Sunday, September 17, 2006

Things to do before leaving Munich - Oktoberfest parade

Despite having lived in Munich for 13 years, there are a few things that I have never done while living here. Off the top of my head are the following.

  • Gone to the top of Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany. Only an hour away from Munich.
  • Been to the Tierpark, aka the Munich zoo.
  • Been to Villa Stuck, a museum dedicated to turn of the 20th century art.
  • Been dancing at P1, the nightclub in Munich. At least it used to be.
  • Seen the Sunday traditional costume parade from Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest has two parades. One is on the opening Saturday, which is the brewery and tent owners' parade. The other is the following day, on Sunday, which features different traditonal costume (Tracht) groups from around Bavaria and actually, around the world. I heard that Japanese group all dressed in kimonos took part one year. So this point is the one that we will solve today. We're off to brunch and hopefully a good view of the parade. Pictures hopefully to follow.

So we went down for brunch, which was a bit of a screw-up on the reservation. I wanted a table on the first floor, but because of a private event, we ended up on the terrace outside. It probably was better for absorbing the atmosphere, but I was quite ticked off at first, since I had asked specifically for a seat upstairs. Oh well. The service was also pretty atrocious, but the food was excellent, so 50/50 I guess.

We enjoyed the parade, it was a lot of fun to watch and hear. The brewery beer wagons went by, as they do on the Saturday, but also a lot more traditional costume clubs and marching bands. I'm sure there was one from the United States and also one from somewhere in Eastern Europe, Romania or somewhere, as it was very similar to the Ukranian style I know.

One thing I realised however, is how much I do already have of Bavarian culture. I knew most of the songs the bands were playing, I recognised some of the different styles of Tracht and where they were from, I knew what was up with all the banners they were carrying. It's sort of good to know that I haven't led only and expat lifestyle here in Munich, that to a good extent, I have intergrated.

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