BAVARIA + OKTOBERFEST 101
HOW TO HIKE, BIKE AND DANCE YOUR WAY TO THE WORlD'S LARGEST BEER FESTIVAL LIKE WHOA
THERE'S MORE TO THIS PLACE THAN BEER...
FAST FUN BAVARIA FACTS
- Munich (or as the locals call it “Minga”) is the capital of Bavaria, the southernmost state in Germany.
- Stores in Germany are usually closed on Sundays, even supermarkets, so plan ahead and do all your shopping on the other days.
- Public transport is great in Germany and on time 99% of the time, so don’t be late! There are two main underground trains in Munich, the S-Bahn and the U-bahn. The Hauptbahnhof is the main station in the city center.
- The German umlauts (ö, ü, ä) can otherwise be written ‘oe’, ‘ue’, ‘ae’, and the ß (Eszett) is really just a letter that makes up a double S.
- The Neuschwanstein castle was built for only one person – King Ludwig II, in which he only slept 11 nights in the castle before the government declared him insane and deposed him.
- The Neuschwanstein castle will probably look familiar to you. It’s where Walt Disney got his inspiration for Cinderella's castle!
Angela Merkel is Germany’s current Chancellor (and the first female in history to hold the position) . In 2007, she became the second woman to chair the G8 after Margaret Thatcher. You go girl!
...BUT SERIOUSLY, THEY'RE ALL ABOUT THE BEER!
FAST FUn OKTOBERFEST FACTS
- The best way to get in the Oktoberfest spirit is by raising your glass, clinking your mug and saying ‘Prost!’ When you give a toast don’t forget to look the other person in the eye- it’s bad luck if you don’t!
- Dirndl and lederhosen are traditional Bavaian outfits, and today at Oktoberfest nearly everyone is wearing them. Ladies, if you tie the bow of your apron on the left side, it means you’re single and ready to mingle. If you tie it on the right, it means your affections are already given to someone else.
- Hydrate before going to the Oktoberfest as a liter of water costs almost as much as a beer (€7.30)! You might just want to bring a bottle of water with you!
- Beer is serious business during Oktoberfest! All the beer served at the Oktoberfest tents must be from one of Munich’s six breweries—Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu (where we have our table). The beer must follow the Reinheitsgebot purity law. It was enacted back in 1516 to control beer quality standards, and stipulates rules such as the recipe can only include barley, malt, yeast and hops.
- Last year over 6.2 million people visited the Oktoberfest, and they consumed over 1.98 million gallons of beer (that’s enough to fill three Olympic swimming pools)!
- The Oktoberfest is cash only and a one-liter stein of beer costs around €10.10. Tents are allowed to charge their guests for use of the toilets, though that is not usually the case, have spare euros on you just in case.
TALK THE TALK
SOME USEFUL GERMAN PHRASES
My name is...
One, two, three, drink!
Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa!
one liter (of beer)
GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE WE GO
READy, SET, WHOA!
Our WHOA Bavaria and Oktoberfest Adventure is low on the difficulty scale but high on adventure and fun (no pun intended)! If you’re in decent shape you’ll do just fine with all the activities we have planned. We recommend doing a few hikes and bike rides beforehand to get used to vertical trekking and comfortable on a bike (in case you haven’t ridden one in a while)! It also won’t hurt to practice your “Prosts!” if you know what we mean. That said, we want you to be responsible and know your limits. The beer served at the Oktoberfest is stronger than most beer you're used to and it is served by the liter. Don’t drink too fast, and don’t drink too much.
HOW TO PACK
Pack light and smart! We'll be moving around quite a bit, and you won't want to be lugging around a huge suitcase. Late September tends to be mild in Germany, however be prepared for all types of weather. Evenings are definitely chilly (mid 50s), but during the day it can get up to mid 70s, so bring a sweater or light coat. Germany is like most western countries and casual street clothes are fine for going out and walking around town. Bring some comfortable workout gear and shoes for the days we're hiking and biking. It could rain, so pack a rain jacket and a spare set of sneakers. And last, but not least, dust off your dirndl if you have one! The majority of women wear them at the Oktoberfest. If you don’t have one, no worries, we’ll go dirndl shopping at a great spot in Garmisch (they usually cost around $100). Bring some closed toe shoes to go with it - something you'll be comfortable dancing in all day and don't mind getting a little beer spilled on!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
Don't forget to inform your bank of your international travel. Germany is on the Euro, so you can convert your money ahead of time, or withdraw money from an ATM when you arrive (usually with a small transaction fee). Check with your cell phone provider about international plans if you want to use your phone while abroad. We recommend turning off your mobile data or leaving it on airplane mode. This way you'll be able to use WiFi at the hotels, but not rack up a bill. Also, don’t forget to obtain travel insurance (we require it)! Get it here online before you go.
Wandern und Radfahren
SOME BASICS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN HIKING AND BIKING LIKE WHOA
H20 is your best friend. Always have water on you and sip it often to stay hydrated.
- Bring snacks that you can eat on the go, to help keep your energy level up. You can get great baked goods in Bavaria, or pick up some protein bars, nuts or, our favorite, gummies! (Did you know Germany is the birthplace of Haribo?!)
- Even if it feels a little chilly, don't forget to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat.
- Wear comfortable clothes and well broken in shoes (trail runners with a good grip will do). Remember cotton is rotten- wicking materials are the way to go!
- Bring a small backpack to use to carry your snacks, water and camera.
- The weather and temps can vary this time of year, so pack some light layers and a rain jacket in your backpack.
- When you’re biking always know your gears and look through turns, indicate with your hand when you are turning right or left.