Monday, May 18, 2015

Kinderdijk, The Netherlands - The Windmills


Kinderdijk received UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997.  
Here stand the remaining nineteen of twenty eight working windmills. 
There were originally more than 150 in this area of South Holland.  
Kinderdijk is the only place in the world with so many antique windmills 
so close together. They are used to pump water from the polders using internal 
or external scoops into reservoirs on two levels. These thatched bonnet 
windmills were built in 1738 and 1740 and are called 'ground sailors' as their 
large sails come within one foot of the ground. They represent the courageous 
fight of the Dutch people against the ever encroaching sea.  Few countries 
have so much land below sea level, about half the country is reclaimed land.
The entire country is roughly half the size of the state of Indiana. . . . .I had 
no idea!


The lovely village was an oasis of peace and quiet, filled with gentle wildlife
including some beautiful ducks and geese, the pathways well maintained for 
walking and biking. 

Group of young gymnasts visiting from the Czech Republic.
No need to tell you just how much I loved the wildflowers!

After a lovely afternoon walk to view the polders and windmills, we were able to 
enter one and climb to the top. Life in a windmill often included families 
with several children. Stairs were very steep, space very restricted for sleeping, 
cooking etc., and the miller was never allowed to leave the mill unattended.
The visit to Kinderdijk was memorable and, as you can see, the weather 
cooperated with sunshine and blue skies. All in all, a lovely way to be welcomed 
to the Kingdom of The Netherlands.


15 comments:

  1. What fabulous photos, Mary. Truly a memorable experience.

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  2. Wow... Mary these are such special photos. I enjoyed them so much!

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  3. Loving your pictures and the original and beautiful way you have put your story across - you're an inspiration and I am following your journey - awesome work!

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  4. What a beautiful day you must have had, Mary.
    The colours of the sky and grass are just so much more intense in the Netherlands!

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  5. Awesome. Never seen the windmills in Holand even though I have been there a few times. The ones near us used to mill corn

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  6. I love the windmills, gorgeous images. Have a happy day!

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  7. What a lovely place. Your pictures are beautiful Mary.

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  8. Dear Mary, Love your beautiful photographs. You have convinced me to include Kinderdijk into our travel plans this coming October.
    Welcome home, hope you are feeling better.

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  9. Life in a windmill sounds much like life in a lighthouse - always on duty and cramped spaces. But what a view! Your photos are stunning, Mary. I love the intense color and my favorites are the perspective from low down where the grasses, Queen Anne's lace and those bright yellow flowers are in the foreground.

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  10. You badly made me want to come back there....

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  11. Mary, your photos are the best I've ever seen of the beautiful windmills of Holland!
    You've managed to capture the whole experience - I love the wildflowers and grasses too!
    It's countdown for us as we leave for Ireland and France two weeks today!
    Life is so busy I've had little time for blogging!
    Shane xox

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  12. Hi Mary! I just found your blog again and have no idea if you will remember me. I see you have been in my country and I am sorry I did not know that and lost touch with you. It would have been fun to meet you. You are quite the traveller now it seems! I am a little sparrow always wanting to stay close to home. :-) I hope you enjoyed your time here in Holland. Did you stay for long?

    Hugs from Holland,
    Heidi

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  13. Mary, these photos of the windmills are so pretty. What a sight to see so many at once. I've been busy all week so am getting around and visiting a bit today as it's too cold to do any gardening. (we had snow flurries this morning, if you can imagine) Have a wonderful holiday on Monday. xx Pam

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  14. Lovely, lovely photos, Mary. Thanks for taking us along! Your trip must have been fabulous and I look forward to hearing more.
    Farm Gal in VA

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  15. This is definitely on my list for our next adventure. Your photos are just beautiful!
    Love the wildflowers too.

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