Oude- en Nieuweschans

Walking in Groningen. Day 1: Bellingwolde to Nieuweschans, 15 km. Map.

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This is the first day of our walk through the Province of Groningen. We start at the village of Bellingwolde and our goal for today is Nieuweschans, a relatively easy walk. Halfway we reach Oudeschans. Like described at the page of Bourtange, Oude- and Nieuweschans were fortresses.

Oudeschans still has its ramparts (with some cannons pointing outwards), but the moats are not restored in their old glory. In Nieuweschans, it's even very hard to see it has ever been a fortress.

Cannons in Oudeschans, pointing outwards

Voorstraat Oudeschans

Oudeschans is a sweet little town, where people really live (unlike the impression you get from Bourtange). The downside are the parked cars, which makes it harder to make a picture of the houses. Near the church are benches in the shadow of trees, ideal for your cookie-break (the café is closed on Sunday morning).

Church of Oudeschans is hidden in green

The trail between Oudeschans and Nieuweschans is covered with purple flowers. It seems to be an ecological trail, maybe to connect some nature reserves with each other. Near Nieuweschans a large area next to the river was excavated, maybe to create a wet area for birds and amphibians and so? Maybe they are constructing a Newer Schans?

Well, whatever it is, it is nice to walk between purple flowers.

Purple flowers

Voorstraat Nieuweschans

Like all the fortresses, Nieuweschans has its Voorstraat (Main street), where the officers lived.

The name of the street is all that reminds of the fortress, no ramparts, no moats, no nothing. So we can easily rename Nieuweschans into Nieuwe.



The newest attraction of Nieuweschans is the thermal bath, filled with mineral water from 600 meters below the surface. With 30 degrees outside, we where not really in for a swim in water of 35 degrees. We will save it for a rainy day.

Instead, we tried to understand the dialect of the Groninger kids on the table beside ours at the terrace of the local café. Well, that wasn’t too easy.

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