We had merely set out on a routine errand to find a hair stylist and pharmacy in Oberammergau, Germany. Instead, we found ourselves pleasantly distracted by something quite out of the ordinary, at least 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?
- Oberammergau is located 90 km (55 miles) southwest of Munich. To get there by mass transit, research the Bayern Ticket (website is in German, but you can use Google Translate). As of 2021, these tickets start at €25 for one passenger, and cost €8 for each additional passenger. You can use the Bayern Ticket for most trains, trams, and city buses, making it a good deal if you’ll be doing a lot of exploring in one day. You can purchase tickets online, via a ticket machine, or in person.
- Are you looking for a guesthouse or hotel in Oberammergau? Here is my round-up of hotels, organized by theme.
- Visit my Germany page for more trip tips. If you’re seeking more ideas about what to do in this part of Bavaria, here are all my posts about Oberammergau.
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.