Saturday, February 2, 2013

KINDERDIJK, NETHERLANDS: Walking into a Post Card

For some reason, I thought that Noah's ark landed on Mt. Ararat.  Imagine my surprise to see it docked in the Netherlands in June 2012, complete with two giraffes on deck.  We floated right past it on our way to Amsterdam.
 Six months or so after we saw this enormous wooden ship,  it opened as a tourist attraction:
What fun!

 Our next stop was the small but beautiful village of Kinderdijk.
Kinderdijk is a small village in a low-lying tract of land in the province of South Holland.  To drain the area and make arable land, a system of nineteen windmills was built around 1740. In the 13th century, canals had been built to pull the water away from Kinderdijk, but after a few centuries of settling, the canals were no longer sufficient.  The windmills are part of a system that pumps the water away from the land. Some of the windmills are still doing their job, but most of them are retired and have been replaced by two diesel-powered pumping stations.

This collection of windmills is the largest concentration of old windmills in all of the Netherlands. It was another one of those places where I felt that either a) I was dreaming, or b) I had traveled back in time.
We spent some time in a couple of the windmills that had been turned into museums:
If the shoe fits, wear it.


And you thought YOUR bedroom was small:

There was so much to see, hear, and enjoy:





It was the kind of place that made us feel like we could do anything, anything at all.  That included going for a bike ride:


It looks magical, doesn't it?  It was. My sister Doris expressed it best when she said, "I feel I've walked into a postcard!"  I think we now know how Bert and Mary Poppins felt when they jumped into those chalk paintings.


4 comments:

  1. Some beautiful windmill shots. I don't remember some of them. The ride along the canal was one of the most fun experiences of our trip.

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  2. Absolutely gorgeous place, and yes, very magical as well. I learned a lot (didn't know that windmill blades were on a slant and just brushed the ground, but barely) as well as that they were used to pump out the water. I've only heard of windmills in conjunction with grinding stones, etc.

    Your photos were beautiful. And I do remember reading about that ark--fun that you got to see it!

    E.

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  3. It might be fun to check out the official website of World Heritage Kinderdijk (www.molenskinderdijk.nl) or go and visit our official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WerelderfgoedKinderdijk?ref=ts&fref=ts
    That would keep you up to date on what's going on behind these dikes and between these windmills.

    I like your post a lot.

    Thanks,
    Peter Paul Klapwijk
    World Heritage Kinderdijk

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