Kinderdik, or why there are windmills
I’ve always associated windmills with milling, the grinding of wheat into flour. While that’s indeed a common usage, the original and main purpose of the windmill is the pumping of water to reclaim land below sea level.
But I’m getting ahead of myself–I should start with breakfast.
For the most part, it’s a buffet. You can order pancakes, waffles or eggs benedict a la carte, but everything else is self-serve. There are the usual fruits and pastries, hot and cold cereals and a smiling chef to make omelets.
Their scrambled eggs look almost as good as mine do:
You can tell the people on their first European trip by their astonishment at on particular dish:
Filled up and ready to go, we walked up the gangplank, over the dike and into the World Heritage Site that is Kinderdik. It’s name comes from a legend about a barren couple who found a baby floating in a basket. I thought that was Moses, I guess this is the Dutch version.
There are 19 windmills here, all for the purpose of raising the water up and shipping it off to the river and out of the polder, or area below sea level. The land/water management of the Netherlands is amazing, especially considering that they started this all in the 11th century–still in the Dark ages.
We had an overcast, misty day which made poor sightseeing and great photography.
The morning dew accentuates the many spiderwebs we saw:
The first windmill we saw:
A field of windmills–there is a lot of water to pump.
A pumphouse from the 1970’s. The Archimedes screws turn in opposite directions so they don’t tear down the building with their torque.
Some things never change. I saw a workman wearing wooden shoes. I asked if he really wanted to wear them or they were part of the job: he said if he didn’t like them he wouldn’t wear them. They are of very soft wood and only last about 3 months before they wear down and get holes in the soles, then he gets new ones.
And that’s all the fun we could have in Kinderdik. Back to the ship and we set off for Cologne. Spent the afternoon playing cards with Jack and Carol, ate a good dinner, listened to the lecture about All things Dutch or at least cheese, genever (the local, original, version of Gin) and art. Hit the sack and got ready for a big day in Cologne. Tune in tomorrow.