Oktoberfest & more

Mike Matei / September 26th, 2009

As mentioned before, I was on vacation for the past week. I was in Munich, Germany for the most part, but also spent a day in Salzburg, Austria which was pretty far out!

The big event was Oktoberfest. All I can say is that it was crazy! I can think of a hundred adjectives to explain the magnitude of this festival, so I’ll just leave it at “crazy” and show you a few pics.


The fan support in all of Europe is very strong and I would have loved to have an open greeting to meet fans, but since I was running all over, finding a time and place would have been difficult with such a short notice, but you can know I was there and it was an honor to come to your country and drink your enormous beers!

I did a lot of the usual sightseeing stuff and had a lot of guided tours. Here’s a pic from Neuschwanstein castle.


Salzburg, Austria. This is where the Sound of Music was filmed.
Fun fact: It’s Jackie Chan’s favorite film, according to his autobiography “I Am Jackie Chan.”

The fountain clearly recognizable from the movie.

Back in Munich, I sought after one of the most important movie locations from my childhood…

THE WONKA FACTORY from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In real life, it’s a gas plant, but in my mind, it’s that wonderful place where magic and dreams come true.

I found it interesting how Salzburg greatly acknowledges the Sound of Music. The DVD is in every gift shop as well as various other Sound of Music merchandise and there is an official Sound of Music tour. On the other hand, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory seems to go unnoticed. It’s not in the gift shops and none of my Munich tour guides ever mentioned it. It’s ironic. One place proudly shows off its place in film history and another does not.

The following two images are from the film, obviously.
Wonka-film-4 Wonka-film-1
Unfortunately, my only free time was during the night, so what I found was not a bright welcome to that land of pure imagination, but more like the scene where Charlie first peers in through the gates and the creepy old man tells him “Nobody ever goes in. Nobody ever comes out.”

It was way too dark for photography. The factory gates are in a pitch black side street without any light whatsoever. This is how dark it was, trying to take a picture through the gate. The gate was black which didn’t help.


The only clear image I could get was the hole in which Charlie looked through. Anything out of range of the camera flash was impossible.

The following two images are from the film.

To the naked eye, I could see clearly inside to the courtyard. I could see the door where Wonka comes out and brings the children into the factory. I think the background industrial area has been demolished, but I couldn’t tell because there was a new building in the way. The clock tower was definitely still there and looked EXACTLY as it did in the film!

The following image is once again from the film. The clock tower chimes at 10, and that’s when Wonka comes out to greet the children.

Here is a picture of me standing a half block away from the gate near the closest street light. The clock tower is in the background, but you would never know because that wasn’t lit either.

Later, while on a bus heading back to the airport, I caught a brief glimpse of the clock tower again, in daylight! I rushed to get out my camera, and then came….. a bunch of trees! It was gone.


I am extremely disappointed having nothing to show, but I can report that I have been to the Wonka factory.


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