Published: September 24th 2006September 24th 2006
The home of the legendary Oktoberfest.
The first port of call for my European holiday is wonderful Germany, and the flight from Sydney arrived smack bang in the middle of the world famous Oktoberfest. I touched down in the commercial hub of Frankfurt, and then boarded a Deutsche Bahn down to Munich to join in the celebrations. The city was absolutely heaving and many Germans opted for traditional Bavarian costumes, with the frauleins an absolute stand out in traditional low cut tops as part of their colourful dresses. The guys featured a range of colourful hats to match their suede shorts, including frothing litre glasses and beer kegs on their nogguns. The festival is great fun although some of the revellers were feeling the worse for wear by the end of the day, however a great feeling of civility and cooperation pervaded the city during the height of this legendary world festival.
The architectural highlights of Munich, the lovely reader
, are featured on and around the Marien Plaza, and the spectacular buildings provide a dramatic contrast to the previous six month trip through the Americas. Europe really is the bees knees when it comes to famous buildings, and the massive crowds reflect the world wide
fame associated with classic European architecture. It is said by many travellers that travelling through Bavaria feels like a different country, and I enjoyed the beautiful and well organised little villages that are a feature of the area. I've experienced traditional European hospitality and the Germans have made me feel welcome with their effortless grace and charm. Bavaria during Oktoberfest has been a great starting point for my European travels, but the scale of the celebrations has been a shock to the system, as parties don't get any bigger than this world famous festival.
The overnight train trip to Vienna from Munich in the throes of Oktoberfest makes for a riotous journey. I've never seen so many falling down drunk people in one place as were inside Munich's central train station at midnight. I hoped to catch some much needed shut eye on the train prior to our 6:00am arrival in the Austrian capital, but the revellers had different ideas and that plan was out of the question. The carriage turned into an all night Oktoberfest party and I was along for the ride. There was shouting, drinking, windows being opened and closed in some sort of battle of
Statue in central Vienna
One of the most gorgeous cities in the world.
wills between revellers, and one guy stumbling over a couple of pretty girls while trying to chat them up, or so I presume. Later on some guys lay in the overhead baggage racks and raced each other along the carriage by sliding up above us like a pair of giant slugs. Then they noticed a portly and bald conductor from Deutsche Bahn, and gave him a good old razz. Cries of "Schultz" were followed by "raus raus" and one guy chimed in with the comment in English "Where's Colonel Klink?" The conductor couldn't be bothered checking the tickets, and beat a hasty retreat from the carriage. The celebrations ended when a couple of likely lads engaged in a mock sumo wrestling competition. It was absolutely crazy! After a memorable train trip we arrived early morning in the Austrian capital ...
Oh Vienna ... the home country of the master Austrian composer Mozart. The lifestyle the great man aspired to during his life can only be found here in Vienna. As my brother relayed to me before leaving on my trip ... if aliens landed on earth they would assume that Vienna is the capital. This city is sublime and
features astonishing attention to detail in the magnificent buildings. The Habsburgs ruled Austria from the 13th century, but Vienna's golden age was during the reign of Emperor Franz Josef l from 1848 to 1916. The famous ring road and most of the edifices on the adjacent buildings date from this period, and the city makes for a phenomenal tourist attraction. The combination of Oktoberfest in Munich, the beautiful Bavarian countryside, and finally paying a visit to magnificent Vienna with it's attractions leads to the inevitable conclusion, basically all of you should be here now!
I want everything that is good, genuine and beautiful." W A Mozart
As I continue my travels, until next time it's signing off for now
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