Traveling Yogi: Oktoberfest Part 1

Hello!

One of the main reasons for going to Europe was not just to eat endless amounts of chocolate in Switzerland, but also to attend Oktoberfest. I have heard so many amazing things from friends who have gone, so I just had to experience it for myself! Below is a recap of my first Day at Oktoberfest – I will write about my second day in another post, there is just too much to write about!

Friday, September 18 – Day 1 Munich:
6 am: Walk to Train station from Hostel
7 am: Catch train from Interlaken to Munich

After waking up at the crack of dawn, the hostel employees were still up drinking.. They tried to convince me to stay another night, or at least for a drink (at 6 am)… I politely declined, as I had a train to catch! So, I was given a roadie and sent on my way. There were 2 connections on the trains, and I was lucky enough to find a couple headed to Munich – we worked together to figure out what trains to get on, although we were still running to catch our connections!

After getting on the final train in Zurich, my train car was smoking because the heater was broken. I initially had planned to get some sleep and read a bit, but I couldn’t stand the smell. So, I decided to switch cars… and I am so glad I did! I ended up on the “party” train and met some awesome new friends. I can’t believe I even tried to be a hermit and sleep the entire way… There was always some sort of excitement to get caught up in!

DAY1munich train ride

The Swiss are very, very friendly people. As soon as I sat down, I was given a beer and food. Most didn’t speak English too well, but luckily there was someone from Chicago on the train. Sometimes it is just nice to be able to speak to someone that can understand you!

DAY1munichtrainride DAY1munich train ride2

From 10-1:30 pm, I drank, ate, and made new friends. After arriving at the Munich train station, I walked across the street to my hostel and checked in. I got settled into my room full of bunk beds, and headed out to find my outfit for Oktoberfest! After wandering around Munich and going into a few shops, I finally found my Lederhosen outfit. I opted out of wearing a dress because, well, I hate how they look. I don’t think they are cute… lederhosen, however… shorts with pockets, can’t go wrong with that!

leiderhosen

Fast forward to dinner – remember those Ohion’s I met back in France? They were in Munich for Oktoberfest as well, so we met up at Augustiner Keller for dinner. The beer garden was huge, and the basement was even bigger! I highly recommend stopping here for a bite if you are in the area. After 1/2 liter of beer + a belly full of pretzels, sausages, potatoes and eggs, I was ready for bed!

DAY1augustiner DAY1augustiner4

DAY1AugustinerKellerbeer DAY1augustiner3

The following morning, we all met back up at 7 am for the first day of Oktoberfest!

OktoberfestNina

We waited in line for over 2 hours at the Schottenhamel tent (most well known for where the first keg is tapped + all politicians/celebrities are at) until finally, we made it to the Beer Garden.

oktoberfest wait oktoberfest line

schottenhamelbeergarden

It was FREEZING, and PACKED, but luckily there were heaters over top of the tables. We ordered food, which took forever – pretzels and half chickens – and we sipped on sparkling water while we waited for the festivities to start.

oktoberfestmenu oktoberfestmenu2

Pretzel the size of my head oktoberfest1

The first keg was tapped, and we finally got our first liter of beer around 12:30 pm – well worth the wait! Everyone was getting a bit impatient – it was hard to wait 5.5 hours for a beer, but all was forgotten once we started drinking.

oktoberfest5

oktoberfest4 oktoberfest3

Oktoberfest33 Oktoberfest2

The tent was packed, and we ended up staying until 3:30 pm – there was no way we were getting into the tent (some people bribed to get in, and the bouncers were not very nice!), so we headed off to the Armbrustschützenzelt tent to see if we could actually get inside (it had amazing reviews based on what I researched beforehand).

Armbrustschutzen tent

Luckily, we were able to get inside AND find a table, all while meeting new German friends. Unfortunately, getting the table meant accidentally chugging an entire liter of beer on my part, so this is where things started to get a bit hazy… but absolutely entertaining. Everyone was so friendly and we ended up having an absolute blast!

Armbrustschutzen_2

Around 7-7:30, I headed back home – catching a cab, because there was no way I could maneuver my way back to the hostel! I had only been drinking beer since noon, so I was hungry – luckily my hostel had a restaurant, and I ended up ordering 3 plates of food… much needed after drinking 4-5 liters of beer! I also made some new Australian friends, and I hung out and ate with them until around 10-11.

Overall, my first day at Oktoberfest was a blast! I met amazing, interesting people and drank lots of GOOD beer! I am not a beer lover, but German beer has converted me. And the food… I thought German food was gross… until I ate my way through Munich. Besides sauerkraut, everything I ate was amazing. Potatoes, pretzels, sausages, cheese…. I could live on that and be a very fat, happy woman. If you are headed to Oktoberfest, make sure you order the half chicken and eat unlimited amounts of pretzels… it makes the experience that much better!

oktoberfest2015

So after an entire day of Oktoberfest, I wasn’t sure if I was up for another day.. However, traveling solo with an open mind means you never know what will happen next… with that being said, stay tuned for Oktoberfest Part 2, as well another post on what I did (besides drink ;)) in Munich!

Has anyone ever been to Oktoberfest in Munich? If so, what tents did you like the most, and what was your favorite part about it? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Traveling Yogi: Bungee Jumping in Interlaken, Switzerland

Let me start off by saying that I am afraid of a lot of things. However, heights are the # 1 thing I am scared of. So of course, I wanted to go Bungee Jumping. Makes sense, right? Knowing me, it makes perfect sense. I have a strong belief that whatever you are scared of, you must face it. It releases attachment to fears, and makes them appear smaller. It makes you a stronger person, and it helps you grow. By facing fears, we face our thoughts, and we can break them down into nothing. It changes your perspective, and it changes you as a person.

With that being said, I chose Interlaken as my last stop in Switzerland, solely for the fact that it is known for having a lot of adventure activities. So if I ended up not going bungee jumping, I could go canyoning, white water rafting, etc, all while being surrounded by the amazing mountains.

Below is a summary of my trip to Interlaken – new friends, endless amounts of chocolate, and jumping 450 feet from a cable car!

Thursday, September 17, 2015
6 am: wake up and catch 6:45 am train to Interlaken from Lausanne, Switzerland
9 am: arrive at Interlaken Ost Train station

Upon arriving at the Interlaken train station, the first thing I noticed was mountains. mountains. mountains. The train ride was basically like taking a train ride to Hogwarts – just absolutely breathtaking.

interlaken train station

I walked about 20 minutes to my hostel – there was almost no one out, and I enjoyed my stroll around the streets. Interlaken is this little town nestled in between all these mountains, and I could not stop staring at how GREEN everything was!
**Note – everywhere I went in Switzerland, it was so CLEAN – they are amazing at keeping their cities tidy and trash free.
After getting to my hostel, I immediately put down a deposit for bungee jumping – that way I couldn’t wimp out later. Since it was too early to check in, I threw my backpack in the back room and headed out to town. The only thing I had planned to do in the city was the jump, so I had the entire day free to explore.

interlaken 2

I walked into town, exploring the little shops, and of course, found a nice little chocolate shop to buy a lot of chocolate from. Did I mention that chocolate is super expensive in Switzerland?! As is everything else! Anyways, I ended up getting a little lost, but I wouldn’t call it lost since I didn’t have anywhere to go. I ended up strolling next to the mountains and amazing blue waters in a park – and along my walk, I could not stop staring at how beautiful everything was. Just extreme gratitude for being able to experience Switzerland, and feeling such joy. This was the moment that I realized I enjoy being alone. Which is completely paradoxal to my underlying fear/belief of ending up alone, but in that moment – it was perfect. Walking alone and just being, without having anyone else there, was perfect. I fell in love with being alone, and with every single Solo second of my time in Europe. I was free to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. If I wanted to be around people, I would just strike up a conversation with people around me, meeting other travelers on their own quest for adventure.

InterlakenSwitzerland

After walking around a bit, I was hungry and stopped at a local cafe for a pastry & hot chocolate. Since it was raining, and I was freezing, I needed as much warmth as possible!

interlaken cafe

Once I finished up my brunch, I decided to head back and check in to the hostel. I ended up meeting a few of my roommates, who told me about an amazing hot chocolate place in town. I don’t know how I missed it the first time around, so I ended up walking back into town for round 2 – you can never have too much hot chocolate, especially when it is cold and rainy!

interlaken chocolate

The store we went to is called The Funky Chocolate Club – founded by 2 chocolate lovers who just had to open a shop. I’m pretty sure we are best friends, even though we’ve never met. Anyways, we ordered hot chocolate – steamed milk and chocolate disks – you can get dark, milk, or white – or a mix – and it was amazing, thick, sugary, and perfect. Melted chocolate and milk = best idea ever.

interlaken chocolate2

interlaken job chocolate

It’s like they know my deepest wish

After downing our drinks, we headed to a local restaurant and shared some sort of macaroni/bacon dish with onion straws. Lets just say I was not on a diet on this trip – I honestly don’t know how people are skinny in Europe!

interlaken snack

On our walk back, it was cold and rainy – so I got changed and tried to warm up a bit at the hostel a little bit before going to Bungee jump. Around 4, I headed to the area behind the hostel to meet the group. I grabbed a beer and met up with the other 11 crazy individuals that would jumping along with me – married couples, people traveling for work, college students. We were all terrified, and it was great to have so many people there to chat with and distract each other.

interlaken bungee stockhorn

interlaken 3

interlaken jump group

It was about a 45 minute drive to Stockhorn, where we would all jump. Once we arrived, we took a cable car up to the area where we would be prepped and suited up.

pre jump interlaken

After all getting suited up, we loaded into the gondola – the one where we would all be jumping out of. The gondola stopped over the middle of the lake – at this point, there was no backing out.

interlaken bungee jump lake

Lucky for me, I was the lightest person of the group – which meant I was the last person to jump (being very sarcastic here). There were 3 separate cords that needed to be changed out for each person different weight class – so, I was able to watch all 11 people in front of me jump, counting down and cheering them on. Fortunately, the guys manning the jumps/cords were AWESOME – they had music playing, gave me a jacket to wear because I was so cold (or just shaking from nerves, who knows), and were calm the whole time. By the time it was my time to jump, they hooked me up, and I stepped over the line. I put my toes to the edge of the door, placed my hands on the outside of the gondola, and was given instructions  to look at the camera man on the outside of the car after I jumped. The 2 guys counted down – 54321 (the countdown is basically 2 seconds long – they don’t give you any time to hesitate) – and I jumped, smiled at the camera…. then began the fall. I honestly don’t remember much about falling – just thinking – oh shit – and my brain kind of shut off. I mean, you kind of have to shut your brain off to jump 450 feet into empty space with nothing but cables attached to your ankles.

interlaken bungee jump

interlaken bungee jump2

Nina Bungee Interlaken

On the bounceback, I tweaked my knee – which wasn’t painful, it was just sore for a few weeks following the jump. No one else hurt themselves, so it might have just been the way I fell and how much I bounced back (I was pretty close to the lake).

interlaken bungee jump 3

After I stopped bouncing around so much, I just kinda hung upside down for a minute or so (or not, I was still in a daze at that point). A boat came by with a big pole, and I was able to grab onto it. I was pulled into the boat and unhooked, then brought back to land.

I've never been more happy to be done with anything in my entire life

I’ve never been more happy to be done with anything in my entire life

As a group, we all headed back, drinking a celebratory beer – we had all survived the jump – basically just overall excited to be alive. I have been skydiving, but this was different. There is no one attached to your back, and you have to jump yourself. There is no parachute – just a cord attached to your feet. And the fall happens in a matter of seconds, depending on how high your starting place is (mine was about 450 feet). There is a sense of comfort you get when you skydive – maybe its the secure feeling of having someone go down with you – that you don’t have when you jump.

If anything, Bungeeing will change your thoughts. After jumping, I find myself questioning a lot of fears. I look at thoughts differently, and my actions and choices are a lot different. I believe in myself more, and rarely ever think I can’t do something. If you are ever looking to change your perspective, Bungee Jumping might be for you 😉

interlaken post beer jump

After arriving back at the hostel, I quickly showered and headed back out to town with a few people to grab dinner (and more beer! because LIFE!). We went to a place called Goldener Anker – Beer, Gnocchi, and Fondue. The perfect way to end the night, followed by a roadie beer from the corner store on our walk back.

interlaken dinner interlaken fondue

I ended up heading to bed around midnight, as I had a 7 am train to catch to Munich. I wish I could have stayed another night, but Oktoberfest was waiting for me (You can read about that adventure here and here)! If anyone ever ends up in Interlaken, make sure you stay for more than just 1 day. The city is absolutely beautiful, and there are so many fun things to do there! And if you ever decide to jump – or do any fun adventure – I highly recommend Alpin Raft – the workers were absolutely amazing, and I could not have asked for a better experience!

Next up: Oktoberfest!

Traveling Yogi: What I did in Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne, Switzerland.

One of the most gorgeous, gorgeous places I have EVER been to in my entire life. Besides Interlaken, but I will write about that another time.

After leaving Geneva, I took a 30 minute train ride to Lausanne, my first ever trip on a European train. So of course, I didn’t know that I had to get my ticket validated. Luckily, my Air bnb host in Geneva helped me out – he was getting off at a stop before me, and wanted to make sure I went to the correct place (do you see a recurring theme here of people helping me out because I get lost so easily?!). Anyways, we literally sprinted to the ticket office, cut in front of people in line, got my train ticket stamped, and sprinted up 2 flights of stairs to make the train on time. I honestly thought I was in shape, but I guess having a huge backpack on your back makes you rethink your true fitness level. Below is a recap, with pictures, of my time in Lausanne:

Day 3: September 16, 2015 – Lausanne, Switzerland

7:30 am: train from Geneva to Lausanne
8 am: Arrive at Lausanne train station

Lausanne olymp

Luckily, I found a great hostel located right next to the train station, and I saw it as soon as the train pulled into the city. At this point, I was starting to get more comfortable with directions and making my way around – I only got lost 2 other times the rest of the trip, and only for about 10 minutes. So you could say I learned a lot in my travels haha.

After getting off the train, I walked over to my hostel and hung out a little bit. I couldn’t check in until the afternoon, so I decided to hang out and plan my day. There were a few places I wanted to visit, and I found an awesome guide for bus transit through out the entire city. Which, I only ended up using once because the city wasn’t all that big – but I did walk a LOT. So I planned my day, hitting every single one of the spots I wanted to see, with a plan B if I ran over time.

First Stop: Botanical Gardens
This was not in my initial plans, but since I loved the botanical garden in Geneva so much, I decided to stop here. And I am SO glad I did… beautiful. Everything was amazing, and the view at the top… worth the walk! Pictures don’t even do justice. The view of the city, the houses, the mountains across lake Geneva… just stunning

lausanne garden 2

Lausanne City 2 LAusanne City

lausanne garden

I also found an awesome mural at the top of the gardens and decided to do a few handstands. This place was deserted, so I got to play around as much as I wanted! The whole city was so peaceful.

lausanne garden yoga

After my trek around the botanical gardens, I found a huge water fountain to do handstands around… not really sure what was so great about the fountains, but they were in a pretty cool park.

lausanne switzerland

After the gardens, I made my way to the Ouchy fishing pier. I can’t believe this wasn’t even on my list to see – the view was amazing. Nothing but water and mountains for miles! I really wish I had a better camera – to see everything in person was unbelievable. As soon as I walked around the area, I decided I was coming back in the afternoon for a run, not matter how tired I might be!

Lausanne Ouchy 5

lausanne fish Lausanne Ouchy 4

Lausanne Ouchy 3

lausanne yoga 1

After walking (and handstanding) around Ouchy, I hopped on a bus to Rue De Bourge, the city’s shopping center. I went here for 2 things: Chocolate and Yoga. While at the hostel earlier, I found  yoga studio – Yogashala – to take a 12 pm class at. And while most would think taking a yoga class in another language would be confusing, it is also very, very beautiful. Well, in French it is.

I took a Vinyasa/Anusara class led by Tracy Chaplin – and it is by far my most favorite yoga class I have ever taken in my life. The French language is absolutely beautiful – and while I had no idea what was being said half the time, I loved the movements, the mix of meditation in the practice, and the feeling of peace I felt in the class. While practicing, I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude – the though of, “Omg, look at yourself. You are taking a yoga class, in Switzerland, in french. WHAT IS THIS LIFE.” And I started to tear up in class, full of gratitude and awed by the fact that I was able to create this experience in my life. And this is the point that I truly, truly, began to believe in myself. Which is why, if anyone ever asks me, I will always say, this was my favorite class – because it was a moment in time that changed how I view myself and the power I have to create what I want.

lausanne yoga

After the class, I walked around the city, exploring little shops and enjoyed getting lost in the windy, hilly, brick streets of Lausanne. My last stop was actually right next to where I took the yoga class, so I stopped in to Blondel Chocolates – a highly recommended chocolatier in Switzerland. And, I swear, this is hands down the best chocolate I have ever eaten in my life. Also, the most expensive. But, life changing. The tiny store has an entire wall lined with sheets and sheets of different chocolates, and a case full of handmade truffles. I’m not going to say how much I spent here, but I will say that it was worth it. Also, I wish that I had bought more! If anyone is in the area, this is the place to stop.

lausanne3 lausanne

lausanne2

After shopping, I walked back to the hostel to check in and rest for a bit. After getting settled in, I went back out for a run, planning to stop at the Olympic Park/museum next to Ouchy. After walking for a solid 3+ hours that afternoon, my body was still up for a 4 mile run. Running down the hills – awesome. The 2 miles back up – not so awesome. The view = worth it. After making it to the Olympic park, I ran all the way to the top, and the view was worth it all. Amazing view of the lake + mountains! Overall, complete gratitude for a laundry list of things: one year ago, I was learning to walk/run again… and here I am, running 4+ miles up and down the hills of switzerland, exploring on my own, soaking up the beauty of the mountains, discovering things about myself, and feeling joy that I haven’t felt in a very long time. Completely Surreal.

olympic garden lausanne ouchy

Just a note – I didn’t actually go into the museum – museums really aren’t my thing. I am like a little kid – I’ll go in and look at everything, maybe touch a few things, then leave within 5 minutes. I’d rather just experience everything around me versus walk through a building.

After arriving back at my hostel, I showered, did some laundry, and chatted with a few people from the hostel. I was recommended to go to a local Italian restaurant nearby, Milan, so I took a walk around 9 pm and grabbed dinner by myself – the perfect end to a wonderful day. (Yes, those are fries on my plate. After eating nothing but chocolate all day, I decided to actually get some salty food in my body ;))

lausanne dinner

I wish I had more pictures that captured the beauty of Lausanne – it was truly a lovely city, and 1 day was the perfect amount of time to explore. If you are ever making your way through Switzerland, I highly recommend stopping at this gorgeous city!

Traveling Yogi: What I did in Geneva, Switzerland

Hi all!

I am finally back in the state, getting settled in, and catching up on the chaos that is work and life. It’s day 3, and I finally feel like the Jet Lag Fog has cleared, and I am starting to feel normal again. When traveling back on Tuesday, I was up for 24 hours straight! I worked from home the next few days, and I just felt like my head was in a fog. It’s my first time ever really experiencing jet lag, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect!

Anyways, I wanted to give a recap of all of my adventures in Europe! There is so much to talk about, so I decided to break down each city into once blog post. Below is a recap of the first day on my trip: Geneva, Switzerland!

Sunday, 9/13 – 3:30 pm flight from Columbus to New Jersey -> sprinting to catch my connecting flight to Geneva
Monday, 9/14 – 7:30 am -> arrive in Geneva!

geneva aiplane

After arriving in the Geneva airport, I needed to buy a SIM card for my phone. Never having changed the SIM card in my phone or even really understood what it did, I walked around for about a half hour asking where to buy one. FINALLY – $20 at the post office. done. I was able to call the air bnb host I was staying with, and I hopped on a bus to pick up the keys to where I was staying. I finally arrived, and my hosts were great! an air mattress to sleep on, and a room all to myself. I ended up laying down for a hot second, as I only got about 1 hour of sleep on the plane.

After getting directions and information on how the bus system worked from my host, I ventured out.. and got lost. Luckily for me, I ended up downtown and was able to explore the nicer side of Geneva. Think: expensive shops, beautiful fountains, and hot business men in suits. So you could say I was lost, but I definitely found something I didn’t know I was looking for 😉

geneva fountain

After exploring, I hopped back on a bus and got lost. Again. 1.5 hours later, I made it to the place I initially wanted to go: the broken chair. Basically, a giant monumental sculpture that symbolizes opposition to land mines and cluster bombs, and acts as a reminder to politicians and others visiting Geneva (Wiki). It’s a huge freakin chair with a broken leg – and I of course, had to get a picture in front of it. A handstand picture. duh.

broken chair geneva

After hanging out around the chair (the UN building was right behind it), I went for a walk to the Botanical Gardens nearby. Now let me just preface this by saying I am NOT a hippy nature girl – normally I opt out of the site-seeing, history learning, nature stuff and do more adventure things (likeeeee bungee jumping in switzerland… but that’s another post in itself). So I got lost, again, but finally made it to the garden. And O.M.G. the beauty of everything, just absolutely amazing. I felt like I was in a secret garden full of magic. I literally looked like a little kid, jumping around and smiling. I mean, look at these pictures… how beautiful is this place??

botanical garden geneva2  botanical garden geneva             botanical garden 5 botanical garden geneva3

botanical garden magic

Unfortunately, all of my getting lost made me out exploring later than I planned. And it rained. A lot. I was in a little glass botanical garden area, which was cool. But not for over an hour. So, I ended up walking back, in the rain, to the bus station. I took the bus back, stopping to grab a muffin for dinner at a local store, and made it back to the air bnb. The rest of the night, until about 10/11, I ended up chatting and drinking homemade liquor with my hosts. They were absolutely wonderful! I ended up sipping on 4-5 shots, my favorite being the italian chocolate… it was like drinking chocolate syrup! So, so good. You can’t get this stuff anywhere else.

I finally went to bed, and my host ended up walking to the bus station with me in the morning (I was taking a tour in France and had to meet at a bus station in the city). Him and his girlfriend were very worried I was going to get lost again, and they mapped out very detailed instructions for me! I must have seemed like a lost cause LOL

After returning from my day trip to Chamonix (read about it here!), my hosts made me dinner on my second night in Geneva – homemade italian pasta (my host is italian)! Just amazing.

I planned out my entire trip, and I will say that my favorite things were never items I had planned. I stumbled across the botanical garden, and I could never have asked for better hosts, which I now consider good friends. Overall, Geneva was wonderful – definitely not my favorite part of the trip – Lausanne & Interlaken will forever hold a special place in my heart – but a great city to explore in for a day or 2.

Has anyone been to Geneva, or are planning a triip? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Traveling Yogi: Backpacking in Europe + Oktoberfest in Munich!

Hello all!

Ever since I got back from Belize, I couldn’t help but begin to plan my next adventure: 1.5 weeks in Europe, visiting Switzerland & Germany. I have never traveled to Europe, let alone by myself, so I am terrified… but so excited to go! Once I started planning, I had to narrow down to just 2 countries because it was getting a little overwhelming (Italy, I am coming for you next year!). I’ve literally spent hours planning this trip already, and I still have a lot to do… I’ve only booked my hostel for Munich, so I’ll be booking everything else in the next few weeks! Below is my schedule so far:

Day 1: Fly to Geneva, Switzerland

Day 2: Arrive in Geneva early AM
check in at hostel
Rent bike and tour the city
visit the broken chair
Yoga class! (Any recommendations?)

Broken Chair

Day 3: Day trip to Chamonix French Alps

Chamonix

Chamonix Tour

Day 4: Travel to Lausanne/Montreux
check in at hostel
hike/explore
check out chocolate/cheese factory & eat my body weight in delicious swiss chocolate

Day 5: Travel to Grindelwald
check in at hostel
Yoga Class in morning/afternoon
bungee jump or paraglide! **anyone ever do this? I am terrified!

Day 6: Travel to Munich via train
check in at hostel, get situated
buy dirndl for Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest
Day 7, 8, 9, 10: Oktoberfest!
hit the Schottenhamel tent for first beer pour of the festival
hang out with fellow Americans at the Hofbräu tent

Day 8, 9,10: Explore Munich
visit Olympiaturm (flying fox!)
Canyoning
visit Theresienwiese – Maiden of Bavaria
Tour Andechs Monastery and Brewery
Visit Hofbräuhaus

Day 11: Fly back to the US

I started out wanting to end my trip in Italy, but it got to be too much in too little time. So for now, extra time in Switzerland and Germany! Transportation is probably the main thing that is stressing me out – do I need to book ahead of time? How much time do I need to take into account when traveling via train/air in Europe? How do I know what trains to take in between cities/countries? Do I need to purchase ahead of time? I am so excited to plan and travel this trip all by myself, even if it seems a little daunting. Has anyone traveled to Geneva/Oktoberfest? Any tips for a newbie solo backpacking in Europe? I would love to hear about your experience !

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