Woke up this morning to realise our cruise is nearly over.  By lunch time our ship will have docked in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is the capital of the county known as the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Holland, as many believe the country is called, is the name of 2 provinces within the Netherlands: North Holland and South Holland.

Our tour today is to the Dutch countryside, we boarded our coaches and were whisked away through picturesque polder landscape to visit a windmill and an organic diary  farm.

A polder is a section of land below the local water table that is drained by water management infrastructure.  The polder landscape of the Netherlands is famous all over the world for its dikes, windmills, farmhouses and cows.

Did you know that 45% of the country is below sea level, which means that 24 hours a day water has to be pumped out of the lower lying polders.  Ditches and canals are made to drain and not to irrigate, unlike for example here in Australia.

Our first stop was the Windmill farm, to see a working windmill.  The Dutch people lived in the windmills, these were there homes.  As you go through mill, it strikes you how small they are, and the noise is deafening.  One can even climb the narrow steps to the other levels.  We 3 Sisters saw how narrow and tight it was so decided to pass on that.

We watched a movie on the history of the Windmills, then went through  a delightful souvenir shop. One thing I have noticed so far on this trip the souvenirs are actually made in the country you are buying in.  Not China or India but for example today they are made in The Netherlands.

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Windmill – Netherlands

The Windmill sails positions are a “code”.

For more information on the sails of the windmills check out this page:

http://www.let.rug.nl/polders/boekje/tradition.htm

Such an interesting and informative time we spent here.  We all then boarded the coach to be driven through some more wonderful countryside on our way to the Organic Dairy Farm.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Dutch Windmills

  1. I went to holland for the first time when i was 20. How beautiful to see the windmills still operating in 2016. Although hated the noise. Have become a fraidy cat in my old age,
    Thanks Bree for documenting our wonderful holiday.
    Good times .

    Like

    1. I am also a fraidy cat in my old age! Is it a family thing or just old age? I would love to have traveled back in my youth instead I got married and had kids. So will do it now. looking at more trips and how to find the $$ to do it all.

      Like

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