Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016: Sneek & Groningen, The Hetherlands

After taking a stroll around Sneek following our breakfast, we began driving. Meandering our way around and through the Providence of Friesland.  We love the country side – It is so peaceful and serene, with wide open space between the farmsteads and villages. Sometimes we followed canals, dikes, and country lanes. We saw many sheep grazing.  In years past you would have seen the milk cows grazing in the pastures, but now they have these huge barns so the cows are inside. Also outside the barns are huge trench silos for silage.  We miss seeing the cows in the pastures.  Most of the farmsteads are being maintained very well.  We are wondering what is going to happen to the next generation regarding farming.  Holland needs the farmers – In the world, Holland is the 3rd most-dense country in population.
Country Houses and Barns

Swans on Roof Top

Dairy Barns


We would stop in some of the villages through which we drove for a photo or two of a house or building, and in one village it was market day.  We bought some fresh strawberries for snacking. 
Market Day

We then crossed over into the Providence of Groningen - just like crossing a State line. The farms in this northern part of Holland are very similar. However, for some reason the Providence of Groningen has more windmills than the Providence of Friesland. I don’t know if they have just preserved more, or if they historically had more. We didn’t get a photo of every windmill we saw, but we took photos of many of them! We did not go out-of-our-way to drive to towns with windmills, but we did search out the best location for a photo of the mill. You cannot be too close to the big structure, and yet if you were too far away other buildings could get in the way,

House along a Dike

Tree Lined Road

We are overnighting in Groningen.  Groningen is not the easiest city in which to maneuver a car. Most streets are one-way, the downtown has extremely limited access for cars, and bicycles are EVERYWHERE!  This is a University city – we don’t know the population of the U but the students travel by bike.  The traffic signals have a cycle for bicyclist. We finally found a hotel at the edge of the city instead of downtown.  The two downtown hotels we could drive to were already full.  After getting a room we drove to a parking garage near the downtown and walked around the historic area before finding a Pub for our evening meal.
Cathedral in Downtown Groningen

Bicycles, Bicycles Everywhere

Groningen Architecture

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