Since we skipped our traditional after-Bräurosl ride on Sunday, I went back to the Wies'n grounds after dinner on Monday with my friends Richard, Markus, and Manfred for a night of wandering the grounds and riding rides. As Monday had been mostly a 'recovery' day, I don't think any of us had much interest in wandering into any tents or even entertaining the thought of a beer other than with dinner. We started with a ride that has been part of Oktoberfest since 1924 and hasn't changed: an odd cross between a carousel and a typical centrifugal force ride, complete with a live band. Its relatively tame, but surprisingly disconcerting. From there we hit the 5-looped OlympiaBahn, the giant ferris wheel, and eventually made our way to the one ride that has been my nemesis for years: the Star Flyer (in the next to last pic). Its nothing more than the normal swings ride you have at every amusement park everywhere - except, oh, a few thousand feet higher. The guys assured me it was no big deal, and in fact the ride itself was pleasant. It was just the thought every ten seconds or so that the tiny chain the size of a dogleash holding me thousands of feet up could snap any minute and send me off into the nearby cathedral that kept jogging a true sense of fear the whole time. I took a little comfort in their agreement afterward that it was scarier for them than they remembered. (By the way, versions of this ride are coming to US theme parks next year, though I have a hunch they'll have some overdone safety harnesses that will be a little more comforting.) After getting our legs back, we stopped at a new ride this year - the Rocket. Similar to the Star Flyer, but with long cars that seat six... oh, and it spins you sideways to be upside down every now and then. We stared at it a while and finally seemed in agreement that we'd ride it... another day.
[apologies for blog posts before 1/2009 that are not yet updated to format]