After an overnight flight, we found ourselves at MUC. An uneventful pass through immigration and a quick retrieval of bags (again, at least an hour faster net-net than the return at Newark), we met up with Bill, at which point we looked like this:
I didn’t actually feel as good as I looked, but it feels good to pretend.
We’re outside the front of the airport at this point, before getting on the S-Bahn; there’s a parade there of people running in circles and celebrating the open of Oktoberfest, which was really random, but sort of fun. So we watched that for a while. It looked like this:
After that, we got on the S-Bahn. For some reason the S8 wasn’t running, so we finally got on a really cramped S-Bahn. This is as far as I could get away from Bill to try to take a picture of how cramped it was. Standing up on a cramped train that wasn’t air conditioned for about an hour sort of sucked. This wasn’t the usual condition (well, the lack of A/C was, but long rides on cramped trains weren’t that common), but it wasn’t a great way to get into the city.
We ducked into the train station after checking in at the hotel, and bought some stuff to eat. Among other things, I picked up the first of many large pretzels of the trip, and the first of many chive and cheese stuffed pretzels of the trip. The Bavarian pretzels are amazing, and I miss them constantly, ever since leaving.
The S-Bahn/DB/U-Bahn station was a weird place. Munich, in general, was a pretty weird place. Let me illustrate:
The Bavarians don’t seem particularly bothered by porn or eroticism. But there are some decent folks still:
We walked to the grounds for the actual Oktoberfest festivities and discovered that they were, to put it mildly, huge. It’s like the biggest carnival you’ve ever been to, but four times as big. And that’s the not-beer-tent half.
Quick, spot the American:
Dinner was at the Augistinerkeller, which was pretty delicious, and probably the best example of this sort of meal that we had on the trip. Beyond the necessary Masskrugs of beer, we had variouis pork knuckles, pork steaks, dumplings, duck, beef, and other meat, sausage, lard, and carbohydrate-laden things. Generally speaking, we all loved the pork knuckles. I’d never eaten then before, and doubt I’ll seek them out again, but when in Bavaria, you could live on pork knuckles, pretzels, and beer. It wouldn’t be a bad way to die. Honest.
After that, a walk back to the hotel, and the end of a pretty long first day. Yes, that’s the boobs table dance night club, just down the street from the hotel. Like I say, the Germans don’t seem shy about their eroticism.