the model for the Sleeping Beauty castle. He only got halfway though the construction however (draining the family money along the way) before the other Bavarian aristocrats had him deemed clinically insane, thus stripping him of his rule. A few days later he and his doctor were found dead, drowned in a lake.

On our way home we happened to drive by the tallest church in the world located in Ulm, Germany.

Evaluation of our German purchases: nut crunch cereal, nestle cinnamon toast crunch knockoff, some dark beers (dunkels) for stew, english muffins, a 6-pack of hefeweizen, pickles that were consumed en-route, blood orange juice (also previously consumed), a mix for those potato dumplings, sauerkraut, sausages, beef (also for stew), sweet mustard and spätzle

And the resulting beef-beef stew with potato dumplings

Oh, and you can check out the rest of the pictures by clicking HERE.

1 comment:

  1. What a cool place I come from! Hopefully some day soon I can explore it myself! And Osram...haha!