Gadlinks for Wednesday 9.30.09

It’s the last day of September, and I think you could say summer is now over. SAD. But autumn is here — and there’s plenty of great travel-worthy things to see and do this fall! Here are just a few reads that might inspire you to take a trip soon.

‘Til tomorrow, have a great evening!

More Gadlinks here.

Oktoberfest off to a bad start for Aussies

Just two days into Germany‘s Oktoberfest celebration, one Australian man is dead and another in jail. The man who died was running alongside a train close to his campsite outside of Munich after the festival, when he fell underneath the train’s wheels.

Another Aussie was arrested just a few hours into the festival, after he threw a beer stein into a crowd and injured two teenagers. Oktoberfest organizers say that beer consumptions is up so far this year. 5% more beer was consumed on the first day of the festival this year than in past years, a situation that may have contributed to the nearly 800 alcohol related injuries and illnesses that have already been treated by Red Cross workers. That’s nearly double last year’s figure at this time.

With nearly two weeks left of the Oktoberfest event (which runs 16 days in all) let’s hope revelers – both Australian and otherwise – can manage to stay safe and enjoy Europe’s largest beer festival responsibly.

Are you a bartender? Win a trip to Oktoberfest!

Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur is holding its first-ever bartender competition this year on September 15. Haven’t heard of Bärenjäger? That’s okay, I hadn’t either.

It’s a 35 percent alcohol liqueur which was originally developed by medieval woodland warriors to aid them in the catching and killing of bears. I’m serious. They called it “meschkinnes.” And Bärenjäger means “Bear Hunter.” It’s now made in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula (“where the sticky substance is especially aromatic”) and imported by Sidney Frank (Jägermeister, Tommy Bahama Rum).

So. How will this get you to Oktoberfest? Well, if you’re a NY resident, be available for the competition September 15 — but first sign up by August 25 on their website, where all the rules and regulations are available. If you’re not a bartender, but happen to be in NY? That’s cool, it’s open to all NY residents, 21 and over.

If you’re not a NY resident, send this article to your mixologist friends who are — the trip is all expense paid for two.

Gadling + BootsnAll – Picks of the Week (4.10.09)

Welcome back to another weekly installment of our Gadling and BootsnAll Picks of the Week. Every Friday we’ve been taking a look at 4-5 of the most interesting stories from our friends at independent travel website BootsnAll. What strange destinations, thought-provoking lists and out-of-the-way festival ideas did we come up with? Check below for a few ideas:

  • Beer Bash – if you like drinking beer (or just enjoy a good party) you definitely already know about Germany’s popular Oktoberfest in Munich. If you’re looking to avoid the huge crowds of drunk tourists in Munich this year, Jennifer Price suggests you check one of Germany’s huge variety of other beer festivals, happening throughout the year in cities across the German state.
  • Cathedrals of the East – just in time for Good Friday Christina Dima has a religiously-themed rundown of 11 of the most interesting Orthodox-style Churches and Cathedrals. Though they share many customs with the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church also has many of its own unique traditions and architectural styles. Having recently seen the Church of the Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, I would have to agree these buildings are quite beautiful and unique.
  • Forgotten Ruins – mention the word “ruins” to many travelers, and destinations like The Pyramids, The Parthenon and Machu Picchu immediately come to mind. Yet there are plenty of equally impressive but far less-visited ruins out there waiting to be discovered. How does a visit to 40 acres of ancient Maya temples hidden in the jungle in Honduras sound to you? Cherrye More has the scoop on Six of the Least Visited Ruins you need to check out now.
  • Market Essentials – if you want to get a sense of the local culture the next time you travel abroad, visit the local market. Whether its fresh pasta spices in the Campo de Fiori in Rome or Seltzer Bottles in San Telmo in Buenos Aires, you’ll get a great peek into daily life and unique insight into what sorts of products get the locals buying. Dana McMahan takes this concept to the next level with a look at the Markets of Europe and their various specialities.
  • French Cathedrals – wrapping things up on a relgious note, BootsnAll’s France Blog has post on some of the many Cathedrals of France, from the ubiquitous Notre Dame in Paris, to lesser-known structures in Reims and Tours.

Oktoberfest can be expensive… especially if you take a £2,000 cab to get there

Have you ever missed a flight? It’s a stressful and frustrating situation, especially if you have a carefully planned out itinerary that requires your presence in certain places at certain times. When a man named Dave missed his flight from Portsmouth to Munich — where he was to celebrate his friend’s bachelor party by drinking beer at Oktoberfest — he decided to forgo the airlines. Instead he hailed a cab.

“I thought he was having a laugh to start off with or it was one of my cabbie mates doing a wind-up on me but he was deadly serious,” says Mick Hogan, the cab driver who was hailed down by Dave. Hogan explained that the cab ride would cost £1,950 plus £250 for the English Channel tunnel and a hotel for the night, but the high price didn’t stop the passenger; it was Munich or bust.

The drive from Portsmouth to Munich certainly isn’t a short one, but Hogan didn’t find the task so boring after all, “It’s not something I’d want to do every day but it beats taking a few pensioners out to the shops.”