American living in Gent, Belgium who gets to travel the world for work. Food lover, daily adventurer, complete wanderluster.

Quick Jaunt to Munich and Oktoberfest

Quick Jaunt to Munich and Oktoberfest

Last week, I headed to Munich, Germany for two nights for work meetings. Because what would my life be without a few flights sprinkled throughout the week?! I haven't been to Munich in probably 15 years and didn't pay much attention to the fact Oktoberfest was set to begin while we were there. A quick early morning wake-up, tram to the train station, train to the airport and then two flights got me to Munich.

Germany, Oktoberfest, Octoberfest, beers, Munich, work meetings, work travel, travel, Spezlwirtschaft

It took basically all day (this is my own fault because I only want to fly SkyTeam, which always means a connection through Amsterdam), so a quick shower and I was in a cab to dinner. It was a big work dinner at a pretty traditional German place where nearly everything was breaded and fried. At that point in the evening, I was still making good decisions and went with the steak tartar with a side salad (and some fries). It was great catching up with people I hadn't seen in months.

With all the famous Munich beer houses right around the corner, about a dozen of us decided we needed to hit the Oktoberfest night life. I walked into Hofbrau and agreed with a coworked that we would only have a glass of wine. Before I could say anything, a round of these were delivered to the table:

Germany, Oktoberfest, Octoberfest, beers, Munich, work meetings, work travel, travel, beers, steins

I had that moment where I knew drinking one would be a bad idea for so many reasons, but then the side of me that loves an adventure spoke up and won. I cheered and drank with the group and loved every moment of it. I knew the experience and memory would be worth it....until I had my cab ride back to the airport. Forty-five minutes later, I was crawling into bed at nearly 2am with a full day of meetings staring me down. 

Germany, Oktoberfest, Octoberfest, beers, Munich, work meetings, work travel, travel, 

I think I look pretty decent for only a few hours of sleep. The next day was spent in meetings from 8am until 5:30pm. It wasn't too bad and in hindsight, I'd do it all over again. I skipped going out that evening, basically because I needed sleep and I couldn't fathom another Oktoberfest night. Apparently, I'm getting too old...and the whole gluten-free thing is a huge downer at a beer festival.

Germany, Oktoberfest, Octoberfest, beers, Munich, work meetings, work travel, travel, laptop, work dinner, solo dining

Instead, I went to the hotel restaurant and caught up on work and emails while eating alone. I assume other people who travel frequently feel this way, but I have absolutely no issues with eating alone. I typically take a book or my laptop and still enjoy. I had been in meetings all day and traveled the whole previous day, so I was behind on work. I would rather get caught up over a glass of wine and a steak with salad and go to bed knowing everything was taken care of than having a sense of anxiety and unfinished business.

The next day, I flew back home (of course via Amsterdam) and managed to get home early enough to enjoy a lovely evening out in Gent dining al fresco. Soon the Belgian rain will start and these warm days will be a distant memory.

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