Monday, August 16, 2010

Oktoberfest Pub Crawls for Sale

Thanks to Jen for alerting me of this WEBSITE with this quote:

I saw this ...and it has your name ALL OVER IT!!! Zuffa!

Thanks Jen :).

Anyway, the trip looks interesting, but I question the value add here. 

At a around $2500 per person, this seems a little steep.  There are some great things in the plan:

  • Oktoberfest, Munich - 2 nights
  • Maria Alm, Austria - 3 nights
  • Prague, Czech Republic - 3 nights
  • Bamberg Germany - 2 nights
  • Düsseldorf, Germany - 2 nights
  • 3-star & 4-star Hotel accommodation (twin share)
  • All transport from Munich Oktoberfest through to Düsseldorf by 5-star coach bus
  • Beer Tent Reservations at Oktoberfest
  • Exclusive access to an alpine drinking chalet (4,000 feet altitude)
  • Bi-lingual tour guide
  • Lots of extras incl. video production, t-shirts, music on request, free Schnapps tasting etc
  • ZERO boring sightseeing, guaranteed!

But it doesn’t cover the cost of drinks (although a Schnapps tasting is included). 

Considering I have been to all of those places but two (I’ve been to Bamburg, but not that bar, and I haven’t been to Maria Alm) I wonder if a bus tour is the way to do them.

Oktoberfest is an experience that needs to be done (IMO) without any prior planning.  Throwing that much Chaos into the ring while surrounded by 1 Million drunks actually would be more fun that taking a tour bus.  Finding places to sleep in a train station (and later in life seeing that exact spot on TV), watching water cannons clearing people from the streets, fighting for seats in the fest tents….those are the things Oktoberfest is about. 

Prague was tons of fun, especially after German unification and the rest of the east opened their doors.  In fact, if I were to make a return trip….I would go to the Czech region in a heartbeat.  Again, bumming across Europe is the way to see this one.

I thought Bamburg was lame, and for my money, I would go to Nuremburg.  Bigger city, better bars and more historic.  Nuff Said.

Dusseldorf is also somewhat lame (as I recall) and if I had a choice, I would go a little south and hit Koln instead.  Better yet, since this is a drinking tour, you have two better options – Go west into Belgium and sample a different style of beer or hit the hub of Frankfurt (further south) and visit Sachsenhausen, most importantly Schweizer Straße.  There you will find street after street of bars, and if you can find the Irish Pub with the round fountain in front….you might even meet the Queen of Mars (right Ron ;)  ).

Finally, Austria is a nice place to visit and sightsee, but to me….it is not a drinkers paradise.  It was fun for skiing and very scenic, but if you are looking for an out of the way spot….go to Zermat.  A two hour cog train ride to a secluded town at the base of the Matterhorn.  No cars (well, there were two), everyone walks and at night, it is party central.  The view is amazing and the amount of fun (trouble) you can get into is awesome.

In the end, I am not slamming this trip….but instead recommending the “Live Adventurous” route.  Book a Euro-Rail Ticket and really get immersed.  That is the real fun of Europe.  Sure, the Tour bus would be cool to roll up in and having VIP treatment is nice, but is it worth the extra cash spent on booze?  I don't think so.

Thanks again Jen……keep posting.

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