Netherlands | North Holland | Groningen | Standing mast route
Sepember 24, 2013
Hi Family and Friends, We left Delfzijl, NL early Mon and enter into the canal in light fog. The first lock and bridge was just .5nm from Neptunus Marina so we never got far from shore or lost in the fog:-) This section of the canal to Groningen is mostly farmland with lots of cows, sheep and horses. Very green and very pretty. We only passed through one small village before arriving in Groningen. The canals completely circle the Old Town. These canals use to be the moat beneath the walled city of the 1400's. The walls are gone but the canals keep the city enclosed in a circle.
We tied alongside a small harbor JH Oosterhaven and were in a great location for exploring the city.
Netherlands | Standing Mast Route | Groningen | St. Anthony Gasthuis - old court house
We followed the city walking tour on our bikes. Groningen is a University town with over 25,000 students walking and riding bikes. Very few cars are allowed in the city so everyone is on foot or bike. Bike parks and bike racks are everywhere. We visited several Hospices. These old compounds for the sick are now clusters of 25-30 individual houses with beautiful interconnecting courtyard gardens. You enter the hospice/compound through what appears to be an ordinary door from the street.
Netherlands | Standing Mast Route | Groningen | University of Groningen
In 1614 the second university in Netherlands was established in Groningen in former monastery building. Lots of shopping, restaurants, businesses on narrow cobbled streets in Hanseatic buildings from Medieval times. Beautifully restored, gorgeous brick work and flowers and trees everywhere. St. Joseph's Cathedral is quite magnificent. We rode around for over 3 hours loving every minute exploring this spectacular city!
Netherlands | North Holland | Groningen | Hospice courtyard gardens
Tuesday we visited two museums. We purchased Museum Cards that will give us free entrances into over 400 Netherlands Museums.
Netherlands | Standing Mast Route | Groningen | Groninger Museum
The first being the Groninger Museum. We were told to visit more for the unusual Gaudi type designed pavilions than the exhibits. The "F... 2" exhibit included 37 contemporary Chinese artists whose work contemplates and questions the current sociological, environmental, legal and political climate in China today. It was rather disturbing and the original exhibit was quickly censored in China. The collection of Groningen art collector Veendorp emphasizing works of Dutch painters of late 19th and 20th C. was interesting. The new exhibit opening last weekend displayed archaeological findings from the Wadden area of the North Sea bordering The Frisan provinces along the sea.
Netherlands | Standing Mast Route | Groningen | City Hall
We went to the Vismarket and Grote Market for lunch. Nicely prepared fried fish filet and bread from the bakery next door. Then we visited the Nautical Museum. It is housed in a medieval Gothic merchant house/brewery and is said to be one of the best maritime museums in the country. We rode along the canal where we'll pass tomorrow aboard Artemis and stopped for a visit at the beautiful Renaissance style garden laid out in 1625. Gorgeous roses and sculptured hedges.
Tomorrow we'll travel the canal passing through at least 26 bridges and 3 locks before reaching Dokkum, NL. It fun just relaxing, being a tourist, not really worrying about the weather or what time the tide will change:-) Hope all is well. Love Sally and Al