Only in the Lower Saxon town of Garrel will you find yourself in America. They’ll even stamp your passport for you when you visit the neighborhood. This place must be something, as a meteorite from the far reaches of space managed to find its way here (in 1930).
The largest draw to the area is the Wildeshausen Geest, a most idyllic piece of nature. Cycling is really popular within the Geest with plenty of well-marked sign posts along the paths. It’s always nice to sit along one of the Geest’s rivers or lakes for quiet picnic with friends & family.
Camping is also big within the Geest and offers plenty of campsites for overnight visitors. Bring your 9-iron and sand wedge because there’s a golf course in there, too.
If you’ve come to Garrel with the whole brood, then the family-friendly youth hostel is a great option. The bungalows are roomy enough for the whole clan (at reasonable prices), but the guesthouse offers beach volleyball, basketballs, and miniature golf to keep everyone busy after a day of sightseeing.
Some of the best sites to see would be the Church of Saints Peter & Paul that has been around town for 500 years. Not as old, but lovely nonetheless, is the Evangelical Peace Church.
The kids will love Nikolausdorf, dedicated to jolly Ole St. Nick. December 6th is St. Nicolas’ feast day, so expect extra treats for the little ones.
If you want to see the 22 pound (11 kg) meteorite that fell here in 1930, you’ll have to visit the Village Museum of Cloppenburg, where it’s on permanent loan. It’s not far, only about about 13km (8 miles) away.
Garrel isn’t all meteor showers and walks in the Geest. There are more than enough festivals and markets to keep you shopping and eating within its many hamlets. Look for village Folk Festivals, Kirmes (church festivals), Christmas & Freimarkts. There are even Art & Culture Days.
Garrel is a town of culture, a town of serene natural beauty, and a town of good holiday cheer. This is a place that could make anyone smile.