Oktoberfest – Germany’s annual beer festival – has a place on most bucket lists, and when you finally get the chance to dress up in your best leather lederhosen or busty drindl and swig your first ice-cold frothy-topped stein as the festival swirls around you, you soon realise it was on your list for many good reasons.
I embarked on the action-packed three-day Ultimate Oktoberfest excursion with Stoke Travel, who promise ‘party travel for the open minded international.’ Open minded, indeed; I soon discovered it’s impossible to spend three days sleeping in a tent at Oktoberfest without committing sins that no priest could absolve:
Oktoberfest without beer is like Romeo without Juliet, Chas without Dave, and Brad without Angelina. Oh, wait.
If you’ve been drinking all day and don’t want to stop when the beer halls close, Stoke Travel has your back with their infamous 10 euro a day all-you-can-drink beer and sangria once you get back to camp, and when they say all you can drink they really mean it. So whether you’re in the grand beer halls themselves, partying on until the morning comes, or simply off to get breakfast, you are never far from that sweet nectar of the gods.
How would you like extra pork with your pork and pork crackling roll? Oktoberfest is not particularly Kosher, and whether you’re tucking into one of the sumptuous pork knuckles with dumplings and gravy or just meandering down the festival avenues tucking into a half metre Bratwurst, you’ll feel justified in ordering such piggy deliciousness. After all, half the enjoyment is just attempting to order the thing: “Kann ich habe eine knusprig gebratene schweinshaxe?” Good luck!
As you wake up to the alcohol-perfumed interior of your tent, the usual ‘questionable life decisions’ will pop into your head: “Why did I think sangria beer pong was a good idea?” “Why was I persuaded to drink from my own shoe by the Stoke Travel bartender?”
Then you remember it’s 9.30am; time for breakfast and a morning beer. You’ve earned it.
Why more Victoria Secret models aren’t wearing drindls is completely beyond me. Traditional folk clothing might not always be the sexiest, but after seeing how well the drindl can be pulled off (not to mention the mighty lederhosen!) I’m beginning to think it might be a good time to dust off my trusty Jacobean ruff and codpiece.
Technically this one is for your friends. After all, who doesn’t like to inspire a little envy once in a while?
“Hey mate, you fancy going for a kickaround? Er, what’s that noise?”
“I’m at Oktoberfest!”
“Yup! Anyway, I’ve gotta go, someone just downed two steins on the table and we’re doing the Icelandic football clap to applaud this absolute disregard for his liver!”
There you are, sitting on a table pouring liquid gold down your neck whilst a cacophony of cheering fills your ears. A thousand faces or more are turned in your direction; this is your moment in the limelight, and as you hold the empty tankard aloft, bellowing a war cry, the crowd goes wild. People throw roses; they beg you to sign anything they can get their hands on; some swoon and cry with ecstatic joy at being so close to such an adonis…
Ok, I may have exaggerated slightly, and no, I did not do this personally, but for those brave enough to try I think we can allow them to boast a little, because if you get it wrong you will probably receive a large piece of pretzel to the face.
If only you had just a little more time, one extra day perhaps? This is the only point during Oktoberfest you will feel any anger: the day you have to leave. Sometimes things come to an end and you’re left feeling relieved – George W. Bush’s presidency, for example – and other times you’re left wishing everything could just continue for a little bit longer.
Oktoberfest certainly has this effect, but 3 days is the perfect length of time to enjoy this great German festival in all its food filled and beer soaked splendour. Besides, haven’t you got to pack for Morocco? Suddenly that Saturday night decision to book yourself onto Stoke’s Morocco surf camp is now feeling positively Darwinian in origin. But if the sins of Oktoberfest are anything to go by, we might need to re-write the 10 commandments for that one.