Gone Full Circle

25 Sep

First of all I will give a run down from our Oktoberfest shenanigans on the weekend. We had been counting down all week and looking forward to our first Oktoberfest with friends. Mark and I arrived in Munich last year on the last weekend it was on and went together but we didn’t know anyone, it was late in the afternoon and all the beer tents were full as were the beer gardens. We just had a Jager Bomb and Mark managed to get in a Mass, we had a walk around and went home. This year though, this year was different. Our friend Noemi has been on the case since January trying to reserve tables for Oktoberfest and there isn’t a great chance of one being given since their process of doing it is based on the previous years bookings and of course the big companies who get first preference…but we got one for the first day (and the last but that’s another story…to come).

When we got up it was raining and cold but really what did it matter, we were going to be inside a tent all day so who really cared. We had a good breakfast to line our stomachs before we set off on the jam-packed train stuffed with people on their way to the event. I was quite surprised though as there were more people wearing casual clothes than dressed up in the traditional outfits…bloody tourists πŸ˜‰ We arrived at Theresienwiese which is the park where Oktoberfest is held, and managed to work our way to the Paulaner (brewery) tent fairly easily where we waited for the rest of our group. When we walked in to find our reserved table, the place was already full yet still civilized with everyone sitting in their respective seats (it’s illegal to have people standing in the aisles in case of an emergency) and because the festival wasn’t officially open until 12pm when the Mayor hit the first Fass (Barrell) and cracked it open with a glass, no one was allowed beer until that time.

We were given an appetiser platter with some meats, cheeses, radishes… now the thing is that apparently radishes are a natural remedy for a hangover so if you take them (and it must be a lot that is required) whilst you are drinking, it technically should reduce the effects the next morning, but one bunch between 10 of us really wasn’t going to do a whole lot I don’t think but it was a nice gesture for them to bring them out. Once 12pm struck the beer was flowing and we were all very jovial. As part of the cost of reserving a table each person (max of 10) receive 2 x 1Litre beer jugs and a 1/2 roast chicken. You get vouchers and when you want to order you give the vouchers to the waitress and off she goes to put it in. Once you run out you order and pay…fairly self explanatory yet it seemed to be such a struggle because our waitress was M.I.A for most of the afternoon. We had one girl serving beer and she was fine and fairly speedy (which really was the main thing) but the other one who we had to order the chicken or food with was not to be found so we ended up getting our food about 20 minutes before we were supposed to give up our table. They have 2 seatings in the tent for bookings – from 11am – 4pm and then 4pm until 11pm (the latter gets the better deal unfortunately). Once your time is up, if you had the early seating, you can stay in the tent but you basically have to find randoms who have space at their table and will let you sit/party with them. So the chicks got to work to pick up some guys and once we secured them we slid the boys who were with us right on in.

There was a group of guys from Italy, Portugal, France and a number of other countries on the table we all squeezed in to and they were really very handsy but we had a good time and partied until close time of 11pm…well some of us. At about 8:30pm my dear husband started not feeling so well and busted a move to the bathroom where he made room for more beer, via the same route it goes down, but when we came out it hadn’t done the trick and he was telling me in half Deutsch half English that “Ich feel Schiesse” so we said our goodbyes and hunted down a cab to take us home. The day/night was great, there were lots of laughs, lots of drinking, and lots of randomness. There are a few times in my life where I wish I was a guy and at Oktoberfest was one of them. The line for the ladies toilets was ridiculous and it was like a bunch of animals trying to crawl over one another to get in front of someone else. Luckily I only needed to put myself through the stampede three times throughout the day.

Sunday Mark spent in bed – considering he went to bed at 9pm and got up at around 2pm I’m going to say that was all day. When he did rise the shape he was in wasn’t ideal but he got there by night time. I used the opportunity to get baking …it has to be one of my favourite things to do in my down time. Although I love eating what I bake it’s just not permitted so I ship everything off to work with Mark the following day to hand out to his coworkers so we all win. I made some mini Bounties/Almond Joy bars and also an Almond and Marshmallow Brownie with chocolate sauce … both rocked the house (I do try them…geez, I’m not a robot!) So that was our weekend!

Now – back to the title of the blog this week. On September 24, 2011 Mark and I left Sydney to begin our overseas adventure. First we went on a week holiday to relax from the insane maniac weeks prior to our departure of packing, selling, move, shifting, sorting..the works and then we headed on up to Munich. So we’ve been gone now a year and a day and I kind of wanted to share with you my reflection on the things we’ve done and places we’ve seen. Even though some places (most) were just weekend trips we feel we’ve got a good grasp and know enough to either want to go back or feel happy that we’ve crossed it off the list. There are only a few that we still feel we need to return to and enjoy further. I’ll start at the beginning:

1. Milan, Italy
2. Santa Margherita & Portofino, Italy
3. Munich, Germany (Duh!)
4. Prague, Czech Republic
5. London, UK
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
7. Berlin, Germany
8. Zurich, Switzerland
9. Innsbruck, Austria
10. Paris, France
11. Brugges, Belgium
12. Barcelona, Spain
13. French Pyrenees, France
14. Hendaye, France
15. Cerbere, France
16. Lake Como, Italy
17. Venice, Italy
18. Salzburg, Austria
19. Stuttgart, Germany (I’m going to throw it in as we drove through and there was sweet F.A. there)

We have on our list before the end of this year still to do: Mykonos, Vienna, and I’m going to sneak in possibly another city that is only a drive away and good in winter, but we’ll see. So, so far it’s not bad but it could be better. We get about 4 months a year where it’s too cold and miserable to travel and sight-see and this year Mark was fairly restricted as he had to be around on the weekends. Hopefully next year we can knock even more off our list.

Thanks to all our friends and family who read this and to all the new strangers we have picked up on the way – I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our adventures with us thus far and hope you stick with us for even more to come. We’ve managed to get a few friends over here to visit but we’d obviously like to see more of you…you’ve always got a place to stay…at the moment it’s on a double mattress on the floor but hopefully in the next month or so there’ll be a bedroom and a bed for you if we can work out this moving apartments thing.

This week is Markie’s birthday so we’ve got a couple of activities planned to celebrate which I’ll share with you next week.

Only 3 months till we see a lot of you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Till next time…..xx

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One Response to “Gone Full Circle”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 34 Years Young « the hoggies - October 1, 2012

    […] join for dinner and to help celebrate Markie’s birthday. After his efforts last weekend at Oktoberfest and the radishes not quite doing their magic trick for his hangover, I requested all the guests […]

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