Since visiting Amsterdam in August, my mates and I had been craving another adventure to the land of clogs, korfball and coffee shops. All stereotypes aside however, we decided to venture out of the Capital and pay a semi-spontaneous trip to see one of our best friends in Groningen; a city I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of prior to him starting uni there.
Feeling instantly inferior by the superior 6ft 5 humans we were surrounded by, we lugged our luggage onto the bus from the Capital and were hit by our first and only complication of the trip - the bus drivers. Yes we don’t speak Dutch, French or German, but shunning us for not knowing which bus to get on is a bit premature. Luckily, we managed to overcome blocked toilet difficulties, and ignorant locals reclining into our laps on the coach, to arrive in one of the biggest cities Holland has to offer.
My parents would never trust me with a boat. I think they’d fear the whole canal would burn down before I’d even stepped on board. For whatever reason though, the parents of our good friend have forked out for one, putting their faith in him living lavishly, and not cause any chaos on the peaceful Dutch canal. It’s a shame 6 of his school mates were about to hop on board for a weekend of heavy seshing. Wondering how we hadn’t been hit by the inhuman amount of bikes zipping down the roads, pavements and backstreets of Groningen, we got used to our new surroundings by stocking up on Waffles, Chocomel (if you know you know) and some ganja of course. Several smart shops later, freezing our British bodies to death in what felt like sub zero temperatures, we went for our first night out, sacrificing warmth for peng garms and hoping sips of Heineken would get the blood pumping around us.
Another stereotype of the Holland is that it’s very camp; it’s not a prejudice I’ve ever believed, until I stepped foot into our first bar. As we entered to the sound of Taio Cruz’ ‘Dynamite’ blasting over the speakers, we all wondered if we were back at a Primary School disco, getting spangled on sherbet and sliding slickly on our knees across the dance floor. However, we weren’t. We were in one of the most student heavy cities the country had to offer, and this was what the young adults were getting down despite it being 2018. Although, it had a great atmosphere, and the locals were loving it. The clubbing may be a bit backward in the Netherlands, but their bar staff make the experience well worth the outing. Getting dreadfully drunk themselves, chanting hysterically and busting out some camp skanks, they made the club a great laugh despite the tunes and over priced half pints.
We didn’t make it out on any other nights, but spent the rest of our evenings watching the Haunting on Hill House, Sharknado (the most horrific horror you’ll ever see in your life) and cracking up at the new series of Big Mouth, some of us seeing visuals well beyond the cartoon itself.
We also witnessed our mate in a thrilling game of korfball, winning narrowly 17-16 to record their first victory of the season, and shortly after getting on the lash at 3 in the afternoon; the action of a true set of athletes. They can really drink in Holland. The finest moments of our weekend though had to be simply chilling on the boat, venturing occasionally outside on the deck and a nearby park, which proved incredibly buki considering we had been watching The Haunting on Hill House every night. It didn’t help that every path we walked down greeted us with creepy, weeping angel-esque statues of grimacing naked ladies who possessed wings; not what you want when you’re pranging out on what the finest of produce Dutch coffee shops have to offer.
It is the canals, calm vibe and overall better quality of life I still can’t come to terms with in Holland. I feel us British are blinded by our own culture, but I’d move to Holland in a heart beat. Even the Dominos was nicer out there, and they delivered straight to our boat. What more can you ask for?
Why not go and check out our shoot of Groningen in our photography section...