Last full day in the Netherlands, and of course it was time for the last World Heritage site on the mainland (there are two others, one in the North Sea and the other in the Caribbean). And this was the most famously "Dutch" of them all - the mill networks at the Kinderdijk.
Located about 10 kilometres to the east of Rotterdam, they were quite easy to access via a ferry that departed just a few minutes walk from our hotel. So we wandered down fairly early and hopped on. Arrived at the dike area around 11:30 and set to exploring.
It's actually a fairly small area, with about 20 windmills from the 1730s and 1740s sitting along a pair of canals. The accessible area is fairly small, since you can basically only walk up and down one bank of the canal, though it is quite long - probably a kilometre or more end-to-end.
We walked down and took some photos and video, dodging the tour groups. Annoyingly, a large cruise ship (bloody Viking Cruises) had just put in, so the grey sea was out in full effect. One of the windmills was set up as a museum which was quite interesting to see - they were actually houses as well as working mills! This particular mill was at one point home to 15 people - mum, dad, and 13 children! Where they all slept was beyond me.
The mills were for pumping water out of the nearby fields rather than milling grains, and when the wind picked up the sails made an enormous racket. Thump-thump-thump as the blades kept spinning. And if the waters were high and the winds strong, you had to just keep pumping - I have no idea how they managed to sleep with the racket of machinery and blades. Not a great life I guess.
We walked from one end to the other, filming and photographing, and had a small lunch of hot dogs from a cart someone had set up. Slightly atypical meal! Continued wandering around but by 2pm or so we'd pretty much exhausted the site, so we jumped back on the ferry into town and headed up to our hotel room.
I felt tired for some odd reason and had a small nap, while Shandos went out for another wander to check out the nearby shopping district. I did some video work once I woke up.
In the evening we went out for a meal at a nearby Turkish restaurant, on the same eat street that we'd been to yesterday. This time we shared a mixed meat kebab skewer and a lamb/almond/chickpea stew - the latter was incredibly delicious! Good way to end our final day in the Netherlands!Read more