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World famous and photogenic Kinderdijk windmills

The Netherlands has 17.2 million people although there are large parts that are used for agriculture so it never seems like the urban sprawl we see in the US

The Netherlands has 17.2 million people although there are large parts that are used for agriculture so it never seems like the urban sprawl we see in the US

The windmills became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997; the two windmill museums were pretty underwhelming

The windmills became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997; the two windmill museums were pretty underwhelming

There are so many boats in the Netherlands that they have to dig deep for names; I've never visited the Netherlands when the weather has been so sunny and hot

There are so many boats in the Netherlands that they have to dig deep for names; I've never visited the Netherlands when the weather has been so sunny and hot

You had to buy a ticket to visit the windmills with additional options to see the two windmills that are open and to take a canal cruise around the windmill area

You had to buy a ticket to visit the windmills with additional options to see the two windmills that are open and to take a canal cruise around the windmill area

26% o the Netherlands lies below sea level; built around 1740, there are 19 windmills here at Kinderdijk

26% of the Netherlands lies below sea level; built around 1740, there are 19 windmills here at Kinderdijk

There was a corny movie explaining the history of the windmills with people playing different characters and how the windmills affected them

There was a corny movie explaining the history of the windmills with people playing different characters and how the windmills affected them

People live in some of the windmills; there's a long wait list but the rent is relatively low provided you properly maintain the windmill and small patch of land that goes with it

People live in some of the windmills; there's a long wait list but the rent is relatively low provided you properly maintain the windmill and small patch of land that goes with it

This pumping station keeps the polders around the windmills dry, replacing the function of 8 old windmills; most of the polders were used for grazing or to grow hay or corn

This pumping station keeps the polders around the windmills dry, replacing the function of 8 old windmills; most of the polders were used for grazing or to grow hay or corn

Of course I couldn't resist talking to the animals and making friends; perhaps he just wanted a PowerBar

Of course I couldn't resist talking to the animals and making friends; perhaps he just wanted a PowerBar

I generally love Rick Steves's books but he doesn't even mention Kinderdijk in his Amsterdam and the Netherlands book; a Viking River Cruise boat was docked right next to the windmills

I generally love Rick Steves's books but he doesn't even mention Kinderdijk in his Amsterdam and the Netherlands book; a Viking River Cruise boat was docked right next to the windmills

There were lots of geese and ducks around the windmills and plenty in the canals in towns too; there are no fences around the polders so I assume the sheep and cows don't swim

There were lots of geese and ducks around the windmills and plenty in the canals in towns too; there are no fences around the polders so I assume the sheep and cows don't swim

The De Blokker windmill dates from before 1540, more than 200 years before the others; it appeared on a map that year although no one knows when it was built

The De Blokker windmill dates from before 1540, more than 200 years before the others; it appeared on a map that year although no one knows when it was built

It may seem fun to live in a windmill but the living spaces were compact and it didn't seem very comfortable; if you want peace and quiet then it might meet your expectations

It may seem fun to live in a windmill but the living spaces were compact and it didn't seem very comfortable; if you want peace and quiet then it might meet your expectations

I don't recall seeing yellow water lilies before, just white; there are more than 70 different species of water lilies

I don't recall seeing yellow water lilies before, just white; there are more than 70 different species of water lilies

The windmills at Kinderdijk were built to manage the water levels, that are below sea level, and drainage of soil near the Lek River and Noord River, after a failed attempt using canals

The windmills at Kinderdijk were built to manage the water levels, that are below sea level, and drainage of soil near the Lek River and Noord River, after a failed attempt using canals

Goat yoga as this guy stretches to reach the tree leaves; he was trying to time it right since the wind was blowing and the branches would sometimes come within reach

Goat yoga as this guy stretches to reach the tree leaves; he was trying to time it right since the wind was blowing and the branches would sometimes come within reach

In the past the sails of the windmills were used as a means of communication between the millers; they were used to share the news such as birth, marriage or death in a family

In the past the sails of the windmills were used as a means of communication between the millers; they were used to share the news such as birth, marriage or death in a family

We didn't get an explanation of the net but I assumed they used it for fishing; large rivers drain into the Netherlands so I suppose there could be sizable fish although I just saw small ones

We didn't get an explanation of the net but I assumed they used it for fishing; large rivers drain into the Netherlands so I suppose there could be sizable fish although I just saw small ones

The uppermost section of the windmills at Kinderdijk can rotate in a full circle, to catch wind at maximum efficiency

The uppermost section of the windmills at Kinderdijk can rotate in a full circle, to catch wind at maximum efficiency

There are reportedly 1000 windmills left in the Netherlands; the cost to maintain a windmill averages about $50,000 a year

There are reportedly 1000 windmills left in the Netherlands; the cost to maintain a windmill averages about $50,000 a year

The Netherlands is roughly 16,000 square miles; that's about midway between the sizes of Maryland and West Virginia

The Netherlands is roughly 16,000 square miles; that's about midway between the sizes of Maryland and West Virginia

The windmills were used during World War 2 when fuel for the pumping stations became too expensive or was not available

The windmills were used during World War 2 when fuel for the pumping stations became too expensive or was not available

For a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk was disappointing in its Dutch only signage; visitors were mainly international so this didn't seem very practical

For a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk was disappointing in its Dutch only signage; visitors were mainly international so this didn't seem very practical

Using public transportation, Kinderdijk is about an hour from Rotterdam; I took 2 water taxis there and then a bus back and the time was about equal

Using public transportation, Kinderdijk is about an hour from Rotterdam; I took 2 water taxis there and then a bus back and the time was about equal

Inside the windmill museum we saw the inner workings but not how the water level was impacted; with UNESCO status, there are restrictions on new buildings and modifying existing buildings

Inside the windmill museum we saw the inner workings but not how the water level was impacted; with UNESCO status, there are restrictions on new buildings and modifying existing buildings

Some people were actually swimming and playing in the canals; the water can't be clean though with agricultural run-off and all the discharge into the rivers upstream

Some people were actually swimming and playing in the canals; the water can't be clean though with agricultural run-off and all the discharge into the rivers upstream

Posted by VagabondCowboy 19:06

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