Day 3: Groningen

Groningen Travel Blog

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Thursday we woke up at a reasonable hour.  Most of the family was off to work already, but Jena, Eva, Mr Annema and I sat down to yet another traditional Dutch breakfast.  And in case my description of Wednesday's breakfast wasn't detailed enough, here we go again:  First of all, a giant container of rolls was set in the middle of the table.  On any typical day, you'd be expected to eat about 5 of these rolls for breakfast, with various assortments of fillings and toppings.  Next to the rolls was a plate of nothing but different kinds of cheeses.  Dutch love their cheese.  Then there was all sorts of jams and butters.  My favorite: chocolate sprinkles.  I kid you not, they throw chocolate sprinkles on a roll and call it breakfast over here.  ^__^  On top of that, we were expected to take tea, juice, an Actimel-esque yogurt fitness drink thinger, and even more carbs in the form of Christmas bread (marzipan) or Suikerbrood (Sugar Bread).
Groningen Museum
  And to save myself having to repeat it another 5 times, just assume that that's what we had for breakfast every day.  Honestly, it takes like a week for your stomach to expand enough to be able to handle a Dutch breakfast.  :p

Anyway, the plans for Thursday were to go with Eva to Gronignen (again, lots of hacking), the town where she lives and goes to college.  I'm also pretty sure it's the same place my old roomate, Myke, used to go to school.

Gronignen is about an hour east of Leeuwarden by train, so we left the house around 9.30 to walk over to the train station.  Sure enough, it was snowing again.  And not being a country accustomed to snow, it was pretty much a mess.
  The roads were terrible, the sidewalks were terrible.  About the only thing visible were the bike paths, which of course had been cleared off in a heartbeat.

The train ride through the blizzard was entertaining, and when we got off in Gronignen, we bolted across the road to the Gronignen Museum.  What a strange museum.  First of all, it was really cool, because they had the brightest walls I've ever seen in a museum.  Big, bold blues and teals and oranges and reds.  Wall colours you'd never see in most museums.  They also had the most random collection of ancient archeological finds mixed in with bizarre modern art and photography.

It wasn't a big place, but it was definitely one of my favorite museums that I've been to in my life.
We could also see from the windows, however, that it was still a mess outside, so we crashed in the museum cafe afterwards, and all had a good time arguing about whether I should make a fool of myself and try to pay for everything in Dutch.
Groningen University



When we did finally leave, Eva took us around town and showed us her school and then took us back to her flat so we could all dry off and warm up again.  Her place was so cute.  I probably never would have left if the two of them didn't make us get up and go find some lunch in town.  We ended up at this cafe called Pigalle, and after grabbing a quick lunch of sandwiches, we went and met up with Eva's boyfriend, Bart, in town.

Bart hung out with us for the rest of the afternoon while we walked around and went shopping.  I think he almost took it as his personal mission to find me a pair of shoes too.  :]  More Oliebollen was also consumed at one point as well.  :/

When it finally started getting dark, we all went to the grocery store and grabbed some food, because Bart decided that he was going to make us all dinner that night.
  The meal of choice was at the request of Jena, and was a "very traditionally Dutch" course of something with potatoes and greens and lots of mustard.  Heck if I remember what it was called.

So we picked up Bart's bike and all walked back through the city to his flat on the other side of town.  He insisted on cooking himself, so he did that while Eva showed us dirty Dutch comics on the internet, and Jena tutored me as I tried to read the children's book Nijntje in Dutch.  I must say, I did excellent.  :)  *gold stars to myself*  By the end I was pronouncing things correctly on my own, without any help... even if I didn't have a clue as to what the heck the words translated in to.  I did learn, however, that that a cow is called a koe, and that he says "boo".
Groningen Museum
  Just your standard Boo Koe (that rhymes, by the way).

Anyway, dinner was delicious (compliments to the chef), and then we all sat around the heater and watched the movie The Witches on tv, before finally leaving Bart's flat at about 9.00 and heading home to Leeuwarden, where we ended up staying awake far too late watching The Sphere on tv with Friso, Sara, and Eva's parents.

MartenM says:
Like your entry about Groningen a lot! Seems you had a nice time..
Too bad you didn't have the chance to see the night-life, which is famous in all of the Netherlands because the pubs and clubs usually don't close before 6AM
Posted on: Aug 10, 2007
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