My fourth Oktoberfest… from what I can remember. And all of the photos from inside the beer tents look very similar to those of every other time. I’m sure most of you know the general idea, thousands of people crammed into big beer tents, drinking 1L beers, dancing on bench seats singing along with the live music. So I’m just going to mention what was specific to this years festival. This year was the 200th anniversary of the festival! So that means even more people than usual want to attend. The busiest days are of course the first weekend, which is when we were there. So to ensure that we would be able to get into a tent, we got up at 5.30, left home by 6.00, got to the festival by 6.30, to join the queue which got massive, rowdy and pushy as time went on, to be let into the tent running to claim a table at 9.00, to wait for the keg to be tapped at 12.00 and then still have to wait another hour before finally getting our first beer. But after that, all the stress and impatience disappeared and the good times were on. Big Jimmy had worked up a big thirst and necked his first litre in about 5 minutes.

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Ok, I didn’t really run away. We had agreed previously that Dasha would have some time with her girl friends road tripping around Latvia, leaving me with a couple of weeks to spare. So many options. Was keen to go to Egypt and Israel to hang out with Unca Funka, but it was too expensive to get there and back. The black sea beaches of the Ukraine sounded enticing, but needing an invitation from a local and the embassy in Riga closed for a week made it very easy to put it in the too hard basket. So, why not fly to Germany (for the 7th time) to hang out with my mate Zhenya (Eugene), a couch surfer that stayed with us and Pete in Melbourne for a few months between us. He lives in the far North of Germany, Husum, about 150km North of Hamburg. He would be working during the day giving me plenty of time to relax by both the North Sea and Baltic Sea for 12 days or so… right? Wrong. This turned out to be, as most ‘holidays’ do, a flat out adventure from one day to the next.

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