Walking in to the gigantic tent, you would think that you had stepped back in time 200 years – there are wall to wall wooden benches filled with men in form-hugging lederhosen and women in dirndl. An oompah band plays atop an elaborate stage shaped in the likeness of an old wooden sailing ship, the combined stale stench of beer, sweat and roast chicken assaults your nostrils.
A single syllable word suddenly rings true above the ear shattering sound of thousands of steins crashing together in unison.
In fact you wouldn’t have stepped back in time but you would be standing in the Augustiner-Festhalle beer tent in the heart of the world’s largest festival – Oktoberfest. Even if you have never been to Munich during Oktoberfest then this one word instantly evokes images of Lederhosen’s, songs of merriment, drunken revelry and strong armed Fräuleins touting large jugs.
Oh and don’t forget the gigantic beer steins too…
Oktoberfest was first held way back in 1810 in celebration of King Ludwig the Firsts marriage to Princess Therese at the appropriately named fields Theresienwiese (“Theresa’s meadow”), although the locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wiesn”. The city of beer loving Bavarian’s enjoyed it so much that 2 years later they decided to hold it again. And again. And again.
Now celebrating its 178th year (cancelled 24 times due to various mass illnesses and wars) it attracts between 5 and 7 million tourists from around the world. Unsurprisingly it’s our drunken cousins across the ditch, Australian’s, who show up in the greatest overseas numbers. In fact, with no Australian embassy located in Munich, an official must travel down from Berlin for the entire of the festival to hand out temporary passports to the Australian’s that lose them.
It’s no surprise that the festival is so popular and the beer is so good considering that there are over 1250 breweries located withinGermany. However, only Munich brewers are allowed to sell their finest at Oktoberfest every year in their own tents (tents being a loose word for gigantic wooden structure holding up to 10,000 revellers).
These are no mere mortal beers either.
The average alcohol content being over 6 percent can quickly turn any self-styled beer connoisseur on to their ass. Luckily after the first day I had quickly learned my lesson that you cannot take them lightly…
Thankfully Oktoberfest is more than beer chugging and memory loss.
The share size of the spectacle blew my mind (and our bank accounts). The family atmosphere is great to see and all the locals bring along their children to the event to have fun on the various rides and activities from Ferris wheels to crossbow shooting.
The first day we managed to fly into Munich early on Thursday morning so grabbed the last remaining un-reserved table in the Augustiner-Festhalle tent. Unfortunately the beer was absolutely delicious and I didn’t heed my own advice before sitting down at the table and quickly consumed a few too many steins without eating enough of the roast chickens and pork knuckles.
Needless to say I went home early and missed the best parts of the evening with dancing on the tables and more raucous singing.
Friday morning led to some bleary eyes and sore heads. I am pretty sure my brain was trying to force its way out of my skull until I downed a few panadol. We tentatively made our back to the Wiesn and squeezed our way in to the Winzerer Fähndl tent where they were serving the sweet tasting Paulaner brewed beer.
The first stein went down quite gingerly but considering that this is the largest tent holding 8,450 inside and another 2,450 people outside this quickly changed. The atmospheres are so addictive that you quickly find yourself on the benches singing wildly out of tune along with the others.
Unfortunately by not having reserved tables we were booted off our one at 4pm for the locals. And when you can’t sit down at a table then they won’t serve you another beer. The upside was that I wasn’t too drunk to enjoy the rides and activities outside and won some inexpensive prizes at the shooting galleries.
Just one last thing, if you decide you want to go along and want to join in the festivities then don’t buy the cheap ass nasty costumes like we did. Seems like a good idea at the time but I felt like I was disrespecting the traditionally dressed up men in leather lederhosen’s. We never actually had anyone say it was disrespectful or bad taste, but they just didn’t look quite right.
Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin
Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.
Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.
Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.
You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.
The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually. The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.
Italy and the Amalfi Coast
Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.
The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.
Portugal – The Estoril Coast
Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing. On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.
Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One
Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)
Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!
With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.
It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.
The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!
From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.
The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!
Middle Earth Travel Review
- The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
- We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
- It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
- In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
- Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
- Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.
El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.
To be honest, I was relieved.
The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.
So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.
There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.
Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.
There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.
And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.
Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.
Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.
Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!
While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.
Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.
I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
New on Four Jandals
- Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin December 13, 2018
- Let’s Go Visit The Home of Ramses, Egypt December 13, 2018
- Is It Safe to Be Outdoors During a Lightning Storm? November 30, 2018
What Are You Looking For?
- Adventure Travel2 months ago
Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel
- North America1 month ago
Best Places to Relax in Austin, Texas
- Travel Tips3 months ago
5 top countries you should visit at least one time in your lifetime!
- Adventure Travel3 months ago
5 Cool Activities to do When Travelling in South America
- Travel Tips2 months ago
10 Reasons You Should Be Doing Your Yoga Teacher Training In India
- Adventure Travel3 months ago
6 of The Most Important Travel Trends for 2019
- Travel Tips2 months ago
Think You’re Prepared for Your Travelling Adventure? Read this First
- Travel Tips1 month ago
Why you Should book Zimbabwe as your Next African Safari Holiday