Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kinderdijk Windmills

We set sail Friday night on the Viking Ingvi around 11:30 PM and sailed through the night. We arrived around 8 AM at Kinderdijk, an historic UNESCO World Heritage Site. After our first fabulous buffet breakfast on board, we toured the network of windmills. We learned a lot about how the Dutch manage water and I was very impressed. Kinderdijk is a village in South Holland about 9 miles east of Rotterdam.  Sixteen of the original windmills were constructed around 1740, and we were able to tour one.  The interiors were small but housed the miller and his family. One was a family of thirteen whose mother was killed when a blade from the windmill hit her as she was running after one of the children.  Today more modern methods of pumping water are used but there are still 28 of the original windmills in use. The huge blades come within a foot of the ground.

An interesting statistic on Holland:  it covers 14,413 square mils and has a population of 16.6 million people. Compare that to Harney County:  10,000 square mile, 6800 people. The Dutch have become very efficient people. About half the country is reclaimed land. Everywhere you look there's water.

Our very knowledgeable guide tells us about windmills and water management

Interior of windmill where miller and his wife slept in a tiny bed that has a drawer at their feet for an infant

Looking at Kinderdijk from the Ingvi landing

Amazing structures and very ingenious

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