Archive for September, 2007

Rainy Oktoberfest

Friday, September 28th, 2007

It has been pouring rain over Munich for two straight days in a row now. The huge beer gardens outside the Oktoberfest tents are empty, where otherwise they would be packed with people having a good time. And it is not just raining, no, temperatures have dropped to 7 °C (45 °F), so nobody wants to do anything outside, be it watching the people or taking a nap on the grass below the Bavaria monument.

But inside the tents the action is as hot as always. You hardly notice the weather. But it gets a bit cramped as everyone is trying to get a table early in the afternoon. Expect problems even at 3:30pm if you have not got a reservation. In this case you can only watch out for the areas without reservations (“Reservierungsfreier Bereich”) where you can get a space, at least in theory. Or you ask politely one of the waitresses whether they are aware of some space for your group.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots from this week (including those taken on the first weekend). Enjoy!

Oktoberfest in rain
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Oktoberfest auf der Theresienwiese im Regen
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Frisbee Oktoberfest München
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Oktoberfest Wellenflug at Night
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Oktoberfest in the evening
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Wies’n Hit 2007

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007


Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Those who are regular visitors to the Oktoberfest know about the tradition of finding the Wies’n Hit each year, the most popular new addition to the Oktoberfest songbook.

This year, I’d put my money on Olaf Henning’s “Lassosong” – a fairy tale remembering the innocent days of childhood (“Come get the lasso, we’re going to play cowboy and indian, we’re riding like a storm, without rest or destination. Once you’ve caught me, I will surrender, be put to the totem pole…”).

This song has all the characteristics of a Wies’n Hit – powerful rhythm, easy to remember text in German (not too bright), and a nice little dance you can perform even when dancing drunk on benches. Yep, that’s the Wies’n Hit 2007. :-)

O’Zapft is…

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

And now the 174th Oktoberfest is open. The Lord Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, officially opened it perfectly on time at noon today with three hits on the first beer barrel of the fest. Well done!

Did we miss the fest? Sure we did. Now Munich will celebrate the arrival of autumn for 16 days full of fun and beer, chicks and chicken, ox and bratwurst. In case you could not be there, here are some photo impressions from the first day. Enjoy!


Welcome to Oktoberfest – on a warm and sunny Saturday
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

 


Estimated 500,000 people came to the first day of Oktoberfest
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

 


Five lads from Scotland meet three girls from Munich
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


The Augustiner Bräu tent – already closed at 2 pm
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Beer coach in front of the Hippodrom tent
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


The Bavaria statue overlooking the Theresienwiese
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Hundreds of people rest under the Bavaria statue
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Guests to the Hofbräu tent enjoy a bit of fresh air at the windows
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Oktoberfest at it’s perfection: They don’t know each other, yet they pose for a photograph in front of a beer coach!
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Fischer-Vroni tent – closed at 2:30 pm
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


One of the Löwenbräu coach drivers poses for the photographer
Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Silly Oktoberfest hats are still popular in 2007
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Gruss vom Oktoberfest
Greetings from Oktoberfest
Mark Zanzig/zettpress

Oktoberfest – 24 hours to go!

Friday, September 21st, 2007

As I write this, it is just about 24 hours until Munich’s Lord Mayor, Christian Ude, will yell “O’Zapft is” again after having opened the first barrel of beer – a tradition that officially opens the Munich Oktoberfest. So I went to the fest this morning to see how far they actually are with the preparations. Now, most of the tents are almost ready, but the Theresienwiese is still vibrating with energy, as everybody is cleaning up and doing final adjustments. The tents look so clean and smell so new and fresh that you can hardly believe what is going to happen over the next 16 days, when people, smoke, beer, and food make a significant change. This, for example, is the Löwenbräu tent…


Mark Zanzig/zettpress

…complete with a lonesome hammer, some nails, some photographs (huh?) and brand new benches and tables. Over in the next tent, a lady puts on finishing touches to the main entrance sign, while a few meters down the street a shop owner is wondering which of the Lebkuchen souvenir hearts to put next into the shop, and where.


Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Mark Zanzig/zettpress


Mark Zanzig/zettpress

You also see the first people coming in a Tracht (albeit not many), like this gentleman who happily swings his briefcase. Starting tomorrow, it will become quite common to see people wearing the traditional clothes everywhere in the city. Of course, the majority of people will wear it on the festgrounds. If you are wondering what to wear for Oktoberfest, look here.

The weather forecast for the next few days is very good: Dry and sunny, with temperatures going up to 23 °C on Monday. Starting on Tuesday, the forecast predicts temperatures to drop to 10 to 13 °C, with occasional rain showers. But I suggest we cross that bridge when we come to it. :-) This morning the Bavaria statue looked like this, and I like to take this as a good sign – blue sky, sunshine, 20 °C. Perfect for Oktoberfest.


Mark Zanzig/zettpress

So all of you who are traveling to Munich or considering it, I wish you a good deal of beer and fun during Oktoberfest. Maybe our ways will cross on the Theresienwiese? I am one of the few guys carrying two Canon bodies and a backpack full of lenses. :-)

Prosit!