from above the Oktoberfest

Bavaria and her lion

Isn’t she gaww-juss? My girl Bavaria. I like ’em big, you know. And her lion? I could let her stick around for the lion alone.

My band and I went to the Oktoberfest yesterday morning, but my hounds Ella and Louis insisted on accompanying us, so we knew we wouldn’t be actually going down to the Wies’n. Instead, our plan was to stay up above on the hill with the Bavaria statue whose photo you see above.

So, how does the world’s biggest folk festival look from up there? Let me show you.

Frauenkirche and Löwenbräu

That’s Munich’s Frauenkirche with her two Turms (towers) on the left, and then the Löwenbräu Festzelt on the right.

A huge Maß of Paulaner in the distance

A lot of Munich’s architecture is inspired by the Greeks. Take for example these columns on the hill above the Wies’n. I’ll talk more about that in a later post, but I just liked this photo because it’s got the two images juxtaposed.

all the owners of the tents listed in one place

These guys make a killing every year. The turnover in each tent would astound you. It’s a massive economic surge to the city of Munich. The locals complain about how the Volksfest seems more for tourists every year, but they cannot deny the financial benefit to not just the people who make beer, but to the entire local tourism industry and limitless other local businesses.

St Paul’s from the European Patent Office

If you read/look at more of my Oktoberfest posts, you’ll see that I’m obsessed with this church. I could take photos of it every single day. More soon…

Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental

Oktoberfest's Black Economy-Flat Rental

My colleague Michael Owens‘ piece on Oktoberfest’s Black Economy-Flat Rental got me thinking.

Since I’ve decided to blog incessantly about the world’s largest Volksfest over the next few weeks, this is a great segue into the economy of the ordeal. Especially the Black Economy, or the untaxed income, is something that you might expect at any event of this magnitude.

Hookers are bussed in for the extra ‘demand’ during the more than two weeks of bacchanalia, and as Michael writes many people take their holidays and rent out their flats for a bit of extra dosh

Endstation Floh-zirkus

Entrance to the Oktoberfest…or one of them

Here’s where we last were, but that was early morning. This is a Volksfest, or was originally intended as one, so the families and people more interested in the folk part of the fest come in the daytime. The mayhem mostly happens after dark, so I thought I’d show you a bit of that.

Once again, I’d like to show the bits and bobs of the Wies’n that might otherwise get overlooked. For example, I’m planning to interview some of the workers. They’ve got stories to tell, I assure you.

But first a bit about the food at this little event. Most people associate the Oktoberfest with drink, but the food is as integral a part of the whole ordeal as anything else. For many locals, an outing to the Wies’n isn’t complete until you’ve had a Händl and a Maß Bier (a whole chicken and a litre of beer). Last year, there were some loonies who had a pet chicken that they paraded around the grounds of the festival, and they said that this one chicken’s life had been spared. Animal rights and all, yeah? Sort of wrong place at the wrong time if you ask me, but who’s asking me?

One of the things I like is the Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick) at Fischer Vroni, but even better than that is an Ochsensemmel (ox meat cooked to where it’s falling off the bone and served on a roll with a garlic sauce). It’s something I always have at least once each year. Here’s the way to the Ochsensemmel dealer:

waiting in line at the Ochsenbraterei

Then there’s one of the oldest amusements at the Oktoberfest. It’s a carousel that’s been around forever, but I’ll find out more specifics when I’ve asked more questions. Until then, here’s a few of my favourite shots of the old curiosity:

light shining round the horse on the carousel 

And you know I like the pigs, so here’s one you can ride:

 

pig on the carousel

And right next to the carousel is one of the things many people walk by again and again but never bother exploring. Let me show you first and see if you know what it is:

Floh-zirkus! That’s a right. a flea circus!

Here’s a shot from straight on:

You know you wanna go in there, don’t you?

Here’s what it says on the plaque there on the right:

Wonder what all this means…

I’ll provide the translation after I see what you think it means. Leave a comment if you think you know what this says…actually, leave a comment regardless.

Otherwise, what would you like to see more of in my Oktoberfest posts? People? Drunkenness?

My suspicion is that you like oddities. I’ll try to find more of those.