Does this scene look familiar to you? Do you think you can recognise this place? If you anticipate that the picture was taken somewhere in Amsterdam. Then, unfortunately, you were wrong. This photo was not captured in the tourist hotspot but rather in a less popular destination named Groningen.

Tiếng Việt

Looking at the map of the Netherlands, Groningen seems a long way from anywhere. Only a handful travellers venture to the country’s northeast corner and very few has written about this city. Despite its location, “boring” is definitely not a word to describe this buzzy, youthful city. Entirely ringed by canals, the traffic-free old centre of Groningen looks like a mini-Amsterdam with attractive old houses, intimate squares, churches from the Golden Age, as well as a catchy world-class museum floating on the water.

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Martinikerkhof
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Groninger 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!

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Reitdiephaven
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Reitdiephaven

For us, the trip to Groningen is an adventure full of surprises. It really came out of the blue, we travelled spontaneously without any plan or preparation.We didn’t even know what we should see beforehand. “So it seems that the best things in life are unexpected because there was no expectation”, Master quoted the famous English writer Eli Khamarov. “Indeed”, I agreed while looking up at the masterpiece in Groningen Central Station.

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Groningen Central Station

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 bới 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.

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Groningen Canal Ring
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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.

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Reitdiephaven
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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.

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Groninger Museum

Chuyến đi Groningen này không nằm trong bất kì kế hoạch nào của mình. Trước khi đi, mình chẳng biết gì về thành phố này, chẳng biết nên xem gì và làm gì. Mình 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”.

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Groningen Central Station

32 comments

  1. 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 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!

        Like

  2. 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. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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 🙂

      Like

  3. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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