Hortus Botanicus Haren – Groningen, Netherlands

We visited the Chinese Water Garden at Hortus Botanicus Haren – Groningen back in June. It was a glorious day, we were really lucky with the weather.

Chinese Water Garden, Pagoda, da +


Chinese Water Garden , Groningen, Netherlands


Chinese Water Garden, Groningen


Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands

There were lots of different types of dragonflies around. Unfortunately I didn’t get any usable photos of them. I’ve only see them a few times before in my life, they don’t seem to be that plentiful in Scotland, so it was a bit of a thrill to see so many.

Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands


Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands


Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands


Waterfall, Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands

In the photo below there’s a huge koi carp, it seemed to be the only fish in the water garden. We assumed that it had eaten all the others!

Carp, Chinese Water Garden, Groningen, Netherlands

This botanic garden has a lot more to it than just this Chinese section, well worth going to see if you happen to be in north east Netherlands.

Groningen, the Netherlands

The city of Groningen in the north east of the Netherlands is very old, it’s first mentioned in documents dating back to 1040. Nowadays it’s famous for its two universities and there are over 50,000 students living in the city. That means there are a lot of bikes around as you can see.

Bikes in Groningen

Bikes outside Groningen University

The last time we were in Groningen we went on a boat trip on the canal, it’s a good way to see the city, without being knocked down by bikes! But this time we wandered around – bike dodging and we visited the museum which is interesting.

Groningen Museum 2

It’s a pity we missed the exhibition they had on of David Bowie’s art although apparently the queues for it were enormous. You can see some images of the exhibition here.

I must admit though that I find it sad that many museums and art galleries are now charging for admission. It cost us 13 euros each to get in. I think it must come as a nice surprise to tourists visiting Britain when they discover that most of the museums/galleries have no entry charges.

If you want to see more images of Groningen have a look here.

Groningen from the canal

Groningen Canal 1
Well you can’t go to the Netherlands and not go on a canal trip, so here we are at the beginning of it (I think) I took loads of photos from the boat, just because the buildings all look so different.

Groningen Canal 6

I have to say that the water is really murky brown but I did actually see a man dangling a fishing rod into it. I wouldn’t fancy eating anything which was swimming around in it, mind you I think he was being optimistic because I can’t imagine that fish would survive in it!

Groningen Canal 3

I find it difficult to tell how old some Dutch buildings are, places which seemed very well preserved and youngish to me were actually about 400 years old, I have no idea about the ones above but I suspect they are quite historic.

Groningen Canal 8

The photo above features a houseboat, I don’t think it will be a very quiet or comfy existence because they are sandwiched between a busyish road and on the edge of a busy waterway with tourist boats constantly going past, they must be able to hear the tour guides’ spiel, in several languages! The large wooden wing shaped thing on the left of the boat is actually a stabiliser which is used when the houseboats take part in races!

Groningen Canal 9

A lot of the old buildings were originally warehouses for gin, tobacco or whatever, and they have been converted into living accomodation.

Groningen Canal 11

So that’s a few of the views which I got of Groningen from the canal, which hopefully will give you some kind of idea of what the place is like.

Groningen, the Netherlands

The biggest place which we visited during our recent Netherlands trip was the university town of Groningen. I like university towns because with a high population of young people they’re always vibrant.
Groningen bikes
We were well warned to be on the look-out for kamikaze cyclists, obviously there are always a lot of bikes around anywhere in the Netherlands but more so in university towns. In fact it wasn’t as dangerous an experience as Cambridge where the cyclists whizz around in a much more cavalier and dangerous fashion. Being so incredibly flat is obviously a big plus for cyclists, in fact I saw a lot of really elderly people who were still cycling and they looked like they were too old to be able to get about on their own, but they were doing fine, it’s a great way of keeping your legs strong it would seem.

Groningen Martini tower

The Martini Tower above seems to be the most famous landmark in Groningen. The photo below is of the sundial which is attached to the tower. I like sundials, especially when they are attached to ancient buildings like this.

Groningen tower sundial

Groningen old building

I took the photo above because I liked the look of the old building which must have started off as a grand venue for something but I didn’t manage to find out what its original use was, it’s now an eatery.

Lastly, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this poster in a bookshop window. It’s in English of course and it amazed me how much English there was about the place. It must make it easier for people to learn the language I suppose, everyone seems to speak English anyway. That’s just a few of the Groningen photos which I took, next time you’ll see the town from the canal.

Groningen Books sign