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Okay people. It's that time of the year when we get to talk about Oktoberfest. The barrels will be tapped and the pretzels baked starting September 22. Just as last year, we're going to lay some wisdom on ya as seasoned female revelers at Munich's massive party. Heed these, our six things for female travelers to know about Oktoberfest:
1. Beer is not the only authentic drink! In fact, we'd argue there are three other beverages it's "authentic" to drink at Oktoberfest, all of which work out well for those who don't particularly enjoy chugging beer: champagne, schnapps and Radler. Look beyond the ginormous beer tents to the Weinzelt tent, a smaller tent that specializes in Nymphenburger Sektsekt being German champagne. Even smaller and dotted around the Theresienwiese are schnapps booths, where a few Euro goes a long way (towards getting drunkers).
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Prost! There's one more month until the start of the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Running from September 22 - October 7, the celebration of beer and the autumn harvest returns with its 14 Big Tents, an amusement park, and all the sausages under heat lamps you can handle.
Naturally the focus will again be beer, but we're here to say that, yes, we've been to Oktoberfest before and, yes, there's more than just heading for the hops. If you haven't made your beer tent table reservations yet, good luck (they're usually booked up as early as February), but drinking other beverages can still yield you a seat.
Here's three other liquids to guzzle during Oktoberfest 2012:
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Kim Kardashian represents womankind at last year's Oktoberfest. Vom.
Okay people. Oktoberfest is officially in full swing. The brew has been tapped and the pretzels baked and the hotels...well, filled. The luxury hotel collection Rocco Forte Hotels dropped some advice into our inbox regarding tips for ladies visiting Oktoberfest, and as seasoned female revelers at Munich's massive party, we've got some priceless tidbits of our own to add:
· Drink: The only authentic drink at the Oktoberfest, even for women, is beer. But caution is advisedthe typical Munich festival beer, specially brewed for Oktoberfest has a higher alcohol percentage than average. When drinking with others it is polite to clink your glasses, while looking the person in the eyes, and say “Prost”.
Jaunted Says: Whoanot true about beer being the only authentic drink! In fact, we'd argue there are two other beverages it's "authentic" to drink at Oktoberfest, both of which work out well for those who don't particularly enjoy chugging beer: champagne and schnapps. Look beyond the ginormous beer tents to the Weinzelt tent, a smaller tent that specializes in Nymphenburger Sektsekt being German champagne. Even smaller and dotted around the Theresienwiese are schnapps booths, where a few Euro goes a long way (towards getting drunkers).
If there's a world event that guarantees women will be wearing bust-enhancing, colorful dresses, you can bet that the current pop culture cuties will make an appearance for a prime photo-op. This is what's happening now with Germany's Oktoberfest. A couple weeks ago, the 200th Oktoberfest opened in Munich, and Kim Kardashian made sure to stop by with her mom for custom dirndl dresses and braided pigtails. Now it's Katy Perry's turn to be dirndl-ed up, but she's taken it beyond the fairgrounds and onto television.
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Ein Prosit...Ein Prosit...Der Gemütlichkeit! If you've ever been to the famous annual beer-and-pretzel smorgasbord that is Munich's Oktoberfest, then you should be able to sing that with a nice sloppy slur. It's one of the official toast songs of the two-week-long festival, and more revelers than ever are in town for this, its 200th Anniversary.
One of the more unexpected guests is Kim Kardashian, who dropped by the beer tents with her mom, Kris. The duo are trotting all over Europe on a press tour for their reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and they've managed to do typically tourist things at each major stop. They went sightseeing in London, to the Louvre in Paris, shopping in Milan and now they've got to do the Oktoberfest thing in Munich, of course.
Munich is definitely not the only place in Germany that knows how to celebrate with beer, and this weekend's Guardian UK had a great alternative Oktoberfest tip: head to Straubing, home to the second largest beer festival in Germany and one that might be more authentic than the one we know and love.
Located not too far down the Danube from tourist destination Regensburg, Straubing gets in early by celebrating its love of beer (and all things cultural) in Augustthis year it's August 7 to 17. The official name of the fest is the Gäubodenvolksfest and it gets about 1.2 million visitors a year, who pay a lot less for the beer here than down the road in Munich a month or so later. Seven beer tents offer only locally-brewed beers and we recommend getting there for the opening day of the festival for the "Bierprobe"the first tapping and trying of the beer. Prost!
· Here for the Beer [Guardian]
· Oktoberfest Post-Mortem: The Five Things You Need to Know for 2009 [Jaunted]
· Germany Travel Guide [Jaunted]
Oktoberfest 2008 has come and gone--in Germany at least--but the memories will live on forever. Thankfully, the vomit is easy enough to wash away.
This is a video from inside the Hofbrau tent at the storied Oktoberfest fair grounds in Munich. You can watch "Beer Fest" as many times as you like but nothing, we repeat, nothing can prepare you for the real Oktoberfest.
So to make it easier, we've put together this handy list of rules and tips to remember for Oktoberfest 2009.
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The 2008 Oktoberfest in Munich finished up over the weekend, and one English man was extremely glad to be there. We're thinking he needs a few travel tips because to get to Munich from Portsmouth, England, he decided to catch a taxi.
To be fair, he did try to catch a plane first but missed his flight. Not wanting to miss the beer (and his buddy's buck's night), he persuaded a local cab driver to get him all the way to Munich for a fare of £1,700 (almost $3,000). And he paid in cash.
We're not recommending using this method of travel across Europe, but perhaps some of the European low-cost airlines could consider it as a back-up plan when their flights have some of those all-too-regular delays?
· No Taxi Ride Too Long to Keep Man From Friends, Beer [Deutsche Welle]
· Beer Travel: Bavarian Premier Says Drinking Heaps is OK [Jaunted]
· Oktoberfest coverage [Jaunted]
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With the beer kegs ready to pour at Munich's Oktoberfest on Saturday, the big news in Bavaria is that the premier, Guenther Beckstein, says you can drink two liters of beer (well over 4 pints) and still drive back to your hotel or home.
With a local election looming mid-Oktoberfest, the media grabbed Beckstein's comment that you could drink two one-liter glasses of beer in two hours without a problem--but police, doctors and other politicians are politely disagreeing.
The premier has since gone back on his statement--saying it was a "rather unsuccessful contribution"--but it wouldn't have mattered much to budget travelers: Beer has become so much more expensive this year that two liters might be financially out of the question, even if it apparently won't make us too drunk to drive.
· Two Litres of Beer OK for Drivers [news.com.au]
· Breaking Economic News: Oktoberfest Devastation in Munich [Jaunted]
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Due to higher production costs, apparently, the average price of a stein of brew will set you back 8.13 (US$11.50), which is pretty expensive compared to many parts of the world.
But it's Oktoberfest, so you're paying for the atmosphere and those large-biceped women carrying a hundred steins as well. Scrape together your 8.13 and get to Munich quick--remember that once October comes around, Oktoberfest is all but over.
Nothing says fall like ridiculous harvest festivals in small-town America. This week, we'll be mapping the best.
We've done our share of Oktoberfest coverage, from the original in Munich to the far-from-original in LA. But for the most authentic beer-and-brats celebration this side of the Rhine, you've gotta get to Hermann, Missouri. This little hamlet is more German than sauerkraut, and they show it off every weekend in October.
It's Oktoberfest season, the time of year when anyone with an ounce of German blood stands up for his or her love of consuming large quantities of beer. Down in Texas, in a town called New Braunfels, residents celebrate their love for another delicacy of the Fatherland: the sausage.
They call it "Wurstfest: The 10-day salute to sausage," and it always begins on the Friday before the first Monday in November. This year, it's Nov. 2. For the last 46 years, the town has transformed a fairgrounds-sized park into a mini-Deutschland. More than 200,000 are expected to attend.
The event kicks off with the traditional "biting of the sausage," and though it focuses on seasoned meat stuffed into intestines, beer still manages to make a cameo says--and we're not making this up--the festival's Wurst Relations Director:
The biting of the sausage is like Oktoberfest's tapping of the keg. We have beer and we're not ashamed of it, but by the same token we're not a beer fest.