Friday evening we departed for Groningen in The Netherlands.  It is located in the northern part of the country not far from the North Sea.  We stayed Hermans Dijkstra, which is a bed & breakfast located 20 minutes outside of the Groningen city center.  We didn’t arrive until after 10pm on Friday night & the owner was there to greet us at our car & show us to our room.  Our room was large, with a sitting & dining area, as well as a kitchenette & separate bedroom.  In the morning, they served a delicious breakfast.

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After breakfast on Saturday we drove into Groningen.  Our first stop was into a outdoor shop, but after that we actually started sight-seeing!  We went up into the Martinitoren (St. Martin’s Tower), the highest church steeple in Groningen.  It offered great views of the city, both the old & new architecture.

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The Netherlands were proud to show their colors for the World Cup!  We saw so many flags and streamers on our drive.  On Friday night almost every house we passed had the TV on & we could see the green glow of the soccer field.


Groningen is a university city (University of Groningen) & they were celebrating their 400th year this past weekend.  There were many events for the alumni & the current/old professors.


Saturday afternoon we drove to the coast & stopped in Pieterburen at the Zeehondencreche.  This is a center that cares for rescued sick seals.  They rehabilitate the seals & then release them back into the sea.

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We watched one of the seals get its blood drawn.  This seal was going to be released from the center in less than two weeks. 

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In the evening we went back into the city center of Groningen for dinner at De 7e Hemel (7th Heaven).  It was a recommendation from our Lonely Planet tour book.  It was a popular restaurant outside of the tourist area.  I thought it was just okay but Christian enjoyed his meal.  I think I was most disappointed by the dessert, as we had ordered the surprise dessert.  We had asked if it contained much fruit & the waiter said it was mostly ice cream.  In the end it was mostly fruit!  I believe that fruit is for breakfast or a snack, not dessert.  If you don’t share that belief than this is your restaurant!

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