Walking in Groningen. Day 4: Appingedam to Uithuizen, 26 km. Map.

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Most people who walk the Wad- en Wierdenpad, walk in the other direction we did. So at our B&B in Appingedam we had already heard the stories about the VERY long trip that lay ahead of us. We started anyway, it's beautiful weather, so 26 km shouldn't be that hard (true, if you're walking without those bloody backpacks). We walk in agricultural land, with cows and grain and farms.

The farms in Groningen, as you might know, are famous for their size: both the size of the buildings as well as the the size of the farmland per farm.

In early times, most of the land was owned by the Monasteries, and was rented to the farmers. Because it was not allowed to split the land in pieces when the farmer died, only one of the children inherited the farm, keeping the size of the farmland intact.

A cow looking like a pitbull

This farm is (just a little) bigger than usual, because it belongs to a noble family. Nice detail: in WW2 some men hid themselves in the teahouse. As you can see, it is obvious the Germans didn’t search very well. The only other conclusion is that the Germans thought "Naw, in the teahouse you can’t hide yourself"




In the (wide) surroundings of Slochteren, not to say: in Groningen, you can see lots of ‘Eiffeltowers’ like those. In Slochteren a mayor gasbulb has been discovered in the earth.

Half of the Netherlands and lots of people in foreign countries warm their houses and cook on methane from Slochteren. A negative effect of the gas-mining is the consolidation of the earth: it lowers a few millimeters every year.

Over a long period of time houses, roads and pipelines (for methane, for instance) will get damaged. But the income from the gas makes up for it.

Resistance is futile

In Uithuizen the track ends at the Menkema Borg, one of the four remaining Borgs in Groningen (no, there is no relation with the Borgs from Startrek).

You will be assimilated

The front of the Borg

In Groningen, a Borg is a type of luxurious castle, complete with moats. You can visit the Menkema Borg and the gardens, which both were restored in their end-of-19th century glory.

Oh, and this is not the inside of the Menkema Borg. We had a hard time finding a B&B or hotel in Uithuizen. Koos, the owner of the Maarlandhoeve: an old farm and a mini-camping, allowed us to stay in the old farmhouse.

While enjoying the coffee Koos made for us, we talked about the plans to restore the farm in its original state. Quite a job: there's more than just the wallpaper that needs attention. In a few years, we will return to have a look at the result.

Koos also told us there was a slight chance we might see the ghost. In empty farmhouses like this, there's always a ghost of some kind. Because the night was very cold, we didn't sleep very well, but the ghost didn't show himself.

Fire extinguisher

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