Oktoberfest: getting your weißbier on

drinking weissbier at Oktoberfest

You may have heard that you need to be sitting inside (or on the terrace of) a tent to be served beer at Oktoberfest. This is mostly true. Indeed, it is the only way you’ll be able to get your hands on a big old maß (liter) of special Oktoberfest brew. But if you don’t mind drinking weißbier (wheat beer) in small vessels (only half liter), head for one of the many outdoor stands that serve it up. You’ll need to drink your weißbier in the general vicinity of where you bought it, but these little areas are often quite pleasant places to hang out. I tend to prefer them to the hot, loud, sweaty insides of a tent, especially on a beautiful sunny day. Continue reading

Oktoberfest: breakfast of champions

French pretzels with blueberry sauce

We (along with most everyone else in Munich) are hosting a lot of house guests these days. Seems like as good a time as any to add to my breakfast-making repertoire. Plus, I like to make up recipes. Our most recent guests (the delightful Redenii) inspired this experiment with their love of German pretzels. We had a few left over one day, and I was trying to figure out what to do with them before they went stale. At the same time, I was thinking about the next day’s breakfast, which was possibly going to be french toast. You can probably figure out where this is going.  Continue reading

Oktoberfest 2011: same procedure as every year

upstairs at the Ochsenbraterei

This is our fourth Oktoberfest as locals. Since leaving my parents’ house at 18, I’ve never lived anywhere else for more than three years, so this is kind of weird for me. I’m not used to doing things for a fourth time.

But here I am, getting out the dirndl (paired with sensible shoes for dancing on wooden benches) for Oktoberfest number four. Conversations with friends all include an exchange of details about which tents we will be in on which nights. The guest room is booked for almost a month straight with various configurations of friends and family. Continue reading

The real dance moves you need for Oktoberfest

No matter what lazy travel writers want you to believe, there’s no Chicken Dance at Oktoberfest in Munich. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, stop taking their travel advice immediately, lest you start looking like an arm-flapping fool everywhere you go. Instead, spend your Oktoberfest prep time (only a week to go!) learning these dances, which are sure to come in handy in each and every tent. Continue reading

Austria: spa-ing it up in Sölden

view from bergland skyspa

Our first stop in the Ötztal was the recently-rebuilt Hotel Bergland in the mountain town of Sölden. Situated as it is in the Alps, it’s the kind of place that is full of skiers in the winter and hikers and bikers in the summer. After being welcomed with lunch in their dining room, we went on a tour of the hotel and then ended up at the top-floor spa for an afternoon of deep relaxation. Continue reading

Austria: into the Ötz Valley

flying fox at Area 47

After Innsbruck, Scott and I split up to try out two different blogger trips that were offered to the conference attendees. How can you not love a conference that comes with free travel at the end?

I went for the Relaxation in the Ötz Valley (Ötztal) trip. We’ve been to this part of Austria before, but always in winter to ski. The Alps feel like a different world in summer. Continue reading

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