Sunday, 1 June 2014

Harlingen to Groningen

"Let's go out about 9 o'clock, there's sure to be some shanty singing in the town with all those sailors here for the rowing race". Graham is ever the optimist. Having heard tales of the Boscastle gig rowers on their annual race weekend in Tresco we were sure there would be a lively atmosphere in town. As we strolled in we saw a slew of burly chaps spilling on to the pavement. "Aha our first lively pub". As we drew closer we noticed the masculine brutes were not partaking of any hop based beverage but we're queueing up for ice creams and pancakes. Party animals!
 
Different types of fish nets

Quentin enjoys the scenery

Walking around town proved to be a further disappointment with no rowdy behaviour or alcohol induced antics whatsoever, so we thought we'd have a few drinks and go back to Dickie. We found a lovely hotel overlooking the port and sat down to order a beer. Within minutes a strapping young lad appeared and started taking the cushions in from all the chairs around us...."can you pay now because we're closing in a few minutes". It was 9 40 pm. Tresco it ain't.

Having said that we spent a very relaxing morning watch the 130 rowing boats take off from Harlingen to Terschelling which is quite a row. It was extremely well organised and took exactly one hour for the 13 groups of ten to take off. Our favourite was WaterHex the Water Witch which sported a very lovely witch on a broomstick on the front.
The boats head off

We headed off to Groningen after the race and I had just finished reading about there being very little traffic in the city as most people had bicycles when we got stuck in a Giant traffic jam. Several hours later we were able to drive the wrong way down a slip road to get off the highway and head to our next destination.
Our first traffic jam


Groningen is a busy city with the hint of Bangkok ( in a good way) about it. Everyone cycles and the centre is jammed with bikes. They are undergoing a major reconstruction and a large part of the main square is being rebuilt. We did the city walk and easily cycled the 4km in and out of town - I must say this cycling lark is rather fun.
Enjoying a cycle

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