As if navigating around Germany isn’t difficult enough (okay, it’s not all that bad), but it can tend to be confusing — especially when you’ve got a town named Dörpen, and a Samtgemeinde (Collective Municipality) with the same name. Either way, you’re in the same place.
And as I’ve said before, the best place to start in just about any German town is the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum). These museums are great for learning all about what life was once like around these places — although this one will also give the details about paper production in the region.
What you could also do is visit the Tourist Office (located at Ahlener Straße 1) to find out all the details about hiking or cycling around the Emsland. There are a good number of marked trails and scenic routes, like the Ems-Radweg (Ems Cycle Route), the Dortmund-Ems Canal Route, the 600km long United Countries Tour (you’re not that far from the Netherlands), and the 32km long Küstenkanalradweg (Coastal Canal Cycle Route).
Sheesh, I’m tired although I didn’t even attempt to navigate my way around these trails. ;-)
One of the more interesting ways of getting around is the ferry. It only uses pure muscle power to get across, so the only way you’re getting aboard is if you’re a pedestrian or cyclist — that’s right, no cars allowed.
No biggie, you don’t want to be cramped up in a coupe if you’re able to walk about Dörpen to see its old churches, like the one dedicated to St. George, built way back in 1512. Plus, there’s another museum in the village of Neubörgen (it’s all about agricultural machines), and you’ll find a Gallery Dutch Windmill in Wippingen.
The only thing I missed out on was one of Dörpen’s festivals and cultural events. So don’t follow me, I didn’t plan accordingly and missed out on the Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival, in March), the Heeder Kirmes in October, and the Heeder in Flammen in August.
Dammit, I didn’t even get here for the Weekly Market on Wednesdays.
Must’ve been too distracted by all the fun at the Heeder See — a fun lake with a beach, waterskiing, hiking trails, and little cottages for when you’re all tuckered out.
Which is exactly what I am right now, but not to tired to say I just love Dörpen — both the town and the Samtgemeinde.