Spending time in Groningen was such a relief. I've been traveling so much and needed a place to wind down. I first did my laundry. I've been washing my clothes in the sink, and air drying them in the hostels so I was ecstatic to see washer and dryer here
. For dinner, Mike cooked up herbed meatballs w/ potatoes and beans (typical Dutch dinner). It was a pleasant surprise to find out Mike is a first-class cook. Over the next few days, I got to experience what's like to live in Groningen and chilled with five Dutchmen. Fun group of guys and I owe them for grand hospitality. They're all very young which made me feel freakin old, but we shared good times, me reminiscing the old days, them living the days. I remember when I was 21...well, sort of, but it's fading fast. From watching rugby championship games to riding bikes to the farmer's market, I'll miss my time here. Coming to Groningen helped me understand more about Netherlands than I could ever learn in Amsterdam. Satisfied with the time spent, I picked my next destination, Hamburg, Germany.
Groningen is on the very northeast of Netherlands. It's a city built around one university, surrounded by farming community. I stayed with Mike, his four roommates and my couchmate, Max the English Pit. Bicycles, again, dominate the city and you certainly feel the energy of youth here in Groningen. There are two main fraternities, the main one boasting its 3000 members. Mike and all his roommates are in that frat. Typical bar starts to get crowded just around midnight and it's open til 5am. It's a different lifestyle from LA where lines to the club can be seen at 9:30pm. Here in Europe, you don't see many people around that time, but come midnight, you can barely order a drink at the bar.