Culture & Curious Habits / Netherlands

Notes from Groningen and Echten

At the day of this trip, there was supposed to be a chance for us in the northern hemisphere to see the sun eclipse. I think most expect to watch the eclipse, however, I woke up that morning looking out the window and only clouds were visible. No eclipse watching that day, pff.

Latin writings on architecture of the olden times.

This trip is the most North of the country I have ever been in the Netherlands so far. Groningen is quite a pretty city and we spent quite a bit of time walking around appreciating architectural features of the city. Ever since I learned Latin, I usually stopped and take some time reading Latin texts that was written on classical architecture buildings or gardens. While most of the time I am not fully confident in my translation there are other times I am quite certain and felt mused by it.

Tempus praeteritum nihil futurum incertum praesens instabile cave ne perdas hoc tuum was written on a sundial at Prinsentuin in Groningen. Which roughly means Time passed by, nothing in the future is certain, present is changeable, make sure to not throw away your time. With a sundial like this, the reminder will surely stays with you a long time.

Sundial at Prinsentuin, Groningen.

Tea Time in Echten

(c) Cardiff Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Afternoon Tea, Walter Dandy Sadler, Oil on Canvas, 65 x 84 cm (c) Cardiff Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

After one night in Groningen we went to have tea at tea time in a small town called Echten in Drenthe Province. The tea time is hosted at an English Late Edwardian style architecture villa which was built in 1914. We had Low Tea or Afternoon Tea which means we would start with a warm dish (i.e quiche) and then a variety of sandwiches. After we would work our way up the plates to scones with clotted cream, jam and curd and then sweets (chocolates, marble cake, cupcakes). The tea we had was a variety – first the mix of Earl Grey and Ceylon tea and then Lapsang Souchong and then light Lavender tea. We spent an entire afternoon to finish the tea, about three hours time. All dishes were homemade and became a signature of tea time and always served fresh.  At the end of the tea, we were well filled with goodness and nice conversation.

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