Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #5 – The Music

5 - Music5) The Music

We can all admit it – we LOVE cover bands. There is something about hearing an old rock and roll song, or a unique version of some 80s new wave hit that ignites a wave of nostalgia in our souls. Along with the clothing, Oktoberfest’s music is among the things that are most important to the festival’s image. What would Oktoberfest be without hulking brass bands playing ompah music to the masses as they saunter round the site and take in the amazing atmosphere? The bands play all day, every day – and their set list is compiled of more songs you will know than you won’t. There is a fun blend of German and English classics, and quite frankly, the crowd’s reactions to their favorite German anthems might be most entertaining part! The energy is absolutely contagious, and since everyone is singing along, you can sing as loud as you want without being embarrassed.

Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #6 – The Funfair

6) The Funfair

IMG_0852Rollercoasters and dodgems may not be everyone’s idea of post-session fun and they probably aren’t compatible with stomachs filled with bratwurst, but our German friends seem to have a slightly different view of life and have laid on one of Europe’s largest funfairs for your pleasure. The Oktoberfest funfair is a thrilling and unmissable staple of the festival that will surely capture any and all visitors at one point or another.

We recommend a ride in the calm Ferris Wheel that takes you high about the fairgrounds. Whether it’s day or night, you get a unique view of the festival below, as the neon lights flash and the food stands cook up a storm.

Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #7 – Dancing In the Tents

IMG_0761There really isn’t any method to it, but you have to do it at some point. Why? Because everyone else is. Imagine every song being like the 7th inning stretch at a baseball game. You rise on the benches, you toast, and you sing. It’s always a sight to see when you look out into a crowd of thousands of people on their feet bouncing to the music. You can’t even see the tables beneath them!

Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #8 – The City of Munich

Munich itself is also a great little city to explore with an amazing food markets, pubs, and shopping. There are also incredible museums, the beautiful Marienplatz, and historical attractions, including site of the 1972 Summer Olympics and the Dachau Concentration Camp, located just outside the city. Munich is also home to FC Bayern Munich, who are annually among the best professional soccer teams in the world. Everything is extremely accessible by public transportation, no matter where you want to go.

Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #9 – The Neuschwanstein Castle

9) Neuschwanstein Castle

Located in Germany near Hohenschwangau and Füssen in southwest Bavaria, the majestic Neuschwanstein castle was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner, the king’s inspiring muse. Although photography of the interior is not permitted, it is the most photographed building in Germany and is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s worth the full day excursion to view this incredible attraction.

Top 10 Things About Oktoberfest – #10 – The English Gardens

10) Englischer Garden (The English Gardens)

In the center of Munich you’ll find Englischer Garten. Dwarfing New York City’s Central Park, this massive public park has earned a reputation as one of the largest urban public parks across the globe. Inside the park, you’ll find a Japanese teahouse and garden that was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, as well as the Schönfeldwiese – a meadow in which nude sunbathing is allowed. If that doesn’t take you by surprise, the surfers will. The stream that runs through the park has served as a prime – although unexpected – place for expert surfers to test their skills on the artificially-pumped waters. This is also home to one of the largest beer gardens in the world.

Oktoberfest Update!

Another beautiful few days here in Munich, and the weather has been picture perfect for all of our activities.

One day was filled with a bike tour throughout the city, taking in all the sights with our friends at Mike’s Bikes, combined with a full history lesson to boot. Making stops at such landmarks as the Theatine Church, and the English Gardens, where we

stopped to enjoy yet another beer. After a quick clean up, our gang descended upon the Schottenhamel for an excursion into the world famous beer tent. Another wild evening ensued as the band played a wonderfulcollection of new and old songs, with a surprising allotment of American songs that the crowd belted out at the top of their lungs. Our tables were in the private gallery overlooking the band, and after hours of drinking and dancing on the tables, we were once again the last ones to leave as the lights were turned out on us. Our guests weren’t ready to call in a night quite yet, and we found a great bar and band at a pub by the hotels. 

Able to recover from a long night, a handful of the Ludus crew gathered early in the morning to make the trip to the incredible Neuschwanstein Castle, located about 90 miles from Munich. Built by King Ludwig during the 19th century, this masterpiece in the Alps was the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. The trip was amazing, including a beautiful saunter up a series of waterfalls as we made our way up to Mary’s Bridge. When you come with us to Oktoberfest next year, do not miss this part of your trip!

 

Guten Tag from Oktoberfest!

Greetings from boisterous Munich, Germany – the host city of arguably the world’s biggest party. Over the course of three weeks, some 7.5 million visitors from all corners of the globe will descend upon the Bavarian region, and you can count Ludus Tours and our guests among those experiencing the debauchery.

Our team has been on site in Munich for nearly two weeks, and after 5 consecutive days of cold showers, have been treated to absolutely perfect weather.

Our first group has been a lovely bunch of all ages, defeating the jet lag to take in all of the festival.

We kicked off the weekend with dinner at the original Pauluner restaurant, where we downed authentic German cuisine and fresh from the tap bier.

After taking in the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade parade on Saturday morning, the Oktoberfest was officially kicked off with as the Mayor of Munich tapped the first keg to a much delighted crowd.

A big night ensued after a hearty meal at Poshner’s one of our favorite places to eat in town. Our clients, who grace us from places such as Pittsburgh, El Paso, and Cape Town, were the life of the party. Many toasts and sing-a-longs later, we closed the bar down – literally having the lights turned out on us!

A great start to a great event here in Deutschland.


LAST MINUTE DEALS!

Join us to the Oktoberfest in Munich and enjoy a hotel stay in a beautiful 4 star hotel right next to the Oktoberfest grounds, a little over half a mile walking distance.

We will take care of everything around your trip, from the minute you land until you leave — we provide airport transfers, we take you out to a special Bavarian dinner, and most important: we take you to the famous beer tents!

Join us now, we are selling out quick and we want you to join us!

You can choose between the dates 9/21-9/24 or 9/28-10/1

Contact DANIELLE@LUDUSSPORTS.COM for more information.

 

The Ten Best Railway Stations in Europe

Denmark: Copenhagen Central Station
Located in the heart of the Danish capital, this third incarnation of the city’s central station was five years in the making and opened in 1911 to royal acclaim – King Christian X invited around 800 VIP guests while thousands of locals lined the streets to see the spectacle. The building was designed in national Romantic style by architect Henrich Wenck. Indeed, romance has blossomed in this railway station for generations, with the grand clock inside the main entrance a favored meeting spot for first dates. Why not hop off your train and take a more adventurous ride next door – the station neighbors the city’s famous Tivoli Gardens and amusement park.

Belgium: Antwerp Central Station
Listed by US magazine Newsweek at the world’s fourth greatest train station, the building, with its vast iron and glass train-shed, was completed in 1905. A ten-year renovation project to transform the station from terminus to a high-speed through station finished in 2007. The building achieved international celebrity – or possibly notoriety – in 2009 as the backdrop to a staged flash mob event. Around 200 dancers descended on the station to publicize a new Belgian TV talent show. The subsequent video went viral, showcasing the country’s musical talent and finest example of railway architecture.

Belgium: Liège -Guillemins TGV Station
It may have taken 13 years to finish, but when Belgium’s third city overhauled its railway station it did so in style, employing the talents of renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. And he managed to imprint his individual style without disruption to the 36,000 daily passengers that travel through the station. Opened in 2009, the steel, glass and white concrete construction combines nine tracks and five platforms with exhibition space and its signature arch, standing 32 meters high and 160 meters long. With costs to the tune of 312 million euro, the sleek, futuristic hub offers visitors a memorable welcome and now connects Liège to Brussels, Paris, Aachen, Cologne and Frankfurt.

Croatia: Zagreb Central Station
This grandeur of the building is a throwback to the days when Zagreb was a stop on the Orient Express. The largest station in Croatia, spanning a colossal 186.5 meters long, it is situated on King Tomislav Square in the midst of the city. Inaugurated in 1892, the station’s construction was overseen by the rather efficient Hungarian architect Ferenc Pfaff who finished the neoclassical-style building in just two years. Zagreb offers direct services to major European cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Sarajevo and Belgrade. Spot the high-speed tilting trains at this station, which make domestic travel services convenient and fast.

Spain: Atocha train station, Madrid
A maze of palm trees, exotic plant species and even a turtle pond; it’s not what you would normally expect before you board your train. This was the vision of architect Rafael Moneo who remodeled the station in the late 1980s from the inaugural 1889 building. The major transport hub in the Spanish capital now lies behind a huge iron and glass panel while the original building was transformed into a concourse with shops, cafés, a nightclub and the unusual 4,000 square meter tropical gardens. A memorial in the station commemorates the 191 victims of the 2004 Madrid train bombings – an 11-metre tall tower inscribed with thousands of messages of condolence.

Finland: Central Station, Helsinki
Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen won a competition to design the station that opened in 1919. Clad in local granite, its distinguishing features are the two pairs of imposing statues of figures on either side of the entrance. Known as “the stone men” (Kivimiehet) the figures have become iconic symbols for Finns. A unique feature that fewer people know about is the private waiting lounge exclusively for the use of the President of Finland and official guests. Former President of Finland Kyösti Kallio died at the station in December 1940 after suffering a heart attack. He was returning home to the small town of Nivala after attending farewell ceremonies in the capital for his retirement.

Germany: Leipzig: Leipzig Central Station
This is Europe’s largest railway station when measured by floor area. Covering 83,460 m² there are 24 platforms housed in six iron train sheds hidden behind a 293 metre-long facade. When it opened in 1915 it was mutually owned by Royal Saxon State Railways and the Prussian state railways, complete with two identical dome entrances, one for each company. The building suffered serious bomb damage during World War II when the roof of the concourse collapsed. Following German reunification in 1990, the building underwent extensive refurbishment and now 150,000 passengers travel daily through the station.

France: Gare du Nord, Paris
Situated in the French capital’s 10th arrondissement, the busiest railway station in Europe receives around 190 million travelers per year. The station complex was designed by French architect Jacques Hittorff and built between 1861 and 1864. The Gare du Nord has been used and mentioned in a mixed bag of popular culture, from French films and the book The Da Vinci Code to Hollywood movies including The Bourne Identity, Ocean’s Twelve and the less highbrow Mr Bean’s Holiday. French architect Jacques Ignace Hittorff was handpicked to design the current station complex, which opened for service while still under construction in 1864.

Portugal: Rossio Railway Station, Lisbon
With its prime location in the Portuguese capital’s Rossio Square, a bustling hang out for both locals and tourists, the majestic building could easily be confused for a palace or theater. Designed by local architect José Luís Monteiro and completed in 1887, its typically Romantic style facade is laced with intricate sculpture, most notably two intertwined horseshoe portals at the entrance. Trains access the station through a 2,600 meter-long tunnel, excavated under the city and considered one of the most important works of Portuguese engineering of the 19th century.

Holland: Central Station, Amsterdam
First opened in 1889, the station was a contentious issue for the city officials before it was even built. Set on the banks of the IJ River – the Amsterdam harbor – many argued its location cut the Dutch capital off from the beauty of its own waterfront. The building rests on three man-made islands supported by over 8,600 wooden pilings. Around 250,000 people pass through the station everyday and the station has been expanded numerous times to cater for the now 1,500 trains that depart and arrive daily. Having undergone recent restoration, the building has now regained much of its original grandeur. Designed by architect PJH. Cuypers, who was also responsible for many of Amsterdam’s neo-Gothic churches, the station was considered a symbol of rejuvenation for the country at the time.

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