Monday, September 16, 2013

It may not have been Oktoberfest ...

... but the Freising Volksfest has been about the closest  I have come to the Munich Oktoberfest. To think that I took those pics just a week ago! I have been back in Lubbock since late Wednesday, but it feels as if I've been back for a month. Still, I want to chronicle that great Sunday afternoon that Sabine and I spent after returning from Lanzarote less than 12 hours prior to our walking over to the Freising fairgrounds, where the annual party runs for 10 days.
The boys and the maidens ...
... the moms and the lil'uns ...
... and the dads with the babies—all are dressed appropriately for the Volksfest
Essentially, the Volksfest is what one would call a fair here in Lubbock or a Kirmes in the area where I grew up. Like any such event, it features carnival rides, food stands, and the smell of sugar candy. But since this is Bavaria, there is also a big beer tent that for many—if not most—is the major attraction. Sabine tells me that the Munich Oktoberfest features something like a dozen of these tents, and they are bigger than this one. Also, in München, a Mass (a one-liter stein) of Festbier will set you back a whopping 10 euro, while here the same brew was only 6.30 euro, which is still $10. You bet, we polished off quite a few!
A Mass and an obadzda-filled (cream-cheese) pretzel
These women are having fun!
The tents at the Oktoberfest are bigger than this
If one could only understand what they are telling each other
The drinking and eating would be far less fun if there weren't all the amazing people-watching one can do. I am seriously considering investing in a pair of Lederhosen for my next Volksfest as it kinda sucks to stick out like tourist just because one doesn't wear the garb. Of course, when I open my mouth everybody knows that I am not an aborigine, but Sabine—having grown up much farther north—sounds like a foreigner, too.
Hendl, or roasted chickens, await delivery
Pretzels are huge at the Volksfest!
Lunch, dinner, snack, whatever
Counting the Hendl and beer coupons that work just as well as euros
Not only does the stomach get to feast...
We enjoyed watching the various groups (volunteer fire department, a police corps, music associations, etc.) ceremoniously filter into the tent after the parade. There were assigned seats for these groups, and we saw only limited cross-mingling. Thankfully, it wasn't too rowdy yet as it was just in the afternoon. Sabine tells me that in Munich things become pretty rough in the tents, with people standing on the benches and dancing on the tables. All the while the servers try to deliver as many beers, pretzels, and plates of roast in all the mayhem. I think I prefer the relatively civilized atmosphere of the Volksfest.
Music is a very important part of Bavarian festivities
Freising has a "Municipal Band"
Can you spell "oompah"?
After gorging for the better part of the afternoon we joined the youngsters who rode nutty rides called "The Burner" and other vomit-inducing contraptions. For us old folks, riding the Ferris wheel was as adventurous as it would get, and from up there we enjoyed the sights below us and the pretty view of the Domberg.
The Burner
It wouldn't be Germany if certain things weren't verboten
Golden Wheel  ...
... and its technical data—good to know it's TüV approved!
Enjoy the pictures, and maybe one of these days you get a chance to go to a volksfest or even the Oktoberfest (which runs for about two weeks starting in the last week of September and was thus out of the schedule for me).
Somebody is not afraid of heights
The former pope's stomping grounds, the Freising Dom
Next stop for me: Bend, Oregon. Stay tuned.


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