But 6,45am when we'd had to be at the airport at 6am the day before really does take it out of you. And to add to the incredibly early morning, the good news was it was raining out! Sofie and I got into our dirndl's and Sofie helped me do the ribbon up on the front of my dress and also braided my hair. Joel had already forewarned us about the aprons, the side which you do your bow up means, from left then centre, then to the right you are single, a virgin or taken. I wanted to tie mine in the middle for a laugh, but at 6,45am I wasn't in a funny mood!
Sofie and I all dressed and ready to go at 7,15am- you can see how tired I am in this photo
I made a mental note to remind myself that the first morning was a long one. On the first day of Oktoberfest beer doesn't get served until midday, because there is a procession through town with the first barrel that the mayor must tap and he will announce "ozapft is!" which means we can start drinking. Also, because it is the first day, the queues for tents are horrific. Busabout manage to get the guides inside, because they know some of the wenches working in a particular tent, so we can get tables. However, I cannot begin to describe the looks on our faces at around 11,40am that morning having been sat on those benches since 8,30am... the best I can come up with is this photo of Sofie, though it was taken later in the day it really does show how tired we were that morning. We'd actually spent an hour or so with our heads on the tables trying to get some more shut-eye before the festivities began!
Sofie being shattered!
But once the beer started flowing, oh man, was the atmosphere electric. I think Jen, Bridey and I spent the first hour declaring how exciting it all was and how, despite our earlier protests it really was worth the wait!
the first beers served
part of our first round
and what it cost, yes that is 156,50€ there (it was for 14 steins)
me with my, coughs, two steins!
my new friends and i enjoying our first drinks, i'm forth on the left.
As you can imagine, it didn't take long for us to get drunk and be dancing on the benches, and joining in with the traditional "cheers" of "ein prosit" which was sang approximately every 12 minutes. Our tiredness kind of evaporated into a mix of an adrenaline rush and having a great big party with 6,000 people we didn't know! The band played german songs, and occasionally the bass line from "seven nation army". We'd been told "Hey Baby" was played a lot, and when it hadn't been played at all by about 2pm Andy, the first guy on the right (isn't he gorgeous?), decided he'd start singing it to see if anyone would join in, and the best happiest feeling crept over me when the whole tent was singing it and Andy was saying to me, "Did you hear that? I started that, I started it! That was me!"
andy in the midst of "hey baby"!
bridey, jen and sofie mid afternoon
jen and her drunken eyebrows with me
The first day wasn't a late one for us, we'd all been shattered and even with the adrenaline running through us, I don't think a single person from our group lasted until the end of the night. Our group had started to disappear from mid-afternoon. I couldn't even see any of our guides after a while, as I remember. And it wasn't long before some people were not just shattered but had a bit too much to drink, and ended up looking a bit like this:
no names mentioned, jen, hey?
I took that as a pretty good cue to go and get some shut eye ready for day two!