Additionally, with this ushering in of summer, last weekend was absolutely scorching. I haven't been this hot since Mexico, and I was flaking out about the place in a rather pathetic fashion. I don't 'do' heat... It was also a weekend of sport: some cracking tennis at Wimbledon and of course, the football. For one who doesn't play sport, I found I have watched more in the last few weeks than ever before. I'll be honest, my idea of a marathon is watching an entire television series box set or reading a book trilogy over a weekend...
|Grote Markt big screen|
Well, we were there until the wee hours, tense and anticipating each try towards the goal. The Netherlands made it through on penalty kicks, which is always slightly miraculous, since there is nothing worse than penalty kicks when it comes to football. The atmosphere was great, everyone wore lots of orange, and from the Grote Markt came the cacophony of revellers for most of the night. There were police everywhere, even on horseback. Not entirely sure what they were expecting...
The semi-final match last night...not so great. Again we were in the pub, watching with mounting tension as the Netherlands took on old rivals, Argentina. I wonder if the Royal household was divided, with Queen Maxima being from Argentina? It went to penalty kicks again, and this time, we weren't so lucky. No revelling in the streets last night. (A bit of sleep at last!)
|Arjen Robben (Dutch football player) is Groningen's golden boy|
Today, I'd had just about enough of perspiring with every movement, so I took myself to my local bookshop (and when I say local, I mean like a 6 minute walk!) where they have air-con. The second hand section seems to have grown twofold and there was a sale on (a most dangerous mix). Upstairs they have a little café, and its layout reminds me of old American diners with its high counter tops. I was able to have a slice of appeltaart and buy two books, all for less than 6euros, which, lets be honest, is nothing short of a miracle in this day and age. So, feeling very chuffed indeed.
If this is what Dutch summertime is like, bring it on! More ice creams, lagers, music, festivals, and long, lazy afternoons on sun-bleached terraces, please.