10 November 2014

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (Coffeeneuring Waypoint No. 5)


For my fifth coffeeneuring destination, I decided to head into the city of Heinsberg, which is the center of Kreis Heinsberg, or in American terms, Heinsberg County. There are plenty of restaurants and stores there, so I figured I would wander around and find a good place to get some coffee. The weather was especially nice in the afternoon with plenty of sunshine and very little wind.

It isn’t very difficult to get to Heinsberg from anywhere within the vicinity, because its tallest structure is the Gothic church of St. Gangolf (not to be confused with Gandalf who is a fictional wizard) whose green-patina copper steeple looms over the city. Since it is roughly the same color as the Statue of Liberty, the Mrs. and I often refer to it as such.


Coming from the northwest, you enter a roundabout which takes you either around the perimeter or into the heart of the city where many historical structures, including the Torbogenhaus  from the 16th century, reside. The archway in the picture below is two-way for bicycles and surprisingly, a one-way for automobiles, though I would not want to try and squeeze anything bigger than a Smart car through that.


Just before the archway, Cafe Samocca sits on the right. There is indoor seating and a cafe terrace with a nice view of St. Gangolf’s and the fortifications surrounding it. Opting to take in the sunshine (and because this is Europe, cigarette smoke) I sat outside next to a stone wall that served as parking for my bike.



The coffee menu was extensive, offering beans from all over the world and accompanying tasting notes. I went with the Yellow Bourbon which promised to be something along the lines of “bright” and “nutty”. And just in case you forgot what you ordered, atop the saucer is a little card reminding you of what you were drinking.


After enjoying my coffee, I rode around the city for a while getting to know where the different avenues lead and what infrastructure was in place for bicyclists. Like many old cities, there aren’t bike lanes so much as automobile-restricted areas which provide plenty of pedestrian and bicycle zones to get where you’re going without finding yourself in the middle of traffic. On one of the main avenues, lined with small shops and cafes, there was an e-bike charging station which is becoming a pretty common sight around here and in the Netherlands.



Since I started out on my ride in the afternoon, it wasn’t long before the sun began to set, so I decided to head back home before it got too dark. I chose a different route than the way I came, but again, if you know the general direction you need to go, it isn’t very difficult to find your way there… eventually.


It turns out the route I had chosen was a bit lengthier than I anticipated and it actually got pretty dark out before I got very far. Between villages, there are sometimes no streetlights and especially dark are the paths that lead through the woods. Add the seasonal fog to that and your vision is pretty well restricted. Luckily, the lights I had on the bike were bright enough to get me home.


I enjoyed Cafe Samocca (as I have most of the destinations I’ve coffeeneured to this year) and will probably return there with the Mrs. when she gets back. Though with the days getting shorter and the nights getting colder, I will be sure to leave a little bit earlier next time.

- Bicyclist Abroad


Coffeeneur Quick Stats:

Location: Cafe Samocca
High Street 19, 52525 Heinsberg, Germany
Drink: Coffee
(Brazilian Yellow Bourbon)
Date: Saturday, 01 November
Distance: 16.2 km/10 mi.

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