An Unexpected Journey to Groningen

Tiếng Việt

Looking at the map of the Netherlands, Groningen seems a long way from anywhere. Only a handful of travellers venture to the country’s northeast corner and very few have written about this city. Despite its location, “boring” is definitely not a word to describe this buzzy, youthful city.


 

Groningen’s history dates back to more than 950 years ago as a small settlement in the northern part of the Netherlands. When trade bloomed in the 13th century, it gradually became a regional power, having an influence on the surrounding lands as well as the entire Friesland. During the Golden Time, Groningen’s centre was even comparable to Amsterdam: entirely ringed by canals and filled with numerous attractive old houses, intimate squares and beautiful churches.

Martinikerkhof
Martinikerkhof
Groningen Canal Ring
Groningen Canal Ring

Just a stone’s throw away from the Central Station, the floating Groningen Museum with its post-modernist design easily captures the attention of visitors. Opened in 1884 and relocated to the current building in 1994, the museum exhibits works of local, national and international artists, most of them are modern and abstract art.

Groningen Musem
Groningen Museum

On the city outskirt, a newly built yacht haven, where bright colour houses in Scandinavian design lined up, is poster perfect. The city also offers countless options for going out, including restaurants, cinemas, bars, and clubs. Don’t be afraid if you are the only tourist in town because gezelligheid (togetherness, cosiness or camaraderie) stands for the Dutch, and thus they might not let you even sit alone!

Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven

For me, this is an adventure full of surprises. It really came out of the blue, we travelled spontaneously without any plan or preparation. I didn’t even know what I should see beforehand, including the masterpiece in the Groningen Central Station.

So it seems that the best things in life are unexpected because there was no expectation.

Eli Khamarov<cite>

Groningen Central Station
Groningen Central Station

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Groningen – Chuyến đi ngoài dự kiến

Nằm ở góc Đông Bắc của Hà Lan, Groningen dường như lạc lõng so với các thành phố khác. So với Amsterdam, Groningen đón rất ít du khách và hiếm người biết về thành phố này. Nhưng “buồn tẻ” không phải là từ dành cho Groningen. Được bao bọc bởi một vòng kênh, trung tâm của Groningen như một Amsterdam thu nhỏ với những dãy nhà cổ từ thế kỉ 17-18 dọc ven kênh, những con đường lót đá, những nhà thờ được xây dựng từ thời kì Hoàng Kim và những quảng trường nhộn nhịp đầy hàng quán.

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset
Groningen Canal Ring
Martinikerkhof
Martinikerkhof

Ra khỏi trung tâm một tí là Reitdiephaven – bến đỗ của các du thuyền và thuyền buồm. Tại đây những dãy nhà nhiều màu sắc theo phong cách Bắc Âu được xây dựng dọc theo dòng nước.

Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven
Reitdiephaven

Nếu bạn đến Groningen bằng tàu hỏa thì chắc hẳn bạn không thể bỏ qua viện bảo tàng Groningen với kiến trúc vô cùng kì lạ. Một phần của bảo tàng thậm chí nằm bên dưới mặt nước.

Groningen Musem
Groningen Museum

Chuyến đi Groningen này không nằm trong bất kì kế hoạch nào của mình. Trước khi đi, tôi dường chẳng biết gì về thành phố này, chẳng biết nên xem gì và làm gì. Tôi chỉ quyết định vào phút chót, nhưng hóa ra đó lại là một ý kiến hay. Như nhà văn người Anh Eli Khamarov từng viết: “The best things in life are unexpected because there was no expectation”.

Groningen Central Station
Groningen Central Station
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36 Comments

    1. Len Kagami

      Thank you! I have heard that they have the light festival or light show along the canal ring during Christmas season Maybe you can check that out too 🙂

  1. Jolene

    The station ceiling does seem awfully ornate!! Everywhere in Europe is like a canal city 😂
    I also like how you translate things for your Vietnamese audience, that’s very considerate and I’m sure they fully appreciate your efforts!

    1. Len Kagami

      Thank you for your kind words! Actually, I got the needs of translation from my parents. They and some friends of them want to read more about the place rather than just looking at the photos. At first, I tried Google translate but it was totally incomprehensible 🙂

      1. Jolene

        That’s really sweet! I’m terrible, the last thing on my mind when travelling is catering to the needs of my parents 😂 Agree about Google translate. At least it keeps both your English and mother tongue sharp!

  2. rommel

    That seriously a travel hidden gem like no other. I often wondered why a certain gets to be so popular, when it times the popularity are not warranted, and those less-popular don’t get the praise they deserved. Ow well, at least you don’t get to wrestle with the crowds. 🙂

    1. Len Kagami

      That’s true. I think people prefer to follow mainstream rather than to explore by themselves. Like the snow village you shot, an incredible place but I guess very few know about its existence. But it is good for us, we don’t have to wait like 20 minutes to make a photo 🙂

  3. dunelight

    Those brightly colored, simply designed dockside houses are calling to me…to step out the front door, coffee in hand, right into your boat.

    I think I’ll day dream on that a bit.

  4. justbluedutch

    I didn’t know that this place exists in NL! I should show this post to my husband so we can visit this place next time we visit Holland. Your photos are so enticing, I love particularly the colorful houses. I mistaken the first photo as Amsterdam :-)))
    Great post once again Len!Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. vinneve

    Hi it’s been awhile since I have been to your blog and glad I did tonight. Beautiful photos and I can’t remember where you lived when you started this blog?

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