“God made the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands” is a popular old saying amongst the Dutch.
Some 15km from Rotterdam is a village by the name of Kinderdijk. Here is where remains today the largest concentration of windmills in one place. Built in the 18th century, these 19 windmills played a part in keeping the Netherlands above water.
The windmills were in active use until the 1950s to pump excess water from the low-lying Alblasserwald polder. Today, Kinderdijk is a popular tourist destination and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
I visited Kinderdijk for the first time together with my family when they came to visit me. I rented an Airbnb apartment in Rotterdam as it was a convenient base for travelling around this part of the Netherlands. For instance, Kinderdijk was just over an hour by bus from where we were staying and you can also get there by waterbus from Rotterdam.
When we were at Kinderdijk, we had the choice of exploring the area on foot or by cycling. We decided on the latter as this would enable us to go further and see more of the area.
By the way, I’m a terrible cyclist – can’t decide if I’m a greater danger to those around me or myself when I’m on two wheels! After trying out a few bicycles at the rental shop, I found one that was low enough for me to set my feet on the ground for emergency stops. And so I forged ahead on my pink two-wheeled vehicle.
We were there on a Monday morning and it wasn’t crowded. While there were some tourists there at the same time as us, most of them came in tour groups. They kept within the area near to the main entrance and the two windmill museums.
Few people were on bicycles which was a huge relief for me. I just had to stay on the path and not crash into the reeds (or worse, yet, into the water).
As we rolled along further from the entrance, the forever-flat landscape became more tranquil. It was beautiful and the morning fog made the area all the more picturesque. There were cows grazing in the distance, houseboats parked by the river banks as well as a lone fisherman out for a catch.
If you are visiting the Netherlands, I’d recommend taking the time to go to Kinderdijk for a day trip. There are walking and cycling paths which will enable you to easily explore more of this picturesque setting.
P.S. I was reminded of this visit to Kinderdijk by this week’s photo challenge on serenity. I edited these photos using the VSCO cam app on my phone. I used the A5 preset which I think is perfect for the somewhat moody surroundings of Kinderdijk.