Groningen in the North
The Bourtange Star Fort was built to protect the only road linking Germany and Groningen. Since we spent the night in the fort we decided to head into Groningen and check out the 13th century trade city. As Jeff said, we wanted to see what was worth all the protection.
Parking was incredibly easy to find as the parking decks are well marked. There is a parking deal with the Q-Park Museum Centrum car park, if you are planning to visit the Groninger Museum. Watch out! You need to stay more than 3 hours in town for the deal to be worthwhile. Luckily, it’s super easy to spend all day in Groningen.
We started our day at the Maritime Museum, which is part of the Museumkaart program. We weren’t sure that the kids would be into what is mostly a collection of maritime artifacts. The top floor houses a kid-friendly room with knots to tie and coloring pages.
The kids were thrilled with running through the rest of the museum. We moved quickly through the museum. The kids flitting from one item to the next. The exhibits are in Dutch so there wasn’t much for us to read anyway. There was a room full of rigs that were a huge hit. The bottom floor has a mock ship for kids to drive.
When we left the museum we were all hungry. The market was in full swing in the square so we pieced together a market meal. Our favorite thing to do!
The bakery was our first stop. We picked up some “pizzas” which are really just bread covered with cheese and some toppings. They are one of our favorite bakery treats. We also grabbed some crusty ciabatta bread.
These incredible treats were also available and calling out to us. The bakery has a huge front window where you can watch the baker shape the dough and place it in the ovens. We watched while Jeff made the purchases.
The angels must have been smiling on me because parked right outside the bakery was the coffee bike! My favorite three-year-old and my husband grabbed me a coffee – H even handed the salesman the money. I helped O stuff his face with some bakery treats.
Coffee in hand we scoured the market for the rest of our lunch. H wanted some carrots, some berries for O, cheese to go with our crusty bread. We hit the jackpot and picked up some things to take back home.
Just as we settled into a picnic spot the skies opened. We’ve now learned that Netherlands rain fires no warning shots. There is no build-up. The skies open and you are soaked. We hightailed it to the Groninger Museum, also part of the Museumkaart program.
The Groninger Museum is an art museum. We are hit or miss with the kids at art museums and this was a miss. Everyone was wet and hungry. We saw a few things but the boys quickly took to running around laughing and popping out at each other. It was cute but not art museum appropriate.
Luckily, the rain had stopped so we reconvened our picnic. With the children fed and another deluge headed our way we cut our losses and headed to the car. We had two sleepers as soon as we got onto the motorway.
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