After a week in the Netherlands, I was quite surprised that I had not seen any windmills.
So, on our second and final day in Rotterdam, we decided that a cultural trip was in order.
After filling up on breakfast at the hotel and making a new friend, we put a plan in place: Kinderdijk.
^ what I wanted to have for breakfast….
^ the reality of what my conscience made me have for breakfast.
Located about 30 minutes (by water bus) away, Kinderdijk is a UNESCO world heritage site, with a unique collection of 19 authentic Dutch windmills.
Having never heard of it, I was totally trusting Cole as we journeyed out on this little excursion, knowing solely that it sounded kind of cool.
We headed to the water bus station, selected our route, and hopped on.
And then spent the next thirty minutes sailing under bridges, admiring the quiet countryside, and debating how deep the water below may be.
All before making a quick stopover, switching onto a quite tiny boat, and docking at our destination ten minutes later.
For 10E per person, it was actually quite an enjoyable method of transportation – and an effective use of time.
And, as soon as we arrived at Kinderdijk, we knew we had made the right choice.
Almost immediately, we gasped as we were greeted by grand, stone windmills, blowing in the breeze and majestically looking down upon us.
It looked as though they went on forever, lining the dykes and protecting the land from flooding.
Looking back at the boat, we realized that this entire area of land was below sea level, and were immediately impressed at how powerful and innovative these structures once were. And quite frankly, still are.
Especially, when enjoyed with a little bit of gelato…
Crossing over a pedestrian bridge, we made our way into one of these windmills, where we were treated to an illustration of the lives of those who used to live inside.
Quite cramped with steep ladders, it was definitely not a life I could see for myself.
But I’ll admit, the view was pretty inspiring.
The 50’s style windmill was a little bit better..if only because it was home to these little dudes.
Back on ground, it was almost mesmerizing to watch the sails rotate round and round, every so quietly yet with extreme power.
We continued en route, making our way down the row, crossing over pedestrian bridges and avoiding the cyclists (and sometimes, doing both at once).
And corner after corner, another one would pop up.
Coming across ever so classic Dutch scenes including goats, hay bales, and you guessed it…more windmills. And when all three came together….jackpot!
After all of this, I could successfully say that yes, I had seen my fair share of Dutch windmills.
Ideally, the earlier you can go the better. We arrived around 1:00 pm when it was pleasant yet populated.
But, by the time we returned back at the entry a few hours later, it was flooded with people and quite difficult to manoeuvre.
We spent approximately three hours here, which was plenty of time to get our fill – touring both windmills open for public visitation, and stopping for a cool beverage at the cafe nearby.
Then it was back onto the water bus, where I admittedly had a bit of a snooze and Cole stood outside and enjoyed the crisp air from the sea.
And with that, we were back at the hotel, grabbed our bags, and got on the metro (yes, metro!) which took us back home to The Hague.
Sometimes history can be pretty cool!
Get your tickets here.