Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kinderdijk Windmills

During a rare weekend in Brussels we really didn't stay in Brussels. Shocker, I know!

Instead on Saturday we day-tripped into Holland. I have been itching to see the Kinderdijk windmills ever since Kirk's parents came in February and told me about them. It ended up being too cold to venture there when they were visiting, but I have been longing to get there ever since they peaked my interest. I crossed my fingers and toes for a dry day as we headed to Holland in the rain. And wouldn't you know that as we pulled in the sun peeped through and the stormy clouds held their breath while we enjoyed the windmills of Kinderdijk.
Thank you Mother Nature! I especially like the way the weather came across in our photos. Very fitting for Holland!We rented bikes for the bargain price of 2.50 euros apiece and off we went. They weren't the best bikes in the world (mine made a strange clicking sound the entire time) but they were cheap and got us where we wanted to go. And now we have ridden bikes in the Netherlands! You just have to ride bikes in the Netherlands! Here is the Frommer's Kinderdijk description: "The sight of windmill sails spinning in the breeze stires the soul of a true Hollander. Kinderdijk, a tiny community between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, on the south bank of the Lek River, has 19 water-pumping windmills; that means 76 mill sails, each with a 14-yard span, all revolving on a summer day. It's a spectacular sight, and one important enough for Kinderdijk to have been placed on UNESCO's World Heritage list."
That is my hot pink bike! Pretty fun, huh?!?
We learned that the windmills mean different things when they are in different positions. Here are the symbols for "Working, Resting, Celebration, and Mourning"
Connor of course loved the windmills and the lillypads! Two of her favorite words! She also loved being on the back of her daddy's bike. Problem was she kept trying to get out of the straps and untucking the back of Kirk's shirt as he pedaled!!!Finally I improvised and used my hair band to tie the straps which were much too loose in a knot. We all felt a lot better and more secure with Connor staying put.Note Kirk's untucked shirt!
It appeared that many of the windmills are used today as homes. Each had a sign proudly displayed with the year it was built. Kirk looked at us and said, "Do you realize these windmills were built before the United States was even founded?" Wow.I think this is one of the more magical parts of Kinderdijk (below). Obviously it wasn't icy and cold when we were there (these are from the internet), but when the lakes freeze over folks come and ice skate with the historic windmills as a backdrop. I can't think of a more charming scene. We may just have to come and try it out if it freezes next Winter!

1 comment:

Ali Meyer said...

I've been thinking about going to Kinderdijk and hopefully will make it up there when we have visitors. Sounds like it was a fun outing!