Since I couldn't arrange to stay in Munich long enough to be here for Oktoberfest, some friends and I planned to take a day trip to Straubing for their Gäubodenvolksfest. It is much like a smaller Oktoberfest, with a bit more of a "state fair" flavor (plenty of retail displays with farm machinery around and truly a Bavarian fest with fewer tourists). We had a few cancellations in the morning due to the Straßenfest on Saturday, so my friend Richard and I took a two hour trek on the train and met up with a few others, including Kai and Heinrich, who is a chef for one of the tents every year. The parade was passing as soon as we got off the train and we wandered through town to the festival grounds. The heat was on the border of oppressive, so at times it was tough to bear and the crowds were thinner than usual. After some food and a couple beers, we wandered around a little, but it was soon time to catch a last train back to Munich. It seems the younger crowd was mostly arriving as we were leaving, so I suspect we missed the more lively evening, (no lasso song for me this time!) The train back was packed and not so pleasant, but even so, it was still a fun adventure for the day.
[apologies for blog posts before 11/2008 that are not yet updated to format]