On Wednesday we went to Groningen, a town in the north of the Netherlands. It was quite a long train ride from where we are, with several transfers so we didn't get to see as near as much as we would have liked but we still had an amazing time. It rained most of the time we were there, so I didn't get many good quality photos. Here are my Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Go to Groningen today!
5. Beautiful Landscape Along the Way
Admittedly, not a great picture, this photo was taken through the train window on the way. It was stormy and rainy off and on the whole three hour journey, but I managed to grab this quick rainbow as we sped by. If you are coming from the South, such as from Amsterdam, you will pass through the Oostvarderplassen, a natural area in the north of the Netherlands full of wild ponies, deer and cows all hanging out together! We passed hundreds of them and the landscape was flat but beautiful.
4. Shutters and Tiles
Despite the fact that a lot of buildings were destroyed during WWII in the Battle of Groningen, there still remains a lot of examples of beautiful, old architecture. I'm a sucker for old wooden shutters and decorative tiles.
3. Colourful Postboxes and Window Trim
Need I say more! Look at this place!
2. The Goudkantoor
And my number one reason to visit Groningen right now is....
1. The David Bowie Is Exhibit at the Groninger Museum!
They were pretty clear in the museum that no photos were allowed so unfortunately the only one's I have are from the lobby and not very good at that, but the exhibit itself was amazing. As a fan, it was thoroughly engrossing to go through each and every item and read all the background information starting from Bowie's beginning, to his second to last album, basically. I think they had pretty much every major outfit he wore on stage and in video, and not many were behind glass so it was really personal and you could get very close to see the detail of each costume. The feeling of seeing, say, his outfit from the Life on Mars? video, next to his handwritten lyrics for it, next to the music video of him wearing the same outfit was really incomparable. It was always my dream to see him live and now that that's not possible, it is probably as close as any one person can get. The Royal Albert Museum did an amazing job and I highly recommend that you go check this out if you are a fan! The exhibit was just extended into April so you still have a chance, but you really need to buy a ticket in advance online. The exhibit was totally packed when we got there and they weren't allowing any walk-ins. And that was on a Wednesday afternoon. I appreciated that we had to prebook our timeslot, which spaced out the amount of people that could get in, but it was still overcrowded in some places and we had to queue about 40 minutes just to get in. They recommend that the exhibit should take about 90 minutes, but we were in there for 3 hours and only left because it closed! I was born a bit too late to really fully understand the full scope and meaning of his music but I grew up listening to him, have memories of my Mom blasting 'Rebel Rebel' and 'Space Oddity' on the record player at night. I have a real emotional connection to a lot of his music, particularly to those albums from the late 60's, early 70's and there were a few points in the exhibit where I felt quite overwhelmed with happy/sad.
Oh and you didn't think I could leave without taking just one sneaky but blurry pic....
That's right, Jarod's staff and crystal ball from the Labryinth! I am such a nerd. But really, this was the only area that didn't have someone watching that would tell me not to take the photo and this film remains one of my childhood favourites!
I would love to go back to this cute city sometime soon. It has a huge student population due to two big universities, so it has quite an active nightlife and it looks like there is a lot to do. Had we known how long the museum and train were going to take, we probably would have stayed overnight.
What about you? Have you been to Groningen? Any must see recommendations?