Wagenborgen - Groningen - To France the Long Way - CycleBlaze

July 10, 2009

Wagenborgen - Groningen

Ignoring the weather since staying in Wagenborgen is no alternative, we get on our bikes and it rains the whole way to Groningen. Sometimes the rain is little more than a drizzle, then it pours and the rain drops hammer our bodies and manage to penetrate every sealed seam of the best rainwear.

Ready to leave in my rain gear
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We haven't even gotten on our bikes yet and everything is wet.
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As far as we could tell in the blinding rain, the countryside was similar to yesterday's. The wind was not quite as bad and the ride along the canal into town would be lovely on a dry day.

Nice countryside in not nice weather
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Janos isn't too happy.
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Along the canal approaching Groningen
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Canal road leading into town
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Boat holidays in the rain are possibly even more frustrating than bike holidays.
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By the time we reach Groningen we are wet to our very bones. We look like two drowned rats when we check into our hotel in Groningen and provoke many grins. It's noon and check-in is officially at 3 p.m but we are fortunate and can occupy the room immediately.

Groningen's historic center is surrounded by a ring canal which has preserved the character of the old town. It is almost entirely a pedestrian zone. As a university town, there is a large student population and many inviting pubs and cafes which enliven the scene.

Streets of Groningen
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Groningen
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Again we are unsure about the continuation of our trip, mainly due to the discouraging weather. When we call our friends in Den Haag, we learn they are about to leave for England. What is there now to motivate us to carry on? I think it is just plain stubbornnes that keeps us going.

We consult the Internet for a weather forecast - no change in the days to come. We find a special week-end price of 50€ the night in a nice hotel just outside of town and decide to hole up for the next two days and think things over.

We move to a fancy hotel for the week-end - it only costs 50€, not a bad price for Groningen.
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We spend some time taking in Groningen. On Saturday the weather improves and we visit Groningen's lively and colorful market, on Sunday the weather deteriorates and we don't leave our room until evening when we go out and get caught in a downpour on our way to an Indonesian restaurant to celebrate my birthday. I have just turned 69, which is pretty old but sounds better than 70.

Bicycles for getting around when at anchor.
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Some lovely old boats outside of Groningen
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Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 1,465 km (910 miles)

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