Travel to Bavaria and Southern Germany – Amateur Traveler Episode 188 Transcript

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Chris: Ok. I assumed we would get there eventually.

Jason: Yes. That is one of the oldest beer halls in Bavaria, if not in Germany. If you have an image in your mind of what German beer halls are like with the women in their traditional Bavarian dresses which are called Dirndls, carrying 6, 7 8 liters worth of beer very, very jolly with the oompah band in the background…

Janie: You’re going to get it.

Jason: You’re describing the Hofbrauhaus. It’s an experience like none other that I have ever had in Germany. There are what look like for all intense and purposes very, very large picnic tables and everyone is sitting around these very, very large picnic tables having very, very large pieces of meat and very large steins of beer. They actually called Krugs. And a Krug is a liter of beer. It’s going to cost you about eight euro and there’s an accepted method for doing your toast. So when you get your Krug of beer, it’s expected that you will toast everyone at the table with your Krug of beer. So what you do is you hold your beer and you slam it up against the other glasses of beer. Don’t worry you’re not going to break the glass. They’re made of some indestructible form of glass. And then you look the person that you’re toasting in the eye, you put your glass down and then you pick it up and you drink. The reason is that the original festival was celebrated by a very, very old king. And so the old king was not strong enough to actually hold up these glasses for a very long time. So you would splash the glasses together so that everyone’s beer mixed so that if you had poisoned the king’s beer, you were also going to drink the poison beer. Then you would put the glass down because the kings’ arm got tired and you had to give the king a break. Then you had to look everyone in the eye for good luck. There are some other stories about that which probably are not family friendly. And then you would drink. It’s very traditional, goes back to the times when they first started the beer houses and the beer festivals. So if you want the quintessential Bavarian Beer Hall Experience and you’re willing to fight all the tourist crowds, then definitely go to the Hofbrauhaus.

The other event that Munich is known for is where the most beer in the world is consumed and that’s at the Oktoberfest. And Oktoberfest is usually the second to last and last week of September and the first week of October. And it’s where all the breweries of Munich set up very, very large fest tents and they have a celebration. It’s effectively a harvest celebration. But for three weeks from noon to 10 pm of the enjoyment of beer and all the things that are pertinent to the enjoyment of beer like pretzels and carnival rides. I’ve always wondered how you could go into a beer tent, have a couple of liters of beer and then decide that carnival rides would be very fun but apparently this is something that the Germans do with a great amount of relish. So if you want to go for Oktoberfest, it is a great opportunity to meet millions and millions of new friends who will all be your best friend after about three minutes of drinking beer with them. Very, very friendly time but just be prepared for very, very large crowds. One thing that some of your younger listeners might be interested in – kids will enjoy what is called the Spielzeugmuseum, which is in the old town hall.

Chris: So Toy Museum then.

Jason: This had a very, very dark beginning. It is where Goebbels made his speech that started the Kristallnacht or the Night of the Broken Glass.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

One Response to “Travel to Bavaria and Southern Germany – Amateur Traveler Episode 188 Transcript”

Linda51

Says:

I just returned from Bavaria and visiting numerous Kringle marts. Rothenberg was by far my favorite. Maybe you could answer a question for me…..there were stalls selling rows and rows of “rusty”chocolate tools and were quite popular with the locals, do you know if this is a tradition, and the history behind it? I bought an assortment, but never got the chance to ask the seller the significance……

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