We woke this morning in the next country of the Netherlands. The sunrise on the Waal River was beautiful today. We were on our way to Kinderdijk, a tiny village located on a strip of land between the Lek and Noord rivers. Kinderdijk is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the largest concentration of operational windmills.
The state of Holland was made from the bottom of the North Sea. When the water retreated, dunes were left over to create Holland. The dunes are vital to the protection from flooding. The windmills were brought to the Netherlands from Spain, to remove the water. This is how the Netherlands was created. More than half of the country of Netherlands is below sea level. Ships on the rivers pass over your head since the water is above you.
The windmills are here for one function and that is to pump water. Every Dutch windmill has 4 wings and they always turn counterclockwise. The only operate by wind, no motors. The cap of the windmill is operated by man power. It is turned to follow the direction of the wind. There are two doors to account for the fact that you need two entrances to go outside if the wings are turning past one door at 90 times a minute, you would not want to get struck by the wings if you exited out the wrong door.
There are only 1000 windmills left in the country for the operation of water management. The windmills are kept up by families living there to maintain and run them. Nowadays the windmills do not do the work of removing the water; it is done by many pump stations throughout the country.
Kinderdijk got is name after a devastating flood in 1421. The storm flooded the villages and a legend developed about a child in a cradle that was kept afloat by a cat jumping from side to side keeping the cradle in balance. “The Cat and the Cradle” became a well-known fairly tale and the area became known as “Child Dike” or Kinderdijk in Dutch.
Next we disembark in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
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