We had merely set out on a seemingly-routine errand to find a hair stylist and pharmacy in Oberammergau, Germany, and instead, we found ourselves pleasantly distracted by something quite out of the ordinary for us: the soothing, foghorn-like sound of Alphorns, playfully known as ‘Ricola horns’.
The three musicians – clad in Lederhosen, grey knee-socks and woolen Bavarian jackets, played to a small crowd of locals, just as the Christmas Market was set to be opened for its first weekend. A trio of angels also looked on.
Such instruments have historically been used by Alpine residents throughout Germany and Switzerland, and horns similar to these have also long been used for communication in mountainous regions of Europe.
Where in the World?
- The town of Oberammergau is located about 90 km (55 miles) southwest of Munich. To get there by rail or by bus, research the Bayern or Regio Ticket (website in German, but you can use Google Translate). These special tickets start at €20/25 for one passenger, and cost €6 for each additional passenger. You can use them to travel via bus and train throughout much of the region, making them a better deal if you want to make a few stops in a day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
- Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Before my parents moved there, Shawn and I spent two nights at the Gästehaus Hildegard (affiliate link). We thought the beds were comfortable, the owners were helpful and kind, and the breakfast was tasty. The guest house is centrally located in the town too, and it’s not far from the Tiroler Gasse bus stop. The train station is also only about 1 km away.
- This page indexes all my posts from Germany.
Photography & text Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.