Thursday, September 30, 2010


Elaborate plaits or braids can be seen all over the Wiesn - from the pretzels to women's hairstyles. This intricate weaving takes time and patience. Several of the German women's fashion magazines included different types of plaits for hair in this month's issues, however young ladies have been seen spotted around the Oktoberfest plaiting hair for a fee. It's incredible what a market there is for virtually anything at the Wiesn.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Airport Sleeper

Munich's airport is unquestionably nice and during Oktoberfest hotel prices swell, so it appears at least one reveler has taken to finding a cheap place to sleep. While this guy may not qualify as one of the 'Bierleichen' (beer corpses) it doesn't take much to see others passed out around Theresienwiese. Last year there was a count of 759.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

U-Bahn Strikes

Since September 24th the DBB (U-bahns, tram, and bus services) have been striking in Bavaria. It's been most paralyzing here in Munich where visitors have had to find other means of navigating their way to Theresienwiese. Thankfully the strike was discontinued this morning for family day at the Wiesn. It's possible the strike will continue, although the MVG is hoping that doesn't happen until after Oktoberfest is over.

The most recent updates on closures and delays can be found on the MVG site.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Farmer's Market

Oktoberfest isn't the only place in the city that can draw crowds. This weekend the Farmer's Market at Odeonsplatz drew merchants from various corners of Bavaria selling everything from goat cheese ice cream and rahmbrot to fresh produce. It's pretty incredible how much Munich enjoys outdoor celebrations.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Not everyone realizes Oktoberfest was the site of an attack way back on September 26 in 1980 and there is a memorial to the victims. At 22:19 13 people were killed and over 200 were injured. The culprit was said to be a right-wing extremist, although not all agree.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Augustiner Tower

Augustiner is occasionally called 'Munich's beer', because it's not advertised and it's not widely exported. It also seems to be a favorite amongst teens, construction workers, and those that hang out on park benches all day, so it's definitely a uniter.

The tower to the right has been brought back this year. It's 25 meters high and contains 11,000 litres of beer! It's even the original exterior from 1926, although it's been a bit modernized with refrigeration inside.

Friday, September 24, 2010


For one euro people test their coordination while using a variety of unique and strange bicycles. As with most of the carnival activities they don't pair so well with alcohol, especially when having impaired depth perception.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Resembling one of the more provincial tents is the interior of one of the Jubileums festzelts. The smaller venue mixed with an older and more local crowd demonstrates it's not just the young folks that like to get out to have a good time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Smoking

Granted the Oktoberfest hasn't even been on for a week yet, but so far the smells have been bearable. There was concern with the smoking ban that noxious smells would permeate the tents after sweating bodies and spilled beer wouldn't be masked. Some tents have attempted to alleviate this issue by installing fancy exhaust systems and even using bacteria eating microorganisms.

While technically this is the last year the smoking is permitted inside the tents it seems few people actually are taking advantage. Those that do smoke will not be served - or perhaps kissed, so once again beer reigns supreme.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Süddeutsche Horses

As one can imagine many area businesses use Oktoberfest as a money making and advertising venture. In this case the Süddeutsche Zeitung had a beautifully decorated horse pulled trolley that went through the Oktoberfest grounds and into the city.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Landsberger Str.

The public transportation hasn't been overrun even with the looming U-Bahn strike. Locals seemed to get off at Hackerbrücke S-bahn stop while tourists exited at the Hauptbahnhof. People dressed in their Oktobefest best still find walking is an easier way to avoid the crowds or perhaps they are trying to get some fresh air while they can.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Inside the Jubileumswiesn Festzelt the tradition of Goaßlschnalzen (whip cracking) is performed above the heads of people. The cracking was used to identify carriage drivers and now is purely tradition, although here it's considered a sport and occasionally can also be seen as a concert performance.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

o'zapft is

The annual Oktoberfest began today with Mayor Christian Ude tapping the first keg in the Schottenhamel tent at noon. For the 4th year in a row he has tapped the wooden keg with just two swings of the wooden mallet. Locals joke that a good mayor can get the keg tapped with just two or three swings, so the SPD member has constantly been reelected since 1993.

Friday, September 17, 2010


One day before the Oktoberfest locals and a few tourists gathered to enjoy a Wies'n preview, which was a nod to the interesting history. The vintage Oktoberfest includes animals, old time rides, costumes, foods, and best of all beer, which was brewed like in the olden days.

Incredibly it was very easy to get a seat both inside and out of the Festzelt. Entry to the Jubileumswiesn costs 4€ and included a metal commemorative pin.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Toy Cars

The Mercedes Benz on Arnulfstraße near Donnersburgerbrücke always has impressive displays that make its cars appear like matchbox cars. The color coded red certainly catches the attention of passersby on what is said to be one of the busiest bridges in Europe. The 65 meter building combined with the glass façade are particularly striking when lit up at night.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wies'n Trends

Each year the Oktoberfest has clothing trends, especially among the women's dirndls. This year the trend is said to be floral patterns with red or green aprons. That could just be one newspaper's take on things. There is some variation in the lederhosen with different lengths, colors, embroidery, and leathers, but men seem to change theirs up by adding a different shirt as opposed to purchasing an entirely new outfit.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Haidhausen S-bahn

Haidhausen has been fighting plans to build a second S-Bahn tunnel under the neighborhood. The community plans to gather tonight to discuss what, if anything, can be done to prevent the additional line. Proponents believe the tunnel has been carefully planned and will be essential to fixing issues below ground.

The transport ministry has already decided politically that construction will begin next year. Their hopes are that it will be completed in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics, which Munich is a candidate host city.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Guerilla Gardening

For four weeks the art of Naomi Lawrence can be spotted around the city in 20 different locations. The number 20 celebrates the years of the green city movement and Muc the Marder is the mascot. (It's called a marten for English speakers... something similar to a weasel). Typically Marders are known for being sneaky and chewing break lines. Thankfully this time he's simply gracing the city without causing damage.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dog Parking

Munich is a very dog friendly city, however some stores prefer for furry friends to wait outside. Many shops and grocery stores provide dog parking for the loyal and patient. On occasion the best trained wait sans leash.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One week...

In one week's time Munich will swell to maximum capacity as the city is filled with visitors coming to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Oktoberfest. Technically it's the 177th, due to being cancelled during war time and periods of inflation.

There's a bit of suspense over what details will be resurrected for the celebrations. Opening day will feature horse races, traditional costumes, and other surprises.

Way back in 1816 prizes at the game booths included silver, porcelain, and jewelry. Here's to hoping those details come back this year to replace the stuffed toys and less exciting prizes!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthplace of the Weißwurst

Munich is synonymous with beer, pretzels, and of course sausages. One of the most famous sausages is the Weißwurst or white sausage, which dates back to 1857. It's humble beginnings were at this easy to overlook restaurant in Marienplatz. Since refrigeration wasn't widely available at that time and the sausages were prepared fresh it was and is tradition to only eat these sausages before noon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


One of Munich's most beautiful plazas glistens in the sun. Traditionally considered the French Quarter of town this area is also beautiful when it serves as the setting for the Haidhausen Christmas market. Unfortunately the large crane in the background is due to the fact there was a rather large fire in the newly renovated apartments back in March. While no one was injured the estimated damage is well over 100,000€.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


As a city that certainly loves its sports we've hit transition season where cyclists venture out to enjoy their final rides and the hikers try to squeeze in one last wander through the forests and trails. On occasion these adventurous folks can be seen in the city center with their serious bikes or walking sticks. Once Winter rolls around the skis and biathlon rifles remain outside the city.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


A world championship of a different sort is being held right now in Turkey. While basketball isn't the most popular sport in Germany, the Secretariat of FIBA Europe is based right here in Munich. Unfortunately Germany was knocked out during the preliminary rounds to... Angola.

Monday, September 6, 2010


A group of young men play an early evening game of pick-up football behind the Rathaus on the Marienhof lawn. This small patch of grass provides the perfect place to stop for a quick picnic, to people watch, or in this case to get some exercise.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Despite getting off to a slow start, due to the rain, the Isarinselfest appears to have been a success. There were many family activities for those with young children, including an art contest for children's rights, a circus school, stone carving, journal making, and like all festivals in Munich, plenty of beer, fest foods, and music for the adults.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Work and play collide

A group of firefighters gather near the Isar River for a meal between trading off shifts. One of the big attractions of the first Isarinselfest was a slag line across the river. Fortunately no one fell in though a rescue boat was waiting in the midst as a safety precaution.

Friday, September 3, 2010


English speakers the world over can thank the German language for the myriad of words we've taken or adapted. A few examples include: kindergarten, kaputt, gesundheit, doppelgänger, sauerkraut, über, verboten, poltergeist, and Dachshund - the beloved Bavarian friend.

It's too bad there isn't a good translation for gemütlich (a cosy warm feeling) or schadenfreude (happiness from someone else's misfortune).

Oddly fahrenheit is also a German word, however most countries of the world now use Celsius, the stubborn Americans seem to be one of the last fighting the metric system.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Isar River

The Isar River appears calm and quiet, however this coming weekend it will swell to several hundred thousand visitors for the first annual Isarinselfest. Munich always knows how to put on a city celebration and this one alone will cost roughly 250,000€, however as the city slogan says, "Munich loves You" and it will be free to attend the various performances and events.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Escada to Coffee

As a sign of the times a large front for a new Nespresso shop shows up in the form space of Munich's own Escada, a globally recognized fashion house that was founded here in the 1970's. The high end brand filed for insolvency last year and was bought out by the Indian Mittal family, which is based in London.