[Reiseblogger-Kooperation] Family vacation in Emsland is a good idea per se. So far we have only been able to get first impressions in Lingen and Papenburg. But they make you want more. As we have also already found out, the ideal addition to a city trip to Lingen is a canoe adventure on the Ems! Here comes our experience report on paddling on the Ems with children (teenagers and toddlers). And we also have tips for places to stay.
This report was originally part of this article: Lingen with children – discoveries in the Emsland.
Paddling on the Ems with children in Lingen
We arrive in Lingen in the early evening and check into our hotel (more on this below). The next morning we make our way to our first item on the program. We march for around ten minutes along the main road to the Lingen district of Schepsdorf. The Ems flows there. It is a very pleasant little river here. We want to get really close to her. “Emsland from the inside”, so to speak.
Canoe camp Lingen
On the way to the shore, we discover that the Lingen canoe camp is more than just a boat rental. The rustic complex also includes camping log cabins and a café. If you are not averse to a rustic ambience and basic equipment, you will also find an inexpensive and adventurous overnight stay in Lingen with children here.
Archery in the course is also offered. Most visitors come like we go to canoe.
Canoe tour for beginners
We are met by Ronja. She equips us for our paddling adventure on the Ems with children. We all get a life jacket that we have to wear regardless of our swimming skills. We are allowed to leave bulky luggage like the stroller in the camp. We stow whatever should with us in watertight bins.
Then Ronja shows us the local conditions on the water. Martin and Silas recently paddled in a canoe in Braunschweig. On the Oker in the city area, however, it was not directly comparable. The Ems is also absolutely suitable for beginners. But it is already a river, not a stream. That’s why it’s only going in one direction. Paddling against the current would be difficult.
There is also the first barrage half an hour from the camp. This is not a problem for beginners either. At least if they follow the instructions that Ronja gives them along the way. If you don’t pay attention, you can capsize there – but you have to be pretty stupid for that.
We start small and take the “home route”. We paddle about six kilometers down the Ems to Wachendorf. The transfer back to the canoe camp is included.
Canoe with a toddler
I doubted a bit whether a canoe tour with a toddler would be such a good idea. But Franka is on fire. In the three-person canoe she sits between Martin and me on her own bench. She proudly wears her life jacket and her own paddle. Seriously, she dips it into the water again and again, braking a little. Never mind. She loses the paddle twice. Fortunately, that floats. One day Martin gets hold of it. The second time the boys pick up the trail in the second canoe and catch it again. The worst thing about it is Franka’s anger because she wanted to hold onto it …
It wouldn’t have gone so smoothly with the boys at that age. Janis might not have got in on a bad day. With Silas, the daredevil, I would have been afraid every minute that he would be in the Ems. The courageous Franka, who is very responsible for her age, is obviously just the right canoe child. As a parent, you know your loved ones best and know whether you can trust them to spend two hours in a canoe or not.
It won’t necessarily be two hours. We paddle without a break, but felt more comfortable. Sometimes only Martin takes over the movement, while I take photos, keep quiet or take care of Franka in some other way. Nevertheless, we are at the dock in Wachendorf after an hour and a half. This probably has a lot to do with the current and the water level of the Ems.
Small downer when paddling on the Ems with (small) children: the return transport to the canoe camp by taxi. From a legal point of view, in this case it is probably permissible to transport an almost two-year-old on a booster seat that is much too small. Since the short drive is on the country road at 100 km / h, as a cautious mother I am anything but comfortable with it.
Canoe with teenagers
For the teenagers, the canoe tour is definitely just the thing. Silas moans in between because he doesn’t feel like it anymore. But he is 14 and is currently living through this fate naturally in all situations. There are also quarrels because Janis promoted himself to captain. Since they are literally in the same boat, this gives them a free lesson in conflict management.
We leave the brawlers behind and enjoy nature. It is wonderfully green around us. The Ems changes its face behind every curve. She always stays pretty.
A short time later the boys catch up again. Apparently they have settled their affairs. You go all out again and reach the jetty comfortably exhausted. I feel that physical activity makes them more comfortable for the rest of the day.
Family-friendly accommodation: Hotel Altes Landhaus
The hotel that Lingen Tourism Marketing has selected for us is a good bit away from the city center. But it is almost on the river and is therefore a great starting point for paddling on the Ems with children. It doesn’t flow directly through Lingen. Instead, the Dortmund-Ems Canal grazes the city center. The Hotel Altes Landhaus is located between these two waterways.
We are warmly welcomed in the home-style inn. As a family and without bicycles, we are the absolute exception among the guests. Most of these are under the keyword Bett & Bike On the way. We are reducing the average age enormously.
For families, however, the old country house has a particularly nice room. We move into our refuge under the roof with a double bed and an extra large bathroom. There is space for extra beds for the boys in the niches under the sloping ceiling to the left and right of the room door. A cot for Franka would easily fit in the room. (This time I finally thought about canceling the unnecessary thing. Franka sleeps in bed with us anyway.) So for a city trip to Lingen with children, the old country house is definitely a valid tip.
Full of meat: eating in the old country house
The landlady has a nice surprise for us: Lingen booked us with half board. That is not a matter of course in our work. So we don’t have to go out again and get the cheapest possible snack on our own. Especially today, when Franka fell asleep unusually early in the car and – initially – continues to sleep happily up in bed, that’s great! So we happily take a seat on the terrace behind the house under one of the large parasols. Only Janis, who lost to “Schnick, Schnack, Schnuck”, is guarding the sleeping toddler upstairs.
We are served three plates with huge schnitzel portions in no time at all. There are golden-yellow fries and a decent side salad. Home-style food like out of a picture book. It tastes good! But to be honest: if we have meat, the portion on one of these plates is enough for all five of us. I’ve always wondered how the incredible meat consumption per capita in the statistics comes about. Now I know it. The older people at the next table plaster their schnitzel without complaint and only leave salad. I am very happy that we initially only ordered three servings. When I swap places with Janis, we only order the side salad for him. Even teenagers will be more than satisfied with our schnitzel scraps as they grow up.
Franka finds out that the kitchen in the old country house is also excellent at handling vegetables. Shortly before the kitchen closes, she wakes up again hungry as a bear. We ask for “a handful of vegetables, no matter what is left”. The little one is served a lovingly prepared pan dish. It is so plentiful that I try it – even though I’m fed up with it. Everything is cooked to the point. (If only I would have asked for the vegetarian option!)
More about Emsland with children
The main part of our experience report from Lingen is here:
Lingen with children – discoveries in the Emsland.
We were also a little further north in Papenburg:
Papenburg with children – city trip to Emsland.
More compact and with even more tips, I have read about both cities in the about-cities-Blog posted:
We want to give thanks to the writer of this article for this incredible material
Lingen: paddling on the Ems with children (+ overnight stay tip) – family4travel