The next morning when I went up to the sundeck to practice Taijiquan I realized that we were already moored at Kinderdijk. It was still dark at 6:30AM and it was foggy so I could see very little beyond the shoreline.
|This was the only building that I could see from the boat early in the morning.|
By the time I finished practicing there was more light but it was still foggy. As I went back down stairs I was wondering, "where are the windmills?".
Kinderdijk is a tiny village located on a narrow strip of land between the the Lek and Noord Rivers. Kinderdijk's claim to fame is that is has the largest collection of windmills in Holland; 19. The windmills date all the way back to the 14th century. Kinderdijk has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|In the early morning the windmills was still shrouded in mist.|
|This map shows the layout of the windmills at Kinderdijk.|
|This is a typical home along the canal at Kinderdijk|
|Here is our group trudging along the road to the windmills. Notice how flat and low the level of the ground.|
There is something magical about these windmills!
I couldn't stop taking pictures of them!
We had the opportunity to visit one of the windmills that was kept as a museum for tourists. People actually live in the other windmills.
Inside the windmill looks much like any other home of the 14th century. It had a small cozy feel.
I don't know how the miller squeezed his 11 person family into the windmill. They must have slept two and three to a bed at night!
This a picture of the gear that turns the mechanism that turns the vanes of the windmill.
We were given a demonstration of how the miller changes the direction of the windmill to catch the wind. It is a very labour intensive procedure.
We were given a tour of the workshop where parts of the windmill are repaired and replaced. Most of the components of the a traditional windmill are made of wood. Depending on the type of wood required and its function it would be made out of a specific type of wood depending on its hardness, softness or toughness.
|A diagram of the inner workings of a windmill|
Our trip to Kinderdijk was truly fascinating. I had never seen anything like this in my life. My wife and I feel that we wee privileged to have had the opportunity to visit the windmills at Kinderdijk.