Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Oktoberfest 2013 and a few Small Countries

Sometime in late spring/early summer I got an email from a friend who said why don't you join us for Oktoberfest.  It took me all of 2 seconds to respond with YES!!!  COUNT US IN!!!  We went to Oktoberfest in 2006 and were excited to be going back.  In planning the trip we decided we would drive, it was the best way for us to hit a few other spots on the way up and back.  So the first stop was the Republic of San Marino, a small country totally surrounded by Italy.  A very nice little place, we spent the afternoon walking around, exploring the castle and had dinner overlooking the Italian country side.  The views were amazing.
License Plate in San Marino
 Then a night outside of Bologna and off to Germany via Austria!  Once in Bavaria, we stayed in a great little town, Murnau am Staffelsee.  It was just want this Momma needed, a great Germany town full of happy Germans and good beer around every corner.  We started our tour with a visit to a great brewery and then the next day into Munich for some Oktoberfest fun and it was fun.  We started out in the Oilde Weisn, which is the more traditional/family friendly part.  There was music, dancing, food, and of course BEER!  After a few hours in the tent it was time to venture out.  We rode some of the fun rides, had some yummy fest food, and hit a few tents.  This picture is taken inside the Lowenbrau tent, hands down one of my favorite.  

 The music was fun, the people were great, and our little guy fell asleep!  He was quite the novelty, as many people took pictures with him.  Such a little smoozer even when he is asleep.  From there we headed back to Murnau via the train, it was a great day and everyone was ready for bed after a long day of whooping it up.  The next day it was back into Munich for a bike tour with the kids.  What a great way to see the city, via a bike… only in Germany!  We had a fun tour guide and the kids enjoyed riding and seeing the sights.  A lunch break with a playground was a big hit and we all enjoyed a pretzel (adults had beer too!).  Another night of good sleep, being in the fresh air will do that to you.  On our last full day in Germany (sadly), we did walking tour of Munich with a visit to the Hafbrauhaus before going back to the Weisn.  After some more rides and yummy fair food, it was time to head back to the train station and head back to the hotel.  The next day was German Unification day, so the fest was packed, people were getting silly, and I had had enough of dealing with people.

One of the things we did the first European Tour was visit Liechtenstein, unfortunately we forgot our passports.  This time I was ready, we were getting a stamp and it didn't matter how much it cost.  The drive through the Alps was beautiful and the kids missed most of it due to iPad time and naps.  Ugh!  Once we got to the small country to Liechtenstein we found some license plates to take some pictures.
 This is now becoming a thing with us, so why not keep up the tradition!  If anything it is a great way to show the kids the different country codes.  We spend time walking around and even sent ourselves a postcard with local stamps.  Then it was over to the Liechtenstein Postage Stamp museum for some fun.  The kids were able to draw their own stamps and I took a few pictures of the stamps with my stamps, sorry Sticky Boys!

It was getting late, so back into the car we all went.  We took the Swiss route back into Italy, thru the Lake District (amazing) and finally stopped in Parma for the night.  Too bad we had to get home to Bella Napoli the next day, it would have been nice to get some cheese.  :)  All in all it was a great trip and one all of us will remember for a while.  More Italian fun coming up, involving some chocolate and some wine.  All good things here in Italy!

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