Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

The Windmills of Kinderdijk, and a perfect overnight spot

We took our time yesterday before leaving the campground. When you are paying for it, you might as well make use of the facilities and take the opportunity to do some cleaning. And of course we made sure to drive away with the holding tanks empty and the fresh water tank full.

As I said yesterday, it was a nice campground. For €13 ($19.25 CAD, $15.50 USD) including electric, WiFi, and nice hot showers. 

Oh, I promised you some photos...


That's Max on the far right.

We went and did some grocery shopping and then drove over to the UNESCO World Heritage Windmills of Kinderdijk. 

There are several famous reasons for visiting the Netherlands. Of course the city of Amsterdam. And the tulips, but we are too late for that. We will return to do the tulips and Amsterdam another year. But the other thing the Netherlands is famous for is windmills!

There used to be over 10,000 windmills here, but now there are about 1,200.

19 of the oldest ones are located at Kinderdijk. They were originally built between 1738 and 1740 as part of the Dutch people's centuries long struggle against the water.

Some of the Netherlands is below sea level. In fact, while we were out wandering around the area, I checked my altitude meter on the phone and it said we were 20 feet below sea level!

At Kinderdijk, the series of 19 windmills were built to pump water out of the low lying land.

Arriving at Kinderdijk.

It is free to visit Kinderdijk, but you can pay to take an on/off boat tour if you don't want to do so much walking. Or, you can rent bicycles. We chose to walk. There is a small parking lot for cars and it costs €7.50 but there is lots of nearby parking that is free. The free motorhome parking was about 1 km away.

A scale model of the Kinderdijk area.

Me, in the giant Dutch clogs, or klompen as they are called here.

It was a pretty busy spot on a Saturday.

These thatch windmills were built in 1738.



Me, with a brick windmill built in 1740.

The windmills are each privately owned, and all are being lived in. Most of them have been passed down through the generations.






This is a different style. We don't know the year of construction.


So we're walking along one of the paths, and we see some water birds that looked interesting...

Great crested grebe.

But what is that poking up??

Turns out she has little ones traveling with her!

Are they ever odd looking.

Dad came by to feed them.
Really interesting watching them for a while, and they were pretty close to shore.

Ruth and a windmill.

There is nowhere in Kinderdijk to overnight for free with a motorhome. I expect they put a stop to that a long time ago.

But checking iOverlander, there were two nearby possibilities listed. The first one had four glowing reviews, but the most recent one was from 2019. Not really surprising since there wouldn't have been many people traveling through here in 2020 due to Covid.

It's just a parking lot, but it's kind of hidden in the trees between some tennis and basketball courts. But if you park right at the end of it, you have a beautiful view of a canal with some horses and windmills on the other side.

We arrived, and the lot was absolutely empty although a VW van showed up later in the evening.

The view out our side window.

These blond horses are common in this area.

Slept well, and this morning during coffee the police drove in. They never got out of their car, just gave us a wave, and drove away. What a great spot. GPS 51.896705, 4.742249

Today, we are headed for a castle!

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23 comments:

  1. Again, I love traveling through you! Thanks for all you do!

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    1. Thank you Bonnie, we are so glad that you are enjoying the pictures and blog posts from our travels. :-)

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  2. Great pictures! The name Kinderdijk - which literally means Children Dike - allegedly has a famous old Dutch folk tale behind it. From Wiki:
    "During the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421...when the horrendous storm had subsided, a villager went to the dike between [the "polders" or flood plains] to inspect what could be salvaged. In the distance he saw a wooden cradle floating on the water. As it came nearer, some movement was noted, and upon closer investigation, a cat was found, trying to keep it in balance by leaping back and forth in such a manner that water couldn't flood the cradle. As the cradle eventually came close enough to the dike for a bystander to pick up the cradle, he saw that a baby was quietly sleeping inside it, nice and dry. The cat had kept the cradle balanced and afloat. This folktale and legend has been published as ‘The Cat and the Cradle’ in English."
    Most of us in North America today might only know of the folk tale tangentially, such as through the eponymous Harry Chapin song which references it with other nursery rhymes.
    I am so enjoying your tour through my childhood in Holland! I'd forgotten so much & this is bringing it all back.

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    1. Thank you very much for the bit of Dutch folk lore, We have heard and read lots of children's fairy tales when we were young but we had not heard of that one. We have however heard of Harry Chapin's song and as soon as you mentioned The Cat and the Cradle" I thought of that song, even before I got to the part in your comment about Harry Chapin.

      We are so glad that we have been able rekindle some great memories for you. :-)

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  3. I didn't know that people lived in windmills!

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    1. Yeah, kinda reminded me of the old lady who lived in a shoe.

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    2. To tell you the truth, I don't think we ever thought about it until we saw these windmills.

      Lol, yeah it sort of does make you think a little of the "Old Lady who live in a shoe"!

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  4. Ok, I'm homesick now. Kinderdijk is my absolute favorite place. I have a t-shirt from there, a night shot with a full moon. I rarely wear it because I don't want it to fade away, lol. So enjoy your travels

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    1. Sorry to make you homesick. Sounds like you need to wear that t-shirt and then sit down and start planning a holiday here.

      Kevin feels the same way about his Kilimanjaro t-shirt!

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  5. Great to find you again...lost you in Turkey.

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    1. Glad that you were able to find us again. You will have some catching up to do, if you lost us in Turkey. We had a really good winter since Turkey along with lots of adventures and beautiful scenery. :-)

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  6. Lovely windmill views. And of course I adore the Grebe family. Wonderful photos!

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    1. Thank you Emily, it was a very picturesque place with the water channels and windmills. We loved that grebe with her babies, that was an amazing sight to see!

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  7. Great pictures! I lived a total of seven years in the Netherlands but never did any camping there.

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    1. I wouldn't say what we are doing is camping but RVing is a great way to see the Netherlands. Having spent seven years here though, I am sure that you must have seen pretty much all of the Netherlands! :-)

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  8. My ancestors are all from around there. Beautiful photos.

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    1. It sounds like quite a few of our readers are from the Netherlands or at least their ancestors like you. Have you ever visited the Netherlands?

      We are happy that you have been enjoying our photos from here. :-)

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  9. So I learned something tonight, they are called Klopen! And those birds fascinating, I like that Dad helps out! Enjoy your self! You see a lot! Take care, Rawn Stone

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    1. We are also always learning new things from our travels too. We didn't know that dutch wooden shoes were called "klompen" either.

      The grebes with the babies were so fun to watch. I think it is pretty cool to see the babies being carried around on the mother's back, especially with the dad feeding them.

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  10. Love your post. While I. The Netherlands please try a Dutch pancake if you have a chance. It is a large crepe but a bit thicker with bacon in it. Served with syrup. Oops not sure if there is a gluten free version. So delicious.

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    1. We are glad that you enjoyed the post! :-)

      I checked to see if it is possible to get gluten free Dutch pancakes and it is, in some of the bigger cites but I also checked out the price and they are way more than what our budget would allow! I think maybe I will have to find a recipe and make them myself, I know it isn't the same but at least it is affordable that way.

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  11. Wow, love the old windmills and the pic of Ruth overlooking one is fantastic. My, Kevin, what big klompen you have (lol)! And the grebe family is adorable! Thanks for sharing (I'm getting caught up on your posts...the emails were going into my spam!).

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    1. We really enjoyed our day, it was lovely to walk in amongst these beautiful and historic windmills. We loved watching that family of grebes, I think it is fascinating to see the babies riding along on their mother's back like that. I have see pictures of certain birds doing that but haven't really see it with our own eyes this close up.

      Kevin sure has some big shoes to fill, lol!

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