Thursday, July 14, 2011

A day trip to the other end of the country - Groningen, The Netherlands

Since getting home from Croatia, we've had pretty quiet weekends. Mostly because I've been feeling pretty exhausted but partly also because we've had such awful weather. Except for a brief 2 day heat wave a couple of weeks ago, it's rained basically every day and has been overcast and chilly - colder then a Brisbane winter during the day in fact!!!! After a month of quiet weekends however, I've been getting restless. I want to get out and about and do some more sightseeing before Stroopy arrives. Last Saturday was another day of miserable, rainy weather but we decided to ignore that fact and take the little red car on a road trip to the top end of the country - Groningen.

Groningen is both a province and a city in the very north of Holland. It's been on my to-see list for awhile, however there is currently an ad campaign playing on tv that motivated us to go to Groningen city last weekend. It's a 2hr drive from Nijmegen so we got up reasonably early to make the most of the day and after finding a park in the city centre, took a wander around.




First impressions = I wasn't impressed. Neither was Mitch - hence our lack of photos for once. Perhaps it was the fact that it was raining, overcast and cold, but I don't know - it just didn't live up to my expectations. Although most cities in the Netherlands tend to be quite similar, there are still some stand out ones (Utrecht being my particular favourite) and I think I was expecting Groningen to have a bit more character then what it did. There was certainly plenty of shopping but the city just didn't have the same atmosphere as other big cities here, such as Den Haag or Maastricht. The markets however were pretty good - lots of amazing looking fresh produce and the best frites stall we've eaten at yet (sorry to my previous favourite in Amsterdam - you're now second best). My frites speciaal (hot chips in a cone with mayo & curry sauce) was so good that I wanted seconds - the special kruiden they added at this stall just topped it off perfectly.

After we'd tired of the city, we headed back to the car (where a stranger kindly told me I looked ready to give birth and patted me on the shoulder with a look of pity on her face when my reply was to tell her I had 6 weeks to go - c'mon, I'm not THAT huge!!!!!!) and decided to take a little road trip. We headed further up north to the coast via the back roads, driving through lots of really cute villages, spotting plenty of windmills along the way before arriving at the big dike.



The plan had then been to go to the amazing looking Bourtange Fortress but with a 3hr drive home, we had run out of time already. Although Groningen city failed to impress, what we saw of the province was lovely - I'm keen to go back and check out the fortress one day... Perhaps next time will be with Stroopy in tow!!!!

2 comments:

  1. Hi there Lu!! Hope your well! Loving your blog! Let's skype soon! Maybe Saturday?? Love Martine

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tia! A skype sounds good - prob not Saturday though cos we are hoping for a day out but one day next week? Love lots xo

    ReplyDelete

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