About mathiusdes

I am a freelance designer living in Seattle. I have a degree in industrial design, but am currently only working freelance. I spend much of my time volunteering for AIGA Seattle, an organization for professional designers, as a creative outreach chair. I also spend a couple of days a week at Cornish College of the Arts as a teaching assistant helping sculpt young minds as best I can. Feel free to check out my current site for past projects and explorations at www.digitalcornucopia.com. So what better to do than build something like Daft Punk Helmets. A friend and I have decided to make both, Guy and Thomas helmets in 3 months time. That said we have to give incredi

DIY Headboard

DIY Headboard

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This weekend project is not the most original thing to make but fun nonetheless. And it really does add to a boring wall above a bed.  Take a look at the project. I hope you learn something. As always if you need help, have questions or just want to comment, don’t hesitate to post. Happy building.

Comments

Hello curious minds. I just noticed I had almost 50 comments that were going straight to the spam folder. As most of them were, in fact, spam, some of them weren’t and I apologize if I over looked anything you may have asked, or inquired in the past. Thank you for taking the time to read about my projects.

DIY Pallet Shelf

DIY Pallet Shelf

 

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The biggest problem with small kitchen besides limited counter space are places to store your dry goods. And when you don’t have anywhere to store your stuff it ends up living on the counter. This project helps me utilize unused wall space underneath the backside of the counter, typically where the breakfast bar would be. And since I don’t have stools, Im going to use it for better means. Check it out here, and thanks for reading.

New project update

Hello readers of the interweb! I just wanted to share I have a few DIY projects currently in the mix at the moment and I plan to post them sometime in the next few weeks. I’d like to share I get a lot of interest and traffic checking out my DIY shoe rack bench. So I have been inspired to do more similar to it.

Things have been pretty crazy for me and I am finally slowing down. I have had much more time to work on personal interest projects instead of rebuilding the house. Thanks for checking me out and as always if you have any questions, comments or feedback please dont hesitate to share or ask. Happy 4th of July!

DIY Minion Goggles

DIY Despicable Me Minion Goggles

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For Halloween this year my girlfriend and her friend decided to be Despicable Me minions. The costume for the most part is relatively easy to piece together from thrift shops and other various stores with the exception of goggle and overalls. Be ready to hunt for overalls, those are impossible to find, so give yourself some time. And as far as the goggles, I’m sure you can buy some cheap plastic ones online somewhere, but that just takes all the fun out of it. So naturally, I wanted to help out and make them. After mucking around on the interwebs for videos and how-to’s to see how people were going about creating theirs, I figured it would be pretty easy to make and would only take about a day. Check out the link here or the one above and tell me what you think. Thanks for reading.

Greek Salad, and Mousaka

Crete. A gigantic Island that could almost be its own country. We flew into Chania and grabbed the airport bus into the city. I think we got lucky, the busses only run every hour and it was loading up when we walked out of the airport. I didn’t want to wait an hour for the next bus. You would think they would run more often than that from an airport. The main station in Chania is buried in the center of town. The streets are so narrow, I have no idea how they get busses in and out of there. Talk about threading a needle.

We kind of planned ahead and found a number of campsite on the island before we left Germany. So we had a general idea which direction we wanted to go and what to expect. If you’re in need and you fly to Chania, they have free wifi at the main bus station. I thought this was pretty surprising considering finding wifi anywhere else in the rest of Europe was almost impossible. Come to Greece and it is everywhere. They also have some pretty good sandwiches there too. As far as mass transportation, it is either bus, taxi or rent your own vehicle. The busses run only every hour or so and stop around 6pm or so. Plan accordingly. We grabbed the next bus out towards Kissamos a town about 46 kilometers west of Chania. Our campsite, Camping Nopigia, was about 7 kilometers short of town, away from anything hustle and bustle and directly on the water. We were ready for relaxation, and lazy in the sun.

One thing we did not expect, was how influenced business was by tourism in Greece. I understand the concept of high vs low season, but here in this area of Crete, it high season and no season. We wanted to stay at the campground for 3 nights, but had to cut it down to 2 because they were closing on that third day. And by close I mean, completely shut down until May of next year. So our relaxation in Crete was little shorter than we planned, but we still had the rest of the week in the greek isles so it wasn’t all that bad. On the bright side, we shared the entire campground with two other couples for the last three days they were open. It was like a ghost town, perfect.

The area was called Nopigia, in the eastern corner of a Kissamos bay. On either side of the bay were two giant peninsulas that jutted north. Both national parks. It was quiet and secluded. The rest of the first day, we took a walk along the coast up the peninsula, exploring and playing in the perfect crystal clear water. It was sunny and warm and exactly the change in weather we were looking forward to. We made our way back to the campground and used their community outdoor kitchen to cook some pasta for dinner; calling it an early night after.

The next day we decided we wanted to head into Kissamos to try to rent a car. We talked to the reception desk at the campgrounds and they suggested Autofun. A company that rents compacts for about 25eu a day, which is pretty cheap. We didn’t know where the bus stop was on the main highway so walked in trying to hitchhike. We got about 4 kilometers in and finally met a british family at a gas station that gave us a lift the rest of the way. We never saw a bus stop the entire way in. When we got into town we found the car rental place and they were closed for lunch or something. Apparently Greece is very similar to Spain in regards to the siesta. So while we waited we walked to the other side of the square and had lunch. Enter our greek salad binge (we’ve had worse binges).

I don’t remember the name of the restaurant we ate at but, it was the best meal we had the entire time we were in Greece. And we had some amazing food. We shared a giant greek salad and an entrée called Moussaka. The salad was simple: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, green peppers, dried oregano, feta cheese, and obviously, olive oil. The feta was a giant square about a half an inch thick. It didn’t crumble apart, it kept its shape as you forked away a chunk, kind of like butter. It was crumbly and creamy at the same time. I liked feta before, but this was on a whole other level.

We wanted to make a point to only order an entrée item that we had never had before. Per the recommendation of the service, we ordered the Moussaka. Basically, the Greek take on lasagna, but this one was cooked in a stone pot as a single portion. This confused me when we ordered others later on and the looked like a typical lasagna cut. The bottom of the pot was lined with thinly sliced potatoes and topped with cheese baked to a crisp. In the middle it was stuffed with zucchini, eggplant and lamb and filled with a creamy béchamel sauce. The béchamel sauce on the top had thickened when it cooked, while the rest was still creamy. It was an amazing contrast of texture and consistency. I want to buy a stone pot just so I can make it the same way. I am afraid a lasagna pan wouldn’t do it justice, but then again, it could be that they had made it fresh. This meal definitely set the par for the remainder of our foodie experience in Greece.

Wine in Greece is also cheap and delicious. You can get if from the restaurant in a number of different ways: by the bottle, or opened by the liter or half liter. It is usually much cheaper if you buy the opened wine by the carafe. I like to try things mystery style. I think we shared a half carafe at every dinner because it was so reasonably priced.

After a most satisfying lunch, I walked back across the street when I saw the guy open the store back up and asked about a rental car. The rates were great and I was definitely ready to rent, but there was one small problem. This is basically how the conversation went:

me: Hi, I would like to rent a car.
him: You want today?
me: Yes, today, thank you.
him: We don’t have today. We only have one car available for tomorrow, but it is reserved.
me: Do you have anything available for rent today?
him: No, we have one car.
me: :/ Ok you have only one car, and it isn’t available. Do you have a scooter?
him: Yes, but only one.
me: Ok is it available, could we rent it?
him, No, it is too small. not worth renting.
me: :/ Ok, thank you…I think.

This is a prime example of high season and no season in this area. We tried another car rental, that was closed as well. They had cars available, but the only way you could rent was to call them by phone, then they would come down and open the store and run the paper work. This place was a bit more expensive than my last conversation, so we decided to not rent a car and just hang out along the water. Since the campground was closing we had to checkout and leave anyways. So we nixed the rental idea and went to the beach and played in the water for a bit.

We walked along the waterfront and made our way back into town and caught the bus back to Nopigia. The reason why we couldn’t find the bus stop on the way in to town was because the bus take a completely different route off of the highway. Good to know. We went back to the campground and relaxed by the pool for the rest of the day and watched the sun set from the tent. Yes, they have a pool there, and it is very nice. They also have wifi across the entire campground! Camping Nopigia was great. We made dinner again and walked down the street to a small restaurant. They had some live music playing so we sat and talked for a bit over some wine. They had brought a book about Kissamos over to our table and we thumbed through it learning about the food, the culture and the history of the region while we listened to music and enjoyed our wine. With the exception to the car, a great first day in Greece.

young wine, and tree cake

We arrived in Mainz around 830 on Friday night. We had planned to stay with Anna, another friend I had also met in Belize the same time I had met Michael. We met up at the main station, grabbed some mixers and went back to her house for the evening. We hung out catching up over drinks until about 2am. Hiking around one of the largest parks in Europe with our packs on, and traveling the rest of the way to Mainz; that was a long day.

We got up had breakfast and went to walk around the downtown area. We did a little shopping and checked out the massive cathedral, also called the Dome church. I did not know that Gutenberg was from Mainz. He was the guy that is credited with basically inventing the first removable type printing press in Europe sometime in the 15th century. You may have heard of the Gutenberg Bible. That’s this guy. Removable type today is based on this invention. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to check out the museum.

Highlight of the day was trying ‘fresh’ wine. I don’t know exactly how to describe young wine and I won’t pretend that I know a lot about it either. I have no idea about the aging, barreling, fermenting, decanting, or for any matter, appropriate drinking processes. Beyond identifying the basic characteristics of reds, whites, and blends and how they differ from each other, I don’t know squat. I do know that I have a developed pallet for food and drink naturally, and If I don’t like something, it is usually for a reason. Even if it is beyond my understanding.

This fresh wine is called, Federweißer. It is kind of like a grape juice that has yeast added to it. They serve it even when it is still fermenting, leaving it cloudy, and sweet. In laymen’s terms – it has floaties and tastes like candy. Wiki says, when the alcohol content reaches 4% it is ready to serve, but can be fermented up until 10%. It is also made from a red grape as well called Roter Rauscher, but the place we went to had run out for the day so, unfortunately, we didn’t get to try it. They said they only had 15 bottles available for the day. Boo.

Afterwards we wondered around the downtown area for a bit and grabbed some dinner at a local brewery then headed back to the house to get our stuffs ready for the flight. Plans for the night, meet a friend, go out for drinks until we can’t take it anymore, grab our gear from the main station and catch the airport shuttle at 3am to the airport. Again, wonderful Ryanair choosing airports that are nowhere near the city they say they are. Frankfurt Hahn isn’t anywhere near Frankfurt. You have to go through Mainz to get there. A completely different city! Anyways, 3.5 hours later we were on our flight, sleeping most uncomfortably, heading to Crete for the last days of sun, beaches and relaxation of the summer and our trip. Our last few stops in Greece, and Turkey before, it’s back home to Seattle.

Donars, pastries, and more burgers oh my

So our first day of taking it easy, ended up being a pretty full day even though we didn’t go into anywhere, we just wandered and saw the sites. We saw a lot and didn’t spend a penny. We discovered that the Donar was supposedly invented in Berlin as well as the Curry Wurst. So naturally we had to try them here. We grabbed some Donars and some pastries on the way to see the Berlin Wall Memorial. Our hostel is only about a 20 minutes away so we walked. After we grabbed the train back down to Brandenburg Gate and walked the 2 blocks down to the Holocaust Memorial, or The Memorial for Murdered Jews in Europe. This is a beautifully eyrie monument; a couple thousand concrete blocks on a sloping field in the center of the city.

At this point we were torn, explore the abandoned amusement park, or the abandoned spy station. 🙂 Hmm, decisions decisions. The amusement park is on the east side of the city and the spy station is on the west. The monument we were at was directly in the middle. Apparently there are a lot of things you can explore in Berlin that are abandoned 🙂 We chose the amusement park, but when we got there, it was all fenced off, there were dogs and a guard. So that was a fail. Either way, I would come back and explore Berlin again. There are too many things to do here.

After that we decided it was time for more burgers :). This time we went to a place called The Bird. When we got there, the entire place was completely full. On our way in Kristin overheard the hostess talking to someone about reservations. The earliest they had were over a month out! This was not something we expected from a burger joint. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, my recommendation would be to try the bar. Never apart of the reservations issue nor do you usually have to wait to be seated. It is usually first come first serve. In this case, nothing special, we elbowed past the indecisive couple in front of us and grabbled two seats at the bar before they were gone. Ok, Burgermeister was good, but greasy spoon, hole in the wall, made by a very large man on the verge of cardiac arrest sort of good. The bird was equally delicious, but on the completely other end of the spectrum. Gourmet hand formed beef imported from the states, and served with homemade fries. You could choose between a flat top grill or an open grill. And holy schnikey, I was in hot sauce heaven also. They carried a number of brands, but one line that I absolutely loved was called Suicide Sauces. The company that does the distribution of sauces for The Bird started making their own. If your a hot sauce nut, I believe you can buy them from their site. The company is called Pfeffer Haus. I particularly loved the Mango Fire and the Habanero BBQ.

After Dinner it was still a little early and on a friends recommendation we should go check out a bar called Salon Wilde Renate. It has its own labyrinth, need I say more. I thought it was a lot of fun and very fascinating. It forces you to explore with your ears and touch instead of sight. Kristin walked straight through and didn’t particularly care for it. They didn’t let us go in together, unfortunately, and we never found each other inside. I would recommend checking this out. The beers were cheap and the music was interesting too. This place is stuck somewhere between creepy and fascinating. They also have a large outdoor area, but that was closed when we were there. I bet the parties here would be absolutely amazing. Walking down the street you could see piles of confetti that built up from the wind blowing them together.

We walked back to the hostel in the rain and hung out for the evening. We planned to camp near some old spy satellites, but it was raining all night so we just hung out with some people in the commons area for the rest of the night. I am really sad I missed those. They are a cold war relic that were built on top of a nazi college that couldn’t be destroyed after WWII. Apparently the building was so strongly built it was impossible to destroy, so instead they buried it under the rubble of all the buildings that were destroyed during the war. After which during the cold war the US built a spy station on top of the rubble. It is abandoned now. Damn, that would have been cool to explore.

The hostel we stayed at was called The Heart of Gold Hostel, for the most part it was fine. The dorm was comfortable and quite, all the normal amenities were just fine, but it had one major downfall that would make me never stay here again. The entry to the hostel is down a long covered walkway to a courtyard. This is where all the smokers hung out. Every time you leave the building you have to walk through it. Every time you go to the dorms, you have to walk through it. It was a gauntlet of disgusting. I feel like everyone here smokes.

We didn’t need to catch our ride out of Berlin until 6 pm, so we spent the day exploring Sanssouci gardens in a neighboring town called Potsdam. This was the summer palace for Frederick the Great. It was disgustingly beautiful. I felt like I walked into the set of Pride and Prejudice. Unfortunately we only had about 1.5 hours to spend there, but it is definitely a place I would like to come back to. Seems like everywhere we have gone has something amazing we missed out on or need to come back and check out again. We caught the train back into Berlin to get our stuff from the hostel and headed down to meet our ride out of town.

We needed to catch a flight early on sunday morning out of Frankfurt, but we still had a few days before then so we chose to spend one of them in a Kassel, a city between Frankfurt and Berlin. We didn’t intend to go to the city, but just to the west of it is a park called Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe. It is the largest park in Europe and the second largest mountain park in the world. It is home to a palace, an aqueduct, a castle and and a cascading falls that runs the entire length of the park naturally powering a large fountain in the pond at the bottom near the palace. We got to the park around 10 pm and hiked to the north side where we set up tent and camped in a forested area. It was cold, but quiet and comfortable. We felt like we didn’t get enough time to explore Sanssouci, so we got up early that next morning to have more time. We didn’t have our a place to stash our packs and didn’t want to leave them where they were since we were so far north, so we decided to just haul them around with us the entire day. We spent the entire day hiking the grounds exploring. At 6pm we made our way back into town and met up with another person to get our ride down to Frankfurt. I learned something new about how you can offer a service on Blablacar. The person we met had a 5 person regional pass and had that for us to take. So instead of driving we took the train. I swear I love this site. And since we were traveling beyond Frankfurt on to Mainz we got to keep the pass afterwards and continue on with it. 

Burgers in Berlin

Ok, So as promised, If your interested in looking at pictures now, you can check them out on my flickr page here. I will link photos in to the rest of the blog when it is complete. Until then, pictures can be viewed through the link.

Our first day in Berlin was on a beautiful rainy Tuesday. Seems like the crappy weather followed up pretty much the entire trip. Although we did get some fairly decent weather in Munich, we were inside the entire time. So that was a fail. For the most part we wanted to take the day relatively easy. For one, the city is way to big to explore and get the whole thing into 3 days and be able to get all of it, and two, we didn’t want to cram too much in and feel like we were working. Were on holiday, we don’t have to do anything really. Some people miss that premise.

We had spent the first few hours of the day in the commons area of the hostel flipping through their giant brochure wall figuring out what to do and how much we did want to see. I had said the first thing I wanted to do was do the walking tours in the city, but here, their tours were 6 hours long! Can you believe that! They advertised, shorter tours for those that were in a hurry that ran for 3.5 hours. Seriously, I barely have the attention span to take a standard 2 hour tour, I couldn’t imagine a 6 hour one. So that was out. We grabbed a map from the front desk. On it was the layout of the majority of the downtown area of the city along with all its major monuments pointed out. It also offered walking routes of the city as well as metro and bus lines. This eventually became our lifeline to the city.

Our last day at Oktoberfest, we spoke to a guy at a neighboring table and his recommendation was to check out the burgers in Berlin. I did not expect Berlin to be known for their burgers, but who doesn’t like a good burger. So naturally the first thing we decided to do was get that. This brings me to 2 recommendation. If you have a smart phone, download trip advisor and trip advisor city guides. While you have wifi trip advisor is an amazing app giving you reviews by listing, a map view search closest to you, pricing comparisons, etc. Any what trip advisor lacked for each city, the city guide made up for it. Your able to download each city to your phone and use it off-line. that is a huge factor!

So based on the reviews and the top # of places to go and see we chose what to see and what to avoid. First stop, Burgermeister, a tiny little spot nestled underneath the metro line and crammed practically in the middle of an intersection. If this was America, it would be a food truck. It was smaller than most of them we have here. They had table set up outside, half of them were standing only, the others were the same, but the seats were bike locks with padding taped around them. Anything else was either a milk crate, or a soap box, or anything they could put together to sit on really.

Either way it doesn’t matter. These burgers were bomb. Literally and metaphorically, amazing grease bombs. They also had chili cheese fries. One thing that I have noticed while eating all throughout Europe so far is that no matter how much I eat here, I never get full like I would have gotten in the states. The food here really is much better in some aspects. The eggs especially. And this burger.

Oh yeah, About the metro here. It is fairly reliable, there aren’t any turn styles or people checking to make sure you have paid your fair. When we first arrived we bought a 3 day pass for about 24 euro. This allowed us to use any form of public transit for 72 hours. There are two passes you can choose from, the City Tour Card and the Berlin Welcome Card. Here is a link to the Berlin Metro site if your interested in learning more. They both have their benefits, discounts to museums, restaurants, etc. And they both cost about the exact same. So determine which one you want to use.

The city is also broken up in to 3 zones, A, B, and C. A is the majority of the downtown area, B being outlying city area and C, the outskirts and neighboring towns. You can get a pass for 24, 48 and 72 hours for either zones A and B or pay an extra 2 or 3 euro and get C thrown in as well. We wanted to explore outside of the city as well, so we paid the little extra. In the end, I don’t think a single person check our tickets the whole time we were there, so you could easily get away with not having any passes and use the metro at your own risk. If you get caught, I think the ticket is about 40 euro or so. Munich is pretty much the same way. 

After burgers we took the metro down to Berlin Flughafen Tempelhof Airport. The originally terminal and grounds were built in the 20’s and is one of the only pre WWII airports in the world. It is also one of the largest buildings ever built (I saw that it was huge, but I didn’t realize it was that big).The main terminal and surrounding buildings were rebuilt by the National Socialist party in the thirties and was, in their eyes, to be the gateway to the center of the world Germania (Wikipedia). Walking around you can see the nazi era architecture throughout the building. Now the airport is a huge park. You can actually go out and walk around on the old runways. It is HUGE. We would have spent more time out relaxing in the park, but it was raining, so we walked to the next station and headed back north.

Next we walked by Checkpoint Charlie, a checkpoint gate in the wall between east and west berlin to the Topography of Terror, a memorial for political prisoners taken and tortured by the Gestapo and the SS. The grounds of the memorial and museum are the former grounds of the SS and Reich security office buildings. Along side the entire length of the Topography of Terror Museum is a section of the original Berlin Wall. From there we walked to Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building. We didn’t go inside though, to do this you need to set up an invitation online for a specific date and time. It is free to do, but you should do it a few days in advanced.

After that we went back to the hostel for a few hours to decide if we wanted to go out to the clubs for the night. We sat and chatted with some guys from Vancouver who also had the same idea. So we partied up with them and headed out to a place called the Q-club. There were all of 4 people in the entire place so we grabbed a cab with some german guys that in the same boat and went to another club called Matrix. This place was packed! They played all of the top 40 hits from the 90’s; like flashback to high school. The only downside to the entire place was the glass. I have never seen so much glass on the floor of any club, it’s like people smashed their drinks on the floor after they were finished with them. Around 3am we were pretty tired and wanted to head home but we had to wait until 4 for the trains start running again. On the way out some kids were hanging out in a pedestrian underpass jamming out. I took a video, but for some reason the sound didn’t come out. Im pretty sad about this. It was pretty cool.

3 days of beer, pretzels, sausage and pork knuckle.

We got in to Munich around 5 pm and scrounged around for wifi at the station, but because the service was so crappy, we walked across the street to the Wombats, a hostel I had stayed at a few years before. We mooched their wifi for a bit and charged our phones. While at the hostel we had overheard a tour guide person talking to a large gaggle of travelers about Oktoberfest, what to expect, times, dress attire, etc. Most of the information we had pretty much expected or anticipated, but I will get into this in a bit. For now, we were most interested in their advice regarding dress attire. Lederhosen and dirndl, not necessary, but you will stand out if you are not dressed to dress.

I already have a nice lederhosen, but I didn’t want to haul it around for 7 weeks to only use it for 2-3 days. Luckily, their advice had told us about a shop at the end of the block that sold some cheap knock-offs for 20euro! So we immediately left before the crowd dispersed to do the same. I got the last pair that didn’t look like gigantic clown pants. As we were paying, we say the rush of guys coming down the stairs on the hunt for their own. We walked to a number of different stores checking prices for a decent dirndl for Kristin. Oddly enough we found a nice one for 50 euro from a pop-up vendor next to the main station. Now that we were all squared away on attire, it was time to find out where we were going to stay 🙂

Because we booked our flights so late, we didn’t feel we had any chance on finding an economical accommodation, so I had reached out to people I knew in the area that could possible host us during Oktoberfest. Patrick, another friend I had met from traveling had responded and let me know I could stay with his family. Even though he was actually out traveling through the Philippines and wasn’t going to be around we were able to set something up through couchsurfing with them.

We had two minor setbacks with this plan. the first was my couchsurfing account was messed up and I needed to wait for them to fix it before I was able to reach out again through it. So we defaulted to email, this was our second setback. All updates I had sent out, had been forwarded to the junk mail folder and our hosts weren’t sure if we were still coming. In the end, it all worked out, but it was a little awkward at first when we showed up and they didn’t know who we were or how we knew how to get there. They basically thought, because I never responded, we planned to stay elsewhere. Luckily they still had room for us and all was well.

Basically this is the quick and dirty run down on Oktoberfest. Dress to fit in. General styles are perfectly fine, but if you really want to fit the bill, look for the traditional Bavarian style attire with vest, socks, etc. You will stand out if you are not dressed up that goes without saying. On the first day they do not start serving beer until after noon, after the procession has passed and the first keg has been tapped by the mayor. It is tradition. Only then will the beer begin to flow. But until then get there stupid early to stand in line to make sure you can get a table. I don’t know when, but they open the doors early. We aimed to go to the Hacker Pschorr tent but that felt completely full when we arrived at 8am and we still stood in line outside until 11 or so. If you go on the first day, bring a deck of cards and aim to get there around 6am to get your pick of a good table.

About reserving tables – you can’t, unless you are a local. And even still, they have to reserve super early, think beginning of the year early. So if you know a local and know you plan your trips in advance, plan accordingly. The reservations are free and seat 10 to a table., but you must commit to a certain amount of food and drink and pay that ahead of time. Interpret that how you like.

For everyone else who doesn’t know locals or plans to elbow their way in, this is how it works. On the first day if you want the best table get there around 6am. We got there at 8am as recommended and did not find something until after 2 or something. I can only speak for the first day, For the week days, I don’t think it matters, we got there around noon on monday and walked right in and sat down. For the weekends I heard try to get there around 8 or so, They don’t start serving beer until after 930 or 10, but you at least have a table.

Another heads up, if you plan to just show up whenever, consider this, they typically do not serve you if you are not seated or have a seat at a table. If you want beer or food, you must have a table you can get it from, otherwise you will not be served. We basically vultured near a table and waited until a server brought beer by and had extras and we snagged those. I only saw one type of beer, so don’t go asking for a beer list, just say how many, be quick and have your money ready. When you do get your first beer, make sure to tip well on it so they come back. If you do not tip they will not keep coming by the table. The philosophy is simple really, tip and you will be taken care of. The cost per liter stein was 980eu this year. Plan to spend money.

Smoking is also not allowed inside the tents, you most leave. If your waiting for the first beers and need to get your fix, I don’t know if they will let you back in. They may, but that is something you may need to figure out on your own. Maybe invest in an electronic cigarette or bring some nicorette.

About the tents – if you’re looking for specific information about specific tents, my recommendations would be to seek that elsewhere, I can only share what I know. The Hacker Pschorr tent is supposed to be one of the most famous tents. It is also supposed to be the most beautiful because of the clouded ceiling. And I believe it is supposed to also be one of the rowdiest with a younger crowd. If you want a little calmer, seek another tent. This is the tent we spent the first 2 days in. On opening day we were there for about 13 hours in total. I heard good things about the Hippodrome, Haufbrau house is supposed to be the most famous of blablabla, but personally I could care less for their beer. Maybe go check out the real Haufbrau House downtown, but I wouldn’t stay. There is much better beer out there, but that is all a matter of opinion really.

If your interested in getting the true local experience, go to Augustiner. We went to this tent on the third day, but their beer where the real experience is at. They have halls and restaurants all over the city. The food is to die for; they have their own butcher only for them. In my opinion, their beer is, hands down, the best. They do zero advertising, and not until very recently (3 years or so) they didn’t do any exporting and still it is impossible to find. Any local you speak with will say it is their favorite. The tent was fine, but the real experience are in the halls.

As far as my personal take on Oktoberfest, it was fun but I don’t know if it is something I would make a point to come back to every year. Probably now just another tick off my bucket list, but worth every penny. You can do it in 2-3 days, just make sure to pick your tents and times wisely. We met tons of people so even if you go by yourself, which I doubt, you wont drink alone. And everyone is out to have a good time, singing, dancing, standing on the benches, etc. 

On the second day we relaxed and took it easy and planned to meet up with some of kristin’s friends later that evening in the HP tent again. But for the day, we did laundry and other important things like setting up a ride to Berlin, booking a hostel, and playing Candy Crush Saga 🙂 Again, Sundays are a pain in the butt if you need anything. Finding change for the washing machine was next to impossible. We also left the house that afternoon and stowed our stuff in the lockers at the main station and went to meet with Kristin’s friends. We drank with them and crashed in their room that night.

On the third day we spent a few hours in the Augustiner tent until around 330 or so. Then took off to catch our ride up to Berlin. I think the total beer count for the both of us was somewhere around 22 liters in three days. 🙂 great success. Kristin got blitzed on monday. I tell you that was super exciting hauling around super drunkiface through the subways and streets of Munich with two packs on our backs and in head-to-toe lederhosen and dirndl. I have a video of her somewhere, but she would kill me if I posted it.

When we got to the car, Kristin slept the entire way up to Berlin, with the exception for when we stopped for a quick bite to eat halfway there. She was still drunk. Burger in one hand, salad fork in the other.  Another tick off ye ‘ole bucket list, Oktoberfest down. We were in Berlin by 9pm.