Day: May 10, 2022

149. The Netherlands, Groningen: Hete Bliksem

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Groningen is the name of province as well as the main city. I love Groningen! I have been there but just to party in my college days, which is not strange because 25% of the population of the city of Groningen are collegestudents. Groningen has a lot to offer, from the hustle and bustle of the city to the calm wide open spaces in the countryside. Speaking of the countryside, the are artificial hills called “Wierden” all over the place. They were build thousands of years ago to protect the people from the water. There it is again Water! So important in our tiny country. We have been fighting the oceans for thousands of years. On those Wierden we built villages between 500 B.C. and 1000 A.C, the church was always built at the highest point. Because of the embankment of the Wadden Coastline, the Wierden lost their usefullness.

Things you didn’t know about Groningen:

  • The bars and clubs don’t have a closing time.
  • Groningen is a bike lovers dream! We bike a lot here in the Netherlands. Did you know that Groningen is the only city in the Netherlands that has intersections where all bicycles get a green light at the same time?
  • Aletta Jacobs is a name that all inhabitants of Groningen are familiar with. She was the first female student enrolled in a University in the Netherlands (in 1871). She was also a prolific activist who completed her medical degree at the university.
  • Once a year poets from all over the country gather in the Prinsentuin to perform
  • The local dialect still spoken in the countryside in Groningen is very similar to the German language.

The translation for hete bliksem is hot lightning, it was named to commemorate the burning down of the Groningens hightest building the Martini tower. It got struck down by lightning, they rebuilt it, and then it got struck down by lightning again! They seem to have gotten it right the third time around. Because now it stand tall and proud, towering over de beautiful city of Groningen.

I have a thing for casseroles, I love them doesn’t matter if you five me a lasagne or a shepperds pie. Hete bliksem is something special my mom used to make when I was little. I know some people are against sweet and savoury combinations, I ain’t a pineapple on a pizza girl myself! But to me hete bliksem is different! The caramelized apples go sooo well with the minced beef with warm spices…

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