Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Study Abroad Diaries: The King of All Carnivals


*This article was originally written for Her Campus NYU*

Fall has finally come and I cannot be more excited. However, the arrival of October also means that midterms are coming up. Before I'm overwhelmed with tests and essays, here's a quick recap of our last study abroad adventure: Oktoberfest 2015 in Munich, Germany.


Two weekends ago, my friends and I took a 10pm train on Thursday night from Florence to Germany to attend Oktoberfest. With a little less than six hours of sleep, we got off the train around 6:30am on Friday morning and went directly to the festival, where we waited in line for three hours before entering one of the tents. We spent the entire day at Oktoberfest, dining and celebrating. Let's just say our Friday was filled with lederhosen, dirndls, beer, bratwurst, prost and many, many pretzels. 


The next day, we decided to sleep in and explore Munich. Compared to Florence, Munich has a much more modern feel. Thank god for Munich's large, urban streets (we were definitely tired of walking in single-file lines in the tightly packed streets of Florence). Munich also had an array of colorful buildings, which reminded me of London. Although almost all of the stores were closed due to Unity Day—a German holiday celebrating the reunification of Germany in 1990—we were thankful to have spent some time experiencing the city, rather than being stuck at a carnival all weekend. 


Later that evening, we went back to Oktoberfest just in time for sunset and rode as many rides as we could. It was stunning to see the carnival transform into a moving light show at night. We ended up going on five rides, each with a unique set-up. One of them was a massive rollercoaster with five loops, while another was a swing carousal with a height of 384 ft. Oktoberfest isn't just a carnival, but the king of all carnivals. 


We spent our last day at the English Gardens, where we took a relaxing stroll and observed professional surfers take on the man-made waves of the Isar River. It was quite interesting to watch, and definitely added to the experience. Later that evening, we took a 10pm train back to Florence and arrived 7am on Monday morning. Our weekend in Germany was exhausting, but it's a weekend that I'll remember forever. Until next time, M√ľnchen!

(Photos taken in Munich, Germany)

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