I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my blog lately! It’s just that I accumulated so many pictures the week I went away (first weekend of October), and even more since I’ve been back. Throw some assignments for school in there as well, and I just couldn’t find the time or energy to sit down, delete the bad ones, touch up the good ones, reflect on the experiences, and expertly document so I can share with the world! Also, in North America we are blessed with great internet connections and speed. Europe, you got some work to do in that regard.
Tonight, I am committing to update this blog, one relative segment at a time. Up first, Oktoberfest!
I flew from Barcelona to Munich on the 5th of October, one month ago exactly (if you go by the week)! I hadn’t slept the night before, because I was up working on my presentation for Friday morning, but architecture school has conditioned me quite well for this sort of scenario. My first taste of beer in Munich didn’t come from an official Oktoberfest tent; by the time both my classmates (Kurtis and Alana) and I found our hostel, and met up with Kurtis’ parents, we ended up drinking a few beers in a hotel lobby. No problem, tomorrow was destined to be a long day of drinking steins.
What a beautiful day for drinking beer!
We had heard people say that, in order to get into a tent, we should be there really early, like 8 am. We got to the Oktoberfest grounds around 10 am. There is a wide variety of tents, all with the same sort of hospitality, serving large beers, food, souvenirs, and traditional Bavarian bands. Here is the Hofbrauhaus tent, where I spent my day.
Here’s how it worked. When we got there, you could walk up to the tent where there were lots of seats and tables outside, all very busy, and all served by Hofbrauhaus. We wanted to go inside, so we waited in a line for about 10 minutes until the security guy said that it was full and they wouldn’t let anybody else in until 1 pm. We went and found some seats outside, luckily enough right next to a real Bavarian!
Here is where the beer drinking begins!
My wonderful, and incredibly strong bar maid.
Alana (always so mysterious) and I.
Kurtis, in all his Lederhosen glory.
It turned out that getting inside the tent wasn’t all that hard. I was inside at two different points during the day. One time I was by myself, and just had to ask to go inside for whatever reason I could come up with. The second time there was a group of us, and Alana somehow sweet-talked our way in. Here’s what the inside looks like.
This is a pretty tame photo, but you can get a good idea of the size and how many people are in there. Every tent is decorated differently, we went in a few others the next day just to take a peek, but I now have a personal bias towards this one. =)
This was the scene around 2 pm. I was on the tent side of the rope, while all of these people just wanted to get into the outside area where they serve the beer. There aren’t any beer vendors on the grounds along the main walk (although I’m sure it’s not hard to find), so you have to be on the right side of the rope to get served!
Kurtis told me about this place before we got to Munich. He said, “There’s a hill where everybody goes to pass out.”
Well, I found it. It was right behind the three big tents (Hofbrauhaus, Hippodrom, and Paulaner I think).
I tried hard to not let any beer go to waste. As you can see by the spots on my shirt, I wasn’t entirely successful.
I’ll stop the Oktoberfest pictures here. There are a few more, but let’s just say that my ability to take worthwhile pictures was in full decline by about 5 pm. However, do not mistake this claim as any sort of regret. I had a great time, I will definitely go back the next chance I get!
The day after was the last day of Oktoberfest for 2012, and rather then spend another day drinking, I geeked out on some great architecture. The big thing for me was the BMW World and Museum complex. I was first made aware of BMW World when my good friend Nojan wrote some sentimental message on a postcard with a picture of it; I think it was about graduating from highschool. The building is by Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au, led by Wolf Prix.
This is the spiraling vortex portion. The bridge in front of it connects the second level of the BMW World to the plaza of the BMW Museum and head offices.
This is the big glass facade portion. It’s just such a massive building, it’s hard to fit into my little 4:3 aspect ratio camera.
Here is the bridge connecting the older BMW Museum and offices to the new BMW World. The museum is in the bowl shaped building.
This is looking back towards the main entrance. On the right hand side you can see the second level as it crosses through the building envelope and connects the two sides of the street. The area in the center of this picture is like a big, awesome parking lot with a driveway that spirals down to the floors below. Usually I don’t get excited about parking lots, but this one was really cool.
Again, the main entry at street level and bridge level with the spiral vortex beyond. The vortex portion wasn’t open so no pictures inside of it, unfortunately.
This is the first picture I took inside the BMW Museum. This museum was great, the space planning really complemented all of the various galleries which you access along these walkways. The galleries are on the other side of the illuminated walls. For a space without any natural light, it was really bright and engaging. The collection was comprehensive and very interesting even if you aren’t a car buff. The high level of design BMW demands really shows in the architecture and all of the items on display.
This would fall under the compact class, the BMW Isetta!
Dad’s car, the BMW M Roadster. This is from the first year of production, 1997.
The original M series, M1! I can’t remember the year exactly, 1977 I think.
This crazy car is one of the latest concepts from BMW. I can’t remember exact details, and I didn’t take a picture of any of the information because my camera was about out of battery at this time, but I do know that the body is a reinforced fabric.
Also from the BMW Museum, the BMW Kinetic Sculpture. It was made pretty popular through a TV commercial a few years ago.
I have no more pictures from my time in Germany. I may have mentioned previously, I spent the rest of the day walking through Olympic Park, designed and built for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The park is a series of buildings constructed with tensile steel forming parabolic curves, clad in a resilient plexiglass. The variety of sport programs and scale was really interesting, and definitely worth a few hours visit for any architecture/engineering aficionado.
Up next: My time in the Netherlands!