The 2009 Munich Oktoberfest kicks off on September 19th and celebrates the 176th year of the world’s biggest party. This year reservations are high, even the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ cant dampen the Oktoberfest spirit – so if you are planning to attend get in early and book your table, you don’t want to miss out. This year beer will cost between 8.30 and 8.60 euro a litre or Mass and there is bound to be about 7 million litres of it served, along with half a million chickens, 150,000 sausages, 60,000 pork knuckles and over 100 oxen. Construction of the huge tents are underway and this year there are some new rides and attractions making it bigger and more fun than ever. Some of the services stats are incredible with nearly 1000 toilets needed, 800 metres of urinals, 27 of Munich’s daily water use and 14% of their electricity. About half a million people are expected to attend every day of the 16 day event.
The festivals are starting to kick of in Germany, and one of the premier events is the Stuttgart Cannstatter Volkfest. It’s Stuttgart’s answer to Munich’s Octoberfest and last year attracted over 4 1/2 million visitors and over half of them from outside Stuttgart. Now in it’s 163rd year the festival runs from the 26th of September until the 12 of October and is fun for the whole family. There are some great carnival rides and attractions plus plenty of beer, infact over on million litres of beer is served during the festival and over 700,000 meals. This year the festival has a mascot, he is WasenHasi, who is a cute little bunny, the soft toy market is going to go crazy because he is so cute. Some of the huge tents this year include Grandls hofbrau Zelt, Stamer Hof, Furstenberg Zelt and Schwaben Brau Festireli. The festival takes up a huge 68,000 square metres and is open daily from lunch time to midnight.
Back in the 60’s and 70’s a popular men’s magazine called Australasian Post featured regular catoons by artist Ken Maynard, they were all based around a few Aussie friends and the happenings at the Ettamongah Pub. Some bright spark in the 1980’s decided to build a Ettamongah Pub and with great detail, right down to the busted up truck on the roof. Today the Ettamongah Pub about 10 minutes drive from the Victorian- New South Wales border town of Albury in Australia is home to the amazing pub. It has been so successful with bus loads of tourists and families other Ettamongah Pubs have sprouted up throughout Australia, with Western Australia and Queensland a few of the states which have now got their own Ettamongah Pub. The pub is more than a pub, it has a great restaurant, souvenir shop and even a lolly shop for the young folk. So if you are near Albury call in for an ice cold beer and say G’day to the locals.
Ken Maynard is one of Australia’s best loved cartoonists his favorite characters all feature around the Ettamongah Pub. The pub is a wacky old place and the people and critters in it are just as strange. Two of these hotels have been created in real life on just out of Albury / Wodonga in Southern New South Wales and this one on Queensland’s sunshine coast at Caloundra. Don’t forget to to have a ice cold beer at Bluey’s bar and the meals at the grill are huge and very Aussie.The pub is surrounded by Aussie World another kitsch and over the top Aussie adventure. There’s heaps of rides for the kids including a huge Ferris wheel and plenty of sideshow action.
Stuttgart is not only the home of Mercedes Benz and Porsche it’s home to the annual Cannastatter Volksfest- the second largest beer festival in Germany (or the world for that matter) after Munich. The centerpiece of the festival is the huge Ferris Wheel and 24 metre basket of fruit. The festival dates back to 1818 and now attracts over 3 million people to its two weeks of celebration. There are huge beer tents but they are not as big as that found in Munich, but its much easier to find a beer here as things are not quiet as busy.
This years event starts today and goes through until the 12th of October.
The worlds biggest event starts today in Munich, the 174th Oktoberfest. The celebrations will commence with the traditional tapping of the barrel by Munich’s Lord Mayor at 12 PM making way for over 6 million visitors to the festival over the following two weeks. Over six million litres of fresh German beer will be drank along with quarter of a million pairs of sausages, half a million roast chickens, plus paddocks of oxen and more pretzels than you could point a stick at. There are over 12,000 staff employed over the festival with 1600 waitresses, some can carry a dozen full litre beers at once. The huge tens seat over 100,000 people in total at any one time and with all the beer and food the site needs over 1800 toilets.
Yebisu Garden Place is the located in the suburb now more commonly known as Ebisu which is a suburb of Tokyo not far from Shibuya and Roppongi. The Yebisu beer head quarters is situated here. The huge complex features a beer museum complete with samples of their tasty products, a large shopping mall, several restaurants and of course an indoor beer hall. The highlight of the centre is the whimsical Oktoberfest clock which celebrates every hour and delights young and old. The clock features horse drawn carriages with beer barrels, lots of German inspired characters and of course plenty of Ompha music, which for a moment makes you feel like you are in Munich.
Check out this video of the Absolut Ice Bar at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarv Sweden. The whole complex is made out of ice like a giant igloo. Located at one of the northern most points of Sweden it not too far from the south pole (and possibly Santa’s house) you can stay at the hotel for about 200 euro a night where you sleep in a ultra warm sleeping bag on top an ice bed. With temperatures around -6 deg C there is no need for a mini bar in these rooms besides you will want to warm yourself up with a drop of vodka from their Ice Bar. Also note the glasses sitting on top of the bar, if they look a bit odd to you, it’s because they are made of ice. Read the rest of this entry »
Kalgoorlie lies in Western Australia’s outback 4 hours east of Perth and once was home to 93 pubs and 100 brothels. Today the mining town doesn’t quiet have that number of either, but the Exchange Hotel still stands and has a very colourful history it was a pretty rough old town back 100 years ago when everyone was after their fortune mining gold. The old red brick pub could tell a story or two including the times when barmaids were only allowed to work naked. Today the pub has much more dignity and is one of the town’s most photographed landmarks. They serve ice cold beer and cook up a pretty damm good steak too.
When travelling up Shinsaibashi-suji shopping mall in Osaka which is an undercover shopping strip which runs over 1.8 km we came across this great little pub. It served crispy cold Carlsberg beer on tap and nothing else, they only had 8 glasses. The pub was no more than 2 metres long by about 1.5 metres deep had a bar and 2 bar stools. You rubbed shoulders with the other person if there was more than 2 people in the bar. Anyway the service was friendly and the beer sure was refreshing. Read the rest of this entry »