Wake Me Up When September Ends

Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.

Kaiser Wilhelm

My apologies for not posting for an eternity and a half, things have been a bit crazy here!

Our first review was this past week for architecture, so of course I spent long hours in studio. However, I am extraordinarily proud of the work I turned out (for once), and my reviews went well! In celebration of finishing round one, our professor took us to to Skovshoved (an adorable former fishing village on the coast) to take part in a communal dinner with the local community. We gave presentations to the locals on vernacular architecture and discussed possible ways to implement a traditional fish smokery in hopes of bringing more tourists to the area. After that, we were somehow roped into a political panel on how to keep young international talent in Denmark. Odd, yet flattering.

Most importantly, though: I went to Oktoberfest!

Preparation was a bit hectic. Right before I left, AirBerlin went bankrupt and I was left convinced that I had no way to get back to Copenhagen from Munich. So, I booked a train (only to cancel it upon realizing I didn’t need it). I found out the morning before I left that I never bothered to cross-check my dates with the people I was planning on sharing an AirBnB with, so I had no place to stay the first and last nights. Luckily my friends had a roommate fall through, meaning that I had a hotel to stay in. Of course I stressed more over finding a dirndl than any of these other situations.

In the end, it all worked out!

35 Cal Poly architecture students converged on Munich for Oktoberfest, and we all had an amazing time. We had no casualties, entirely too much beer and even more fun. It was definitely a life event.

Only a partial photo of the group.
Day 0: Friday

My flight out of Copenhagen was directly after studio on Friday, so after an exhibition showcasing all of design’s projects, I went straight to the airport. The flights were quite uneventful, and I got into my hotel at 1 in the morning.

Day 1: Saturday
The calm(ish) before the storm.

In order to get into a tent, you have to get there ungodly early (especially on Saturday of the final weekend). My friends and I woke up at the unholy hour of 6:15 am in order to buy lederhosen and breakfast (and camp out) before the gates opened at 9. We made friends with a couple randoms from across North America before sprinting to our tent.

We spent our first (albeit short) day at the Hofbrau-Festzelt tent, Hofbraeuhaus’s festival alternative. It was completely decked out with hop vines growing all over everything, which belied how rowdy it was. Everyone was solidly drunk by about 15:00, so my friends and I left the tent then. I was one of the few strong enough to make it through some rides before heading home for a siesta. Plot twist: said siesta lasted until midnight, so I just crashed at a friend’s AirBnB for the night.

Day 2: Sunday

After getting back to the hotel at 8 am, everyone took their sweet time getting ready. It was cold and rainy and windy, so we all toted around jackets and umbrellas. We met up with everyone at Marienplatz for breakfast, where against all odds we found an inexpensive restaurant that could accommodate all 20 of us without a reservation. Everything was working out.

Liz and I (feat. poor lighting and even poorer college students)

After walking the Glockenspiel at 11 am, we headed to the fairgrounds. We weren’t emotionally prepared for the energy at HB, so we decided to spend our day at the Paulaner tent.  I personally nursed my first liter of beer for 3 hours, though everyone else went a bit faster. More and more people joined our group, and by 3 pm we had taken over 4 whole tables. Our group now consisted of virtually all of Cal Poly architecture in Europe, about 5 Brits, 2 Italians, 6 Austrians and a few creepy loners we were trying to shake. Paulaner’s music was infinitely better (though Ein Prosit was still played far too often), and the energy was slowly growing. By 17:00, we had been dancing on our tables for hours.

Paulaner tent feat. Christian’s head.

We wandered the fairgrounds for a few hours, attempting to withstand all the rides. After losing far too many people, we returned to Paulaner, where we danced in the aisles until we were too exhausted to keep going. We made it back to the hotel by 22:00.

Day 3: Monday

I am one of the unfortunate few who has class on Mondays. Against all odds, I made it back in time. However, this required me waking up at 3:15, taking a bus to a train to the airport, all before 2 flights and a 2 hour layover. I survived (without a hangover, too) and made it to class by taking the Copenhagen metro straight to class from my flight. Of course it was pouring down rain when I arrived, and I had to spend the frigid day sketching in a square, but it was worth it. The trip was a success!

This was an experience of a lifetime, and I’m so unbelievably glad I got to have it. I promise to keep y’all updated more often, and I’m excited for my upcoming trips.

Hej Hej!

 

Phrase of the week:
Jeg vil gerne have en øl
(Yah vuh gehrn hah-ven ool)
This is the polite way you order a beer in Denmark. As Clementine Paddleford said, “Beer is the Danish national drink, and the Danish national weakness is another beer.”

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