Get the latest from Women's Hockey Life straight to your inbox


WOW!  Ok, after experiencing Oktoberfest, I think it’s only fair that it receives an entry of its own.

We left Sunday after our game (we won!) and got to Munich, Germany around 9:30.  We stayed at a campground that literally had hundreds of tents and campers crammed in it.  We hadn’t eaten yet so after we got settled in, we jumped in a cab and went downtown Munich to grab some pizza.  The girls had ordered me a beer while I was using the washroom and when I got back to our table outside, there was a huge beer waiting for me.  Literally, it was one full liter worth and took me forever to drink!  Apparently I left my drinking shoes back at UConn along with my freshmen year!  I hated beer before I set foot in Europe and now I actually enjoy it … I guess it really is an acquired taste!

The next morning we woke up and ventured 35mins outside of Munich to experience a little bit of history.  We went to check out the first Nazi concentration camp in Germany – Dachau.  The memorial site was actually closed the day we went, but we were able to walk around and see some of the sights.  It was a surreal moment to be standing in the same place where so much pain, misery and suffering occurred.  At one point we turned a corner and a huge gate was in front of us.  Behind those gates were where the prisoners were kept and put to work.  An eerie feeling took over my body and I was almost thankful that it was closed that day and that we couldn’t see everything.

We left Dachau and made our way back to the campground only to leave an hour later to experience Oktoberfest.  We hopped in a cab that took us to the train station then did our best to find the right train.  Once we got on the right train, we got off at the wrong stop.   We quickly jumped on another train only to go back a few more stops.  It was ridiculously busy and Shawzy, Angi and I were running to get on the train before the doors closed.  Well, Shawzy and Angi made it on safely … I made it on, but only after I jumped through the doors and bear hugged this elderly man who thankfully prevented me from falling.  Now, when I say I bear hugged him … I mean I literally had both of my hands wrapped around him as if he were a long lost friend I hadn’t seen in years.  Of course the man only speaks German and I’m telling him I’m sorry for bear hugging him but he has no idea what I’m saying and is looking at me like I have ten heads!  The fact that I was dying laughing I’m sure didn’t help the situation either.  Point of the story, we made it to Oktoberfest and I made a new friend!

It’s almost impossible to try and explain Oktoberfest, but I will try.  The fair aspect of it is similar to most other fairs.  You have your typical rides, games and food stands.  What blew me away were the beer tents.  I’m not much of a drinker anymore these days (I know that’s harder for some of you to believe than others), but drinker or not, it was a spectacular sight.  Everyone was chanting and signing,there was a band playing and everyone was getting up on the tables and dancing.  I mean, at one point, the band stopped playing and this one huge German was on stage and was chugging a full liter of beer.  He didn’t pause once and the entire crowd was cheering him on.  We met a few other Canadians along with some men from Sweden, a crowd of Brits and even ran into a bunch of college kids from Colgate.  For the amount of beer that was consumed that day in those tents by hundreds of people, I was impressed that I didn’t witness a fight.  Everyone was just so happy and loving life!  An all around good feeling and experience!

We unfortunately didn’t make it back to the Jolly Jumper (the country bar we frequent in Bulach), but we brought some of the Jolly Jumper to Oktoberfest.  Towards the end of our night we ventured away from the beer tents to get some food.  As we were walking along, we stumbled upon … heck, I honestly don’t even know what it was, but they were playing music and all of a sudden, Shawzy, Angi and I thought we were Gods gift to line dancing and we started to dance.  I can’t tell you what song was playing, but I can definitely tell you it wasn’t country.  We must have been doing a half decent job because the next thing we knew, we had an audience.  There must have been a couple dozen people standing all around us just watching and smiling.  Whether or not they were laughing with us or at us is still to be determined!

Other than that the next exciting thing that is coming up over here is that the Chicago Blackhawks will be in town.  Crazy, eh?  I guess they’re playing another team in Switzerland on the 28th of September and then on the 29th they play our men’s team (ZSC Lions).  Tickets sold out long before I even got here, but I have signed up to help out and do some volunteer work and if they need me, I will be able to get in and watch the game!  Fingers crossed!

Until the next adventure unfolds … keep smiling!



More about Jaclyn Hawkins