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Wild Oktoberfest and Serene Geneva

October 6, 2016

Oktoberfest was one crazy experience! This past weekend I spent drinking steins of delicious beers, and munching on salty, giant pretzels and half-meter long bratwurst. Oktoberfest is a yearly month-long event (in September believe it or not,) in Munich, Germany. The event is a festival with rides, hundreds of food options, and most importantly, fourteen beer tents. 


These tents each have a unique characteristic that draws tourists in. I only made it into two of them, because the lines can get extremely long. We spent most of our time in Haufbrau Haus, which is a really common tent that tourists visit. Outside there is a beer garden, and inside there are about a hundred tables that overflow with people. 


Every so often, someone will stand up on a table and "chug" their one liter stein. The crowd will usually explode in uproar. Sometimes though, if they feel that the person is not "chugging" fast enough or if they outright fail, they will get pelted with pretzel pieces and booing. Needless to say I didn't give it a try, but I loved cheering everyone on! 


Another fun thing about Oktoberfest is the attire. Traditional attire for men is Lederhosen. Which is a type of overalls/suspenders made out of leather. Men typically wear a plaid shirt underneath and often a decorative fedora. The prices have a wide range, but you can get the outfit for as low as 80 Euros close to the festival.


Woman typically wear a dress called a Dirndl. A Dirndl has a bodice under shirt, a dress with a full skirt and comes with an apron. Depending on how you tie your apron indicates relationship status. Dirndls have a really wide price range, but my friends and I only payed 30 Euros each. 














After a couple of days of enjoying Oktoberfest and exploring the city, we hopped on a plane to spend a day in Geneva, Switzerland. 


Geneva was probably one of my favorite places I have ever been. We were there on a Sunday, and there is an ordinance in the city that says all stores are closed on Sundays. The city was absolutely dead because of this, with almost no one out and about. The temperature was crisp and reminded me of fall in New England, which was a nice break from Madrid's unrelenting heat. Geneva is also right along Lake Geneva, which was great to walk around. On Lake Geneva is the beautiful Jet d'Eau, or water fountain that sits right in front of the scenic Alps.


With such a short time to enjoy the city, we were lucky to stumble across some girls that had been there all weekend who told us about a free walking tour that we could do. I'm so happy we took advantage of it, because it was so informative! The tour was around two hours, and we got to learn a lot about the city and its history. We ended up scooting away from the tour just before it ended to fill our grumbling tummies. Geneva's one downfall in my eyes was how expensive it was. For just a salad, I had to pay 17.90 Francs, which has almost a one-to-one exchange rate with dollars. Needless of its cost, it was still delicious. 


After wandering for a little more after lunch, we made our way back to the tram to get back to the airport and head home to Madrid. 











Talk about an eventful weekend, two great countries in just four days! Definitely check out my video of Oktoberfest below! (My GoPro died after five minutes in Geneva ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )




Abigail Marie




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