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Dachau and Oktoberfest

Well after our first night at Oktoberfest we woke to grey skies and cool conditions. After sleeping most of the morning away Lisa and I decided to spend the afternoon shopping. Little did we realise that all of Munich’s population was doing the same. What could have been a pleasant afternoon dabbling in some retail therapy turned into a survival of the fittest. I could not believe how many people were in the city and after a couple hours we abandoned our expedition and went and had our hair done.

Our return to the Hofbrauhaus on the Saturday night came with higher expectations and goals. We all wanted to meet new people (preferably from the opposite sex), drink more beer than the night before and party harder. We found an ideal location to settle our weary bones after our shopping spree and ordered the first round. Some Germans joined us who had made the pilgrimage from a place 600km north of Munich and were keen on having an all-nighter. We also met some Americans who were posing as some Swedes. Well the one that wore the Swedish shirt was anyway. And of course plenty of Australians and Italians.

The night was a great success except for my drinking abilities. I just don’t like beer and two litres was all that I could put away throughout the evening. Lisa and Kimmo both did themselves proud with four steins each. I think Lisa continued her drinking spree afterwards, as well as going on the crazy rides in side show alley. An outstanding result.

After party at Hofbrauhaus, I went to Munich’s night club area. It was once an abandoned industrial area that they had been turned into different bars, clubs and food outlets. It was amazing. I ended up at a bar called Americanos where I danced until the wee hours of the morning with my new German friends. Alas by 5am it was time to call it a night. The Germans were still keen on putting in an all-nighter but my feet were informing my brain that I couldn’t continue and I made my way home.

Sunday lunchtime came way too fast for my liking and I tumbled out of bed in a semi-conscious state to see Lisa looking just “peachy” after her big night and Kimmo looking fresh as a button because he was the only one of us who had gone to bed before midnight. The weather was atrocious. Rain, wind and icy temperatures meant that we were going to have to rug up for our outing to Dachau Concentration Camp.

Dachau was the first concentration camp in Germany. It was also one of a handful of concentration camps that remained operating throughout World War II. Situated approximately 20 minutes from the city centre it was a reminder of a time of horror and degradation. The museum was an amazing display of pictures, propaganda, factual statistics, observations, artifacts, reconstructions and insights into what happened at Dachau. It was a poignant reminder that we should never forget and never allow these things to happen again.

After our sobering experience at Dachau we got ready for the final night at Oktoberfest . By this stage I was a little over the whole “Oktoberfest Experience” as well as many Germans. We easily made our way into the Hofbrauhaus and found places to sit. The majority of people assembled were tourists and it didn’t seem to have the atmosphere of the Friday and Saturday nights. Tables were actually empty and most of the guys seemed hell bent on destruction and stupidity. I lasted three hours and then left to buy some t-shirts and other souvenirs to remind me of my stay. I had, had enough.

I woke up fresh on Monday to make my way home. First I helped Lisa clean up Kimmo’s flat as a way of saying thank you and also to assemble all of our belongings that managed to be situated around the place. Its amazing to see how three people can trash an apartment over three days. Especially when all we were doing was drinking and sleeping there. After making the place spic and span, Lisa and I caught a cab to the train station. We had some lunch together and then I made my way to my train and the eight our journey home.

It was a great trip home and the time really flew. The scenery of the Alps and various mountain villages was superb and kept me busy when I wasn’t reading or writing. By 10pm I was back at The Commenda to greet everyone and inform them of my trip. What a fantastic couple of days.


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