Kinderdijk, Netherlands (March 31st, 2018)

I had the day to myself since Jorgo had a prior commitment.  So I figured I would go see some other place in the Netherlands. A girl that I met while traveling with the Stray bus in New Zealand became friends on Facebook/Instagram and she saw that I was in the Netherlands. She invited me to come down to Dordrecht (just a bit further than Rotterdam) and she would show me around.

Since it was the weekend, the normal train schedule of trains running directly from Almere-Buiten to Dordrecht weren’t running. So I had to figure out how to get there. Initially I was a little bit nervous about having to find a new way to Dordrecht with a couple of train changes instead of none. In my mind I was saying to myself “Come on! You’re better than this little bit of anxiousness!” Once I got on the train though and was heading off to Dordrecht, my usual excitement of seeing new places and not taking the same route came again and my attitude changed to more of “I’m off on a new adventure!” 🙂

My friend asked if I had been to Kinderdijk and if I wanted to go. Before I get somewhere new, I usually open up Google Maps and mark some places that I’m initially interested in and want to visit. When I looked at the Netherlands, Kinderdijk was one of those places on my map! But I hadn’t yet been there because there isn’t a train that goes directly there. It would have been along train ride and a long walk to get there. But my friend Fleur said she could borrow a car and we could go there together.

I got to the station and found Fleur and we headed off to Kinderdijk. We got there, found parking, and then went to get tickets. We bought the tickets to ride on the boat to the two windmills that you can go inside. First though we watched a short film about the windmills and where the pump water to/from. Pretty interesting film but it’s a little weird how it’s set up. They have four different screens, two on each side of the room, with an artist, an architect/engineer, historian, and some other occupation all contributing to the story of the windmills and how it came to be named Kinderdijk. So you were turning your head a lot. And directly in front was the main big screen which had english subtitles and other visuals. I guess it worked at keeping your attention or else you’d get lost.

Oh – on our way to the ticket booth, we saw a water-lifting pump station. Take a look:

Now that’s a screw!!!  

After the short film, we got on the boat and rode to the first museum windmill. That was the slowest boat ride! Hahaha – I probably could have walked faster than the boat. 😀 But it was still cool to be on a boat on a Dutch canal.

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Windmills.  

Me and my friend from the Netherlands who I met in New Zealand (Fleur).  🙂  

In the first windmill, you could go up to mostly up to the top floor. It was really cool to see how a home was integrated into the working structure and mechanical elements of the windmill. The beds were really short because apparently Dutch people used to be really short; that’s what I heard anyway – hopefully nobody gets all up in arms. 😀

The paddle wheel.

This is the top floor that was accessible only by our heads.  There were cages over the floor openings so that we couldn’t climb up into the inner workings of the turbine.  Probably smart or some tourist would end up … well, milled.  :-/ 

A view from inside the windmill.  

The central rotating beam from the top of the windmill to the water wheel was about two of my palms wide on all four sides.  It was a square wood beam.  

If only I had one more arm to complete my windmill shape.  😀  

Part of the kitchen and kitchenware.  

The second windmill museum wasn’t quite so open to tourists. You couldn’t go above the ground level floor. As you can see it’s a different type of construction as well. The whole top of the windmill rotates. The woman I met that works there as her job said she can rotate the windmill by herself. I wouldn’t want to mess with her.

Per the video or some other source of info here at Kinderdijk, there were like “lead” millers who would read the wind and indicate by the position of the windmill blades whether windmills should be turned on or turned off. The position of the blades was also used to indicate events such as births, weddings, funerals, etc. Pretty interesting.

This windmill had a little working garden, a little shed with a couple of chickens, a cool thatched roof on the workman’s shop, etc.  Really cool place – almost living-history-ish… but they weren’t really wearing period clothing but still. They did have wooden shoes. 🙂

This picture is for you Johnny.  🙂  I couldn’t tell if this chicken was a sweet heart or a passive aggressive hen acting like she would peck me if I stuck my finger in the fence just once more.  😀  

My friend had to be back to Dordrecht a bit early so that she could catch dinner with her family for Easter. So I decided to head home early as I was a bit tired, hungry, cold, and I knew it would take over two hours to get home due to the weekend train schedule.

Off the train in Almere, I stopped at the local supermarket to buy a little bit of food (supermarkets would be closed Easter Sunday and Monday due to national holiday). I also bought needles and thread so I could complete my survival bracelet-making kit. 🙂 I now am a fully functioning survival bracelet maker. 🙂

I made my little sister one per her request: it’s with red reflective paracord with that metal piece with “INSPIRE” sewn onto it. Hopefully it fits when she gets it from dad. Abby! If it doesn’t fit right, leave it and I can adjust the size when I get home. I want it to fit perfectly. It’s easily fixed if it’s not right.

Oh, one other thing: Jorgo and I had a couple of “tramping cup meals” while I was in Almere. Basically it was rice and beans, or rice, noodles, and beans mixed together and heated up in our individual tramping cups (since we didn’t have to share anymore). Just remembering a small piece of our multiple day hike in New Zealand: food preparation. Simple, filling, and yummy. 🙂

Fellow trampers with their tramping cups.  😀  Good times in New Zealand and in the Netherlands.  🙂  

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