When we arrived at our rental apartment in Freising, a town outside of Munich, there was a surprise waiting for us: our cousin Jörn. He descended the stairs wearing lederhosen, the traditional Bavarian attire for men, and welcomed us with beer and fresh pretzels. Prost! Because Jörn had to fly back to his home in northern Germany the following night, it made our plans simple: to the Wies’n we went on day one. The rest of us changed into our dirndls and lederhosen and hit the tents. Here Jörn is holding a lebkuchen (gingerbread) heart that many festival-goers wear around their necks. Lebkuchen are a familiar sight at any festival or carnival throughout Germany, and for me, they instantly bring back warm memories from childhood.
The Bavarian dialect on these lebkuchen say: “Ich mag dich,” or “I like you.”
Hippodrom, considered a favorite of the locals, is one of the 14 tents located along the Wies’n (fairgrounds) and was our first stop.
The Hacker Festzelt was already full by early afternoon, but this is what it looks like inside a typical tent: closely-placed picnic tables full of happy people enjoying food, drink and music from live bands.
Here’s a guy who’s been at it a little too long.
Outside of the tents, the air is filled with a blend of tempting aromas: roasted nuts, brez’n, crepes, and other sweets. Other amusements are there, too: games, super-intense spinny rides, roller coasters, and a giant ferris wheel.
It is a spectacular sight from above, and all in all, an absolutely unforgettable experience I hope to repeat again someday.