So, spur of the moment trip today. I did my typical morning routine: let the dogs out, feed them, go to the gym,eat breakfast, shower, etc. While at the gym I decided that I wanted to go somewhere today, I just didn’t know where. I kept going back and forth on Kinderdijk, Kukenhof and Geithoorn. I had taken out Kukenhof because I am going there later with my husband. Basically, the thirty minute difference between the two locations was what allowed Kinderdijk to win–it was still a two hour drive.
Anyway, Kinderdijk itself is a village that lies in the polder (a low-lying area, surrounded by dikes), Alblasserwaard. The village itself is not that large but they do have some restaurants and shops around. It is most well-known for the windmills.
Built in 1740, the windmills have had the large task of keeping water out of Alblasserwaard. There were a total of 20 windmills built originally but only 19 remain. Since they were built they have been a sort of drainage system for the western part of the Netherlands. Within that are of the country most of the land is technically under sea-level.–Hey, something has to keep all the water out. In 1997, the windmills became a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) site.
Another thing that is kind of fascinating about this area is that there is a legend that accompanies it. Now, if you translate “Kinderdijk” it directly means “children’s dike”. So, why you ask? Well, the legend states that on a November night in 1421 the great flood of Saint Elisabeth swept away the majority of the dikes. Within the flood thousands of people died and when the survivors did come out to survey the damage they found a child in a cradle floating in the water. Since the child lived, that brings forth the name children’s dike. I don’t know if this legend is true but it is definitely worth considering.
Last but not least, the cost: FREE! Well, I paid for parking right up near the welcome center for 5 euros. Also, the museums (there are two–one’s a history museum and the other is a museum of what it is like living in a wind mill) cost anywhere from 5 euros (for children) to 8 euros (for adults). Another thing that will make the price go up is the waterbus, which you can take around the UNESCO site.
To say the least the windmills were magnificent, especially if you have a half a day to spend adventuring around the Netherlands.
Hope you like the post. Let me know what you think, in the comments below!