Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 4

After the first day of real drinking we all woke up at an agreed 8 30 ish feeling pretty good... no really we all felt quite good, apparently it's good beer and doesn't give you hangovers like the regular stuff. We arrived at the grounds at little later say around 10 or so thinking that because they didn't serve beer until 12 on the first day we should be able to get some food in us before the drinking began again. Well after walking into the lowenbrau tent looking around a bit seeing that half the tables had reserved signs on them and more were being reserved as we stood there we claimed one of the tables as our own just in time. 2 minutes later a beer wench walked over to us and we slowly ordered the 1st steins of the day with all ideas of starting a little slower gone out the window... beer 2 hours earlier than on the first day!! 'ah well' everybody said 'drink up!'
Some of the reserved tables around us were for some random bands performing around the grounds throughout the day. They came in one group at a time had their food a beer then played us a couple of songs for good measure. Being inside a tent is a completely different experience than drinking outside. When your inside things are designed for entertainment with our tent band marching in to the crowds delight later in the day and taking up their place in the middle of the tent up on stage to keep everyone singing for the night especially.
Once the reserved seats had been left behind the Australian 'fanatics' took up position close by us and soon we were standing up on the tables where we spent most of the day...by the time night had fallen very few people in the tent were actually sitting.
The reason behind the trip to Germany was the fact that it was Campbells' 30th birthday and on this day he shone like a true aussie. By about 2pm I think it was he was completely smashed (probably still drunk from the day before not helping him any) and had fallen off the table once already, well the second time he fell off the table it really was quite funny....whilst falling from the table top he managed to slide onto his head on the way down to the bench and on the way down he held up his beer to prevent a spill but all he managed to do was turn it upside down and empty his stein all over himself - very funny - you can see the result of this in a picture a little further down. Oh yeah, we did check to see if he was ok!
During the day me and tristan decided to go and check out some of the rides so we plodded off and went on the one that takes you straight up then drops you down, not very scary but a really good view of the showgrounds from the top of the ride. The good stuff was performed by me and big stu later in the evening when we went on 'cyber space' and a roller coaster that was in the shape of the Olympic rings so you go around a couple of loops then straight then around some more loops then straight then around some more loops...much fun was to be had. Cyber space took the cake though, the fastest one with lots of upside down action with a lot of 'around around' action to. I did take a film of my ride and it looks pretty good and the sound effects are also very good and once again i didn't see anyone throw up, actually i didn't see anyone throw up on a ride or in a tent the whole time we were there.
Going on the rides and a bit of a wonder around made me decide i was going to try to find the way back to the hotel, too bad the rides were in a slightly different area to where we usually entered the grounds so when i walked out of an unfamiliar entrance i tried to find a familiar road but couldn't so i had to head back to the tent we had been in all day, go to the exact table we stood at then retrace my steps home....yes this was going to work!! I got back to the tent found the original table, none of our crew were there so i joined some of the other random drunks and sang along to 'hey jude' (sung by our great band) which went for a good 10 minutes or so with lots of naaaa naaaa naaaa na na na naaaa na na na naaaa heeeeeyyyy juuuuuudddddee. All good fun. Now I could find the way back to the hotel to join some of the others who had got back already and wait for those who hadn't. A great cheese and ham toastie finished off the day giving me the power to make it upstairs to bed, ah goodnight.

Cam in goal where he belongs!

When he fell of the table and decided to pour beer on himself...good idea.

Some music from the balcony, random things like this would be happening all the time

The general look of the inside of the tent, the band lives on the raised round bit in the middle

Yes it was daytime outside, perfect skies and the Hindenburg there to keep us safe!

I think i found the first ride of the day...over there <--- that way.

The way back after deciding that I needed to return to our table so I could find the way back to the hotel.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Day 3

Here we are at day 3...well it should really be day 1 because it was the first day of Oktoberfest where the real partying began. So up in the morning by 8 most of us headed downstairs for a touch of breakfast, which i think was quite nice (meats, rolls, cereal, fruits, toast and a whole bunch of things to go with it) and took advantage of the situation by stuffing my face of course!
By 9am we were off to the festival grounds, a little confused as to what direction we were meant to be headed we pretty much went in 3 different directions before eventually choosing the original one it being the correct one. Once we got close to the grounds we followed the crowd and hit the jackpot, well our intended destination.
The area the beer tents are on is huge and all around are roller coasters, thrill rides and shops selling all sorts of bits and pieces. Somehow we kind of knew where the hoffbrau tent was (I think big Stu knew the general direction of the tent) and headed in the general direction of that way. Well by the time we got there and went inside there was absolutely no way we were going to get a table even though there was room for about 8000 people every position available was gone and it was only about 9 15 in the morning. We did the next best thing and managed to get a table outside, luckily the weather was perfect so it wasn't so bad... a bit hot even! Time 9 30 table acquired....beer serving time starts at 12noon!! On the first day you can't get any beer until 12 because there is a parade and traditionally the first barrel has to be tapped in a ceremony which marks the beginning of Oktoberfest.
Just before 12 over the speakers comes a voice announcing the approaching festivities some music is played, one song in particular that we will all know very well by the end of the trip sings about beer being ambrosia (the nectar of the gods). It hits 12 and something like fireworks get shot up into the sky every few seconds like gunshots to let it be known it's now beer time....well they can start serving now but you have to wait for the serving wenches to come to your table and take your order....10 steins please! Finally by 12 30 we were drinking, 3 hours after sitting down!!
Throughout the day we progressively got more drunk and hungry. Food was expensive to say the least but when Iain found a shop that sold pork knuckles we had to get one even at 25euros for 1, we decided to go halves, definitely worth it. As good as the beer was I'm not a beer drinker so the pork knuckle was a great thing for me, I could have a good drink then quickly eat some knuckle to fill my mouth with such a better flavour...i ate the knuckle over about 1 hour and it was the best food from the whole trip....except maybe the pizza shop just by the hotel but that wasn't at the festival so it doesn't count.
Spending the whole day drinking beer in the sun and dancing on tables (much more table dancing was done in the days to come) does get to you after a while and by around 7 or 8 or something like that we were pretty knackered and looking to head back to the hotel. The only problem was that Campbell had manged to get himself lost after a trip to the loo or something like that, so the remaining people put up a bit of a futile effort to try and find him before heading off. By the end of the day we had begun a tradition of everybody losing everybody else and managing to walk back to the hotel in 2's 3's or often by yourself. Like trying to walk stu back and him worrying about getting caught stealing a stein from the grounds so he decides to take a little detour and we don't see him again until the next morning at breakfast time, ah memories. It seems to be a Youngson tradition to walk off and get lost or just decide to go somewhere else....twits.

The Festival grounds with rides in the background and some of the great traditional costumes in the foreground...some of these outfits were really great and very....revealing. :)

Our home for the first day, the beer garden of the Hoffbrau tent. Blue skies!

Iain and myself posing with our pork knuckle

Iain, Luke, Cam, Stu and Me all in our hats which we bought to keep cool and to look good of course

Stu the first victim of the 'smashing stein syndrome'

No one was permanently harmed during the making of this picture!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 2

We checked out of the tent at 10am or so after a decent feed for breakfast and headed into the city to find our new accommodation and have a look around. The city has a lot of new buildings because the whole place was nearly destroyed during the second world war. The remaining old buildings are very nice especially in an area called marianplatz. Eventually we found our way around the city with some help from fruit and a map and a stop off for a quick drink in marianplatz. It was time to go to the hotel and wait for the others so we could check in. Just down the road from the hotel was a very nice pizza place where you could buy a whole variety of different slices...very good. The rest of the evening was spent doing some catching up in the downstairs bar and munching on more pizza. Stu and myself managed to catch up with a contiki group and go out into the party area of munich. The nightclub we were in was a little strange...in one room there was up to date dance music sounding pretty good and getting the crowd involved, then if you took a little walk down the hall it was went back in time to the 50's, 60's and 70's, apparently the Germans lve this style of music, it was a good time though.
So arriving back at the hotel at 8 in the morning it was time to get ready for our first day at the festival grounds and the tents of Oktoberfest!!

Stu taking a picture of a very large chuch from the top of some watery mushrooms

From the centre of Marianplatz

The left of the previous picure

Some of the contiki crew

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oktoberfest - Day 1

Iain and myself flew out of edinburgh down to london to pick up stu then from there it was onto munich to find our accommodation, a place called 'the tent', we had arrived a day earlier than the rest of the group due to being able to get cheaper flights from where we were coming from.
After a quick walk around the city and a bite of food we caught a taxi and believe me it is very weird sitting in the normal drivers seat (right hand side) of the car and not actually driving the car because they drive on the wrong side of the road in Germany, going around corners is something else altogether!
A the tent we checked in and were given our sheets and blankets... 4 blankets each!! the tent we were in had 300 beds in it and was extremely cold, i would have hated to have been there during the winter. One of the other tents didn't have any beds and the people were given a fold out mattress and 7 blankets each!! Except for the cold it wasn't too difficult to get to sleep.

Inside the main sleeping quarters

Me with my bed number... yes... 351!

On the way out the next morning and off to the real accommodation in the city centre


This is one i think i'll have to split up into some day by day action...so the story may come out over a few days in real life....

More Fringe Festival

By this time Stu had been offered a job down in reading outside of london, so he travelled off down there to work. At the end of August he came back up to edinburgh to catch up and to see 'The puppetry of the penis' which had been showing at the festival.
The show itself was very 'interesting' and a little odd because you do have 2 completely naked guys on stage in front of you for about 50 minutes or so...weird. Some of the things they manged to do were pretty good, unfortunately i don't have any pictures of the show, i'm fairly sure that you weren't allowed to take pictures even if you wanted to! You can buy the book which shows you in step by step form how to do all of the puppetry work, I don't know who you would do them in front of???

Here's a few pictures from when stu was visiting and from around the same time.

Stu and Iain are yes special people, yes doctor that's why we have to look after them with the aid of straws!

Yes mum you do have your very own style of toffee and it's quite nice with it's sherbet centre.

Well a couple of the staff members came back one night in disguise so we all had to try on the spy attire

Foo Fighters

After seeing the tattoo on Monday most of the same people went to see the foo fighters in their biggest outdoor concert on Tuesday night (21st August).
The concert was at Medowbank stadium and there really were thousands of people there just to see one group perform.

Once the Nine inch nails finished their set it was time for the main show as the sun had gone down a light rain began to fall the crowd were beginning to push their way towards the stage and the light show went into full swing. Me and chris (our local crazy canadian friend) began to make our way to the front of the crowd through the masses waiting for everyone to start jumping so it was possible to move forwards. Once up the front we heard 'my hero', 'monkey wrench' and a couple of other songs which was a lot of fun, but when your feet aren't touching the ground, you're holding a camera in one hand and your glasses in another (because they did fall off once and i very luckily managed to catch them before they got destroyed) it's quite difficult to stop yourself from falling down in the surging masses and getting squished, so i very slowly managed to get back to a safe distance and watch the show with the rest of the group. Chris did manage to get right to the fence up front (he had the bruise to prove it) and slap dave groll on the back when he walked past.

When i first got the ticket i knew that i did know some of the songs they sing but by the end i recognised all the songs except for one which was their new release so it made it possible to sing along the whole night and leave feeling good about the decision to go in the first place.

The crowd building before the show begins

The group takes to the stage

From a little futher back now, just before they go off stage for the first time

Like most of these kinds of events i do have some videos which gives a better idea of how things were but it's just pictures today.

All in all a great show, so if they come to your town make sure you go and check em out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Edinburgh Military tattoo

So now it's August and in Edinburgh that means it's Fringe Festival time!! the largest arts & comedy festival in the world! It goes on for the whole month of August and there are people EVERYWHERE! there are about 400 different venues ranging from free comedy shows to the professional productions like the military tattoo.
Luckily the hostel was selling tickets to the show so there we went. After waiting in one of the longest lines ever we found our seats and the show began. Just as you would expect there were a lot of pipers to open the show in the formal tradition and we heard the history of music in the defence forces but then things changed up a bit and we were shown different styles of music from guest military bands from around the world. eg west indies, usa, taiwan, russia, norway canada and the far east.

It wasn't only marching bands on show, others included some motorbike stunts, dancers, limbo, bands on horseback and of course the lone piper from high in the castle.

I'll put up some pictures now but if you (whoever you may be) ever come to Edinburgh in August make sure you get some tickets and go and see the show, it will be more than what you'll expect!!!
This is the line before the show down the royal mile, you can see the back of the stands right in the middle of the picture if you look really closely.

The pipers heading out at the beginning of the show

A group of riding kids from 6 years to 16 years of age doing their pyramid work

The top girls highschool of Taiwan showing of their stuff, they kept the best timing out of all the groups.

Some of the projection work onto the castle, here you can see the thistle scotlands national flower. This is also how they showed some of the history of the marching band.

Altogether i think that the show we went to was one of the best ones...perfect weather and nobody dropped any of their twirling equipment or fell off their motorbike...apparently that happened at some of the other shows but not at OURS!!!

Down to London

Well it's time to travel back in time for me and think about what i did all those weeks ago... I did pop down to london for a short while to visit the old pub and have a bit of a party.

I stayed at the globetrotters in london (obviously not as good as ours in edinburgh) for the time i was there at cheap rates which was great for being in london and in the city.

The Telegraph (old work) is a lot busier now with it's name getting out there and the summer months in full swing, it's 1st birthday had just passed in july. Suprisingly there were still a lot of the old staff working there, so most of this trip was me catching up with people and not going to see or do exciting things, but i had fun anyways....even if i did get trapped in a mirror with Jay!!!

luckily i did escape from the mirror and made it back to Edinburgh! phew

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well i've been a little busy of late but i do hope to add some more posts when stu brings back the laptop next week, so i'll be waiting for then!!

ps. its festival time and its great ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


yay i've arrived in london again!! after 3 delays on the train it's time to party!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Visiting the 'old town'

Hi guys!

Just a short note saying that if all goes to plan, and I'm fairly sure it will, I'll be visiting the old pub back in London from the 23rd to the 27th of July for a bit of a catchup and some London party life!! If so I'm sure to put some piccis up of this trip!

thanks for watching and now sleeeepppppppp!!! zzz

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

80's NIGHT!

Going back in time now to the 6th of july and way back into the 80's it's time get funky!

So the night had quite a few things ready for the party, we had cheap shots for the night, a twister competition (the 'right hand blue etc...' game not the dancing twister), best dressed and an air guitar strum off... well we didn't get to do the air guitar but it wasn't really needed.
To make the image of the night a little easier to understand here's a crap load (lots) of pictures! yay!
Firstly some characters of the evening....
Boy George 'Martina'
Too bad for the blurry picture

This would be Andy, one of our friends from Liverpool just wearing some of his normal clothing...well not really, looking good tho.

Neil looking cool like the man

Canadian Mike and Employee Chris ready to impress the ladies

p.s. a big goodbye to Mike who left this morning on further travels, good luck!

This one can only be described as 'A whole lot of Jeff'!! Here he shakes his thing in a bit of an improvised dance-off

Again a big goodbye to Jeff who also left this morning to go home to the U.S.

The worlds best dressed bar team Rosie the 80's chick and Me the 80's petrol head, very nice.

Marysia who had got hold of Neils' hair at this stage of the night...can you tell it's a wig I don't know, it's tough call! ;p

Good luck with your travels in London and the rest of the world no doubt.

The twister competition begins under my watchful eye, which unfortunately has Iain's butt sticking in its direction.

Well done Chris who achieved victory during the final a little later

Some action on the dance floor with Stu and Amanda giving it a bit of 'cha cha slide'

Look at that synchronisation

Last but not least after hosting the best dressed comp here I am with the winner Kiss (Mieska) one of our staff members at our friendly hostel

Also, some of the stags set off some fireworks down by the firth, I was told that they were not too bad but it was too bad I was working at the time.

Happy birthday to me!

Thanks to everyone who made the 8th once again the best day of the year....all the singing drinking and everything else ;p you know who you are

Actual work

Just to prove that it's not all play and no work here's my clock in and out sheet for the last week or so....look in the circle for an afternoon start and a late morning finish!!

they can be long weeks but they are fun days