Friday Question of the Day – Let’s Have a Diversion Edition

Oktoberfest, originally uploaded by StrudelMonkey.

Yesterday’s crime discussion got me kind of blue so I wanted to lighten up the FQoTD a bit. I was trying to remember my favorite vacation. It came down to Oktoberfest in Munich or Running with the Bulls in Pamplona. Both were definitely amazing but running with the bulls was pretty freaking scary. Even though the festival itself was amazing, the actually running with the bulls is terrifying. And anyone who tells you differently is either insane or lying. I’m slightly insane and had fortified myself with many vodka and a tang like orange flavored drinks but still when then cannon went off and the bulls caught up to you it was pretty rough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did it and the adreline rush was fun but it can’t match Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest on the other hand was pure joy every waking minute. At Oktoberfest I went with a great group of people who I nearly instantly got separated from. So I spent tons of time hanging out with random Spanish, Italians, Germans and folks from all over the world. For some reason I remember there was a lot of singing John Denver songs and inexplicably, to me, everyone knew the words as well as many, many toasts. Half the time we couldn’t even speak the same language but it was no less fun.

So for a fun FQoTD – what has been your favorite trip (abroad or in the states)?

24 Comment

  • Getting totally $h!tfaced in London. Hard to top that. Except maybe getting totally $h!tfaced in Dublin, taking the train across Ireland ($h!tfaced), then getting $h!tfaced in Galway. Too bad I don’t remember much, but I have the mugshots the police gave me.

  • I concur! Getting $h!tfaced in London was really fun! Went to some place called the O Bar. At the O Bar some guy bit me on the stomach and for the rest of the night, due to copious amounts of vodka tonics, and maybe rabis, I thought I had to speak with a very very very bad british accent for the rest of the night! Mucho fun! Oh wait, wrong place for that – Drinking screw drivers on the beach in Acapulco with some random guys who were also vacationing there from somewhere else in Mexico was tons of fun, until I realized later I should have passed on the icecubes… :\

  • A good friend of mine lived in Munich for 3.5 years and I regret only visiting him twice.

    The first time we visited him we went for Oktoberfest and you are right, it was a ton of fun.

    The second time my wife bought me a plane ticket for Xmas, and visited during strong bier fest. (BTW, Direct Flight from Dulles was $300. I made a long weekend of it )

    HOLY SHIT! Strong Bier fest make Oktoberfest look easy.

    During Oktoberfest they give you a liter (that’s right a liter. 33.8 ounces) of bier that is 6% alcohol. Now a normal person can drink two of these and stumble home. My buddy and I had three and then rode the roller coasters! It was great.

    During strong Bier Fest you are not in the tents (it is cold). Instead you are in these celebration halls or some crap. Anyway, it is set up just like Oktoberfest but on a smaller scale. There is a band singing American oldies, Bier, and chicken. The big difference lies in the fact that the Bier is now 9%. It was crazy!

    I also got to drive my buddies BMW on the Autobahn to go see some Disneyland Castle.

    Next time I go, I am bringing enough money to Rent a Porsche 911 for a day

  • Funny about John Denver. In my world travels, John Denver and Kenny Rogers seem to be the universal language of music. Coward of the County in highlife style in a country bar near the ranch where I was studying was a total hoot.

    Love Munich and Bavaria. My sister lives in Garmish Partenkirchen. I have spent three Christmas’ there, and I have to say they were among the best in my life. Christmas Even the Garmishers go to the cemetary with a bavarian brass band to sing carols to thier ancestors. Just amazing.

  • Mongolia was one of my favorites. Going from busy Ulan Bataar to the peacefulness of a four-day horseback riding and camping tour in the Khan Khenti mountains, then flying to the gobi and touching down without a runway, pebbles kicking up into our Soviet-era plane, then heading out and riding (stinky) camels. No civilization and beautiful scenic landscape as far as the eye could see. So vast, it almost hurt the brain to process; being so used to the city it looked like a hollywood backdrop. Meeting the nomadic Mongolians as we went along our trek and being invited into their gers for yak butter tea (not very tasty but you smile and thank the gracious hosts)…. I wanna go back!

  • I’m currently in the process of planning a roadtrip across the US with some very good childhood friends to visit yet another childhood friend during the end of may. So far planning this trip has been a blast by itself and has given me the chance to reconnect with some buddies that I don’t often get to hang out with. Hopefully the trip goes just as well.

  • As far as international travel, I think it would have to be Spring break in Barcelona and Madrid. I had friends studying abroad there and had an amazing time seeing the sights in Barcelona (where I spent most of my time) and just left wanting to spend more time there. I love Gaudi. My weekend trip to Madrid was great, and being there for St. Patty’s day was quite a strange experience.

    Locally, I’ve enjoyed really mundane but special trips because of the people I was with: a long weekend at the beaches in Delaware, a week in NYC devoted to visiting all of the art museums while staying with a friend in Spanish Harlem.

  • My boyfriend was just stationed in Iraq and he had a two week leave this summer so he flew me to Europe to travel around with him. We met in Frankfurt, rented a Mercedes and drove through the Rhine valley, Luxembourg, Brussels (saw Sigur Ros, Ben Harper, Band of Horses, MGMT, Kings of Leon, RADIOHEAD and many more at Rock Werchter Festival) then drove to Epernay to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant, went to Paris and took the train to London. Brilliant eating, drinking and sightseeing along the way!

  • I’m leaving for a vacation tomorrow to Amsterdam and the surrounding area. What shouldn’t I miss, other than the VG Museum?

  • Don’t miss the cafes or the Red Ligth District and please, please eat a ton of Indonesian food – just amazing. Seriously, of course you’ll do the first two, but eat! Amsterdam is just lovely. The people are gorgeous, friendly and just fun to be around. Enjoy!

  • Solives – Riech Museum, Anne Frank House, Coffeeshops, rent a bike, and the aformentioned red light district.

  • Visiting Belgium in May 2005 on a self-guided beer tour via Tim Webb’s beer guide. Beautiful countryside, very few American tourists (or tourists of any kind, really), and so much delicious craft beer.

    Followed closely by a hiking trip through Tuscany in the fall… winding through vineyards filled with almost ripe grapes and passing through tiny medieval towns. The Italians all thought we were insane to be walking for hours on routes that could be driven in 30 mins, but that was half the fun.

  • One word – Amsterdam.

  • One: 1997 summer semi-solo backpack through Europe, including the ‘Dam, Prague, Ostrava (eastern Czech Republic, not a stellar visit, but where Dad was living at the time), Paris, Barcelona. Got to stay in Paris for ~2 weeks, sleeping on friends floors and cruising around town as a non-paying hanger-on for their design and architecture site visits. Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was pretty awesome.

    Two: Honeymoon beginning in Amsterdam, heading to Paris via train, 4 days there, drive through wine country and catch the bojo festival, Monaco a few days, and finish in Milan.

    Three: 1996 cross country road trip, starting in New Hampshire, making to the badlands, Oregon coast, San Fran, rocky mountains, Chicago, and back east. Many friends joined and departed along the way.

  • Three words and comma – Ocean City, Maryland

    A couple of years ago, I rented a room there for a week and had the time of my life!

  • Great idea – a highly welcome diversion from all the doom and gloom! A few best travel moments for me, (in no particular order) -1. Hitchhiking back to DC from a summer in Alaska and getting a 2 day ride in a repo-ed RV where the repo man was picking up every hitchhiker he saw. Fantastic rolling party – there were 8 or 9 of us for a while, plus one guy who may have not actually been hitchhiking, just wandered away from a nearby mental hospital.

    2. An Eddy’s ice cream truck scraped the side of my parked old junker car but promptly gave me a check for complete body-work as if it were new. I bought a junkyard door, a tub of bondo and a ticket to Belize – met a guy there with a boat and spent 4 months hanging out on Ambergris caye and scuba diving. (And I will be forever loyal to Eddy’s ice cream)

    3. Finding an actual message in a bottle on tiny Dulcie island (middle of the Pacific) sent from New Zealand.

    4. Hiking down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon – (Flipflopirate -definitely do this on your cross-country trip! Everyone should do this at least once – incredibly spectacular and spiritual – but don’t take the Bright Angel or Kaibab trails)

    5. Corsica – every bit of it.

    6. Hitchhiking all over the world and learning that you can communicate with anyone, anywhere, about pretty much anything with 20 words, pantomime and drawings. and occasionally interpretive dance.

    So there are a few of my travel raves – one rant – I wish someone would steal the down vest I plucked out of the “left behind” bin in the Auckland NZ Youth hostel in 1985. It is really ugly, but it is still in perfect shape so I can’t just buy a new one!

  • buenos aires. PoP you would freaking love BA. here are some pictures from my trip:

  • Solives–I’m not sure if they’re still up and running, but Mike’s Bikes in Amsterdam does a great half-day tour on a bike, with a pit stop for beer. I’m not usually a tour person, but it was a highlight of my trip there.

    Also, if you go to the Heineken museum, they usually divide visitors up into groups and stagger them through the tour. Make sure you’re in the first or second group–you’ll get more time to drink for free at the end of the tour than the poor folks in the last group!

  • You all freaking ROCK! Thanks so much for the tips. I can’t wait. I also love your other stories…

  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I’ll never forget watching hundreds of thousands of bats stream out of an ancient Khmer temple as the sun set. And on the company dime as well. And with a beer, and a whore-ish coworker!

  • I did a Mike’s Bike Tours in Munich and it too was awesome.

  • Oktoberfest 2000 in Munich was badass. I drank 13 Masskrug (liters) of beer over the span of 3 days. That’s about 1 U.S. gallon per day of some absolutely great beer. Hint: Augustiner is the best beer at the festival. You’ll get respect from the locals by knowing that.

    How about going to an Irish pub on Saint Patricks day in Germany and drinking until 3am, then waking up at 7am for a train ride to Zurich and a flight back to the states. I didn’t sober up until we were over the Atlantic.

    Or getting drunk for the first 30 days in a row that I lived in London. One day I was doing my grocery shopping while drunk at noon on a Sunday. It was then that I decided to take a day off of drinking.

    Of course, Amsterdam is always fun (been 5 times). Did I mention I’ve consumed herb in 12 different countries? 🙂

  • In the last 3.5 years I’ve been to 17 countries, but my fave has to be our trip to Machu Picchu last September. Saw a picture of it like 20 years ago and said, “Don’t know where it is, but I’m gonna to get there one day.” Nearly cried when I finally got there.
    I did a lot of studying about each of the rooms and we spent 5 straight hours looking through everything.

    That night we went to the the hot mineral springs in the surrounding town (aptly named “Aguas Calientes”) and swam and relaxed before an audience of giggling local teenage girls who were there to check out the hot European guys (not me).


  • The best vacation I have experienced by far was a trip last summer with my aunt, mother, and sister to Florence. We spent a week roaming the city and another week just outside in Castillena di Chianti in the Tuscan countryside where we slowed down and enjoyed wine, road trips, and the beautiful landscape. The sun seemed to shine a little bit brighter, the wine flowed more generously, and every corner you turned you could find breathtaking artwork and architecture dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries. Every meal was amazing from the most elegant restaurant to the humble corner street vendor. Walking Along Tuscan dirt roads passing by huge cypress trees made ms feel like I was in one of Leonardo’s paintings. It was most definitely the trip of a lifetime for me, one I hope to repeat one day!

Comments are closed.