Monday, September 08, 2008

My Town Monday - Kinderdijk





I have decided to continue with my town Monday using some of the towns we visited while we were on holiday.
While we were away we rather relied on my ancient Sat Nav, who we call Stella. I have had Stella for around 6 years, and she is not up datable, which I don't think is too much of a problem because in the main the roads don't really change too much. If you let Stella get on with it, she gets you there, the problem arises if you look at a map as well. Looking at a map results in you doubting her and having to make a decision about if you do as she tells you!! Anyway on this day trip we all set out to visit a site in a town called Kinderdijk around 20 miles from where we were staying. This town is famous for windmills, an image that we all associate with Holland.
The bulk of the journey was on a major road, a dual carriageway, once we turned off Stella was telling us we were only around 4 miles away. We started to head off down some residential streets that were very narrow and then into an industrial area. We began to doubt Stella, this didn't look like the kind of place where we would find a World Heritage site full of Windmills!! We were in radio contact with Debbielou we were discussing our options. On our right was a huge river and our route was taking us along side it. All of a sudden Stella told us to take a right turn in 200 yards. It was obvious that we would end up in the water there was no evidence of a bridge.
So we stopped got out the maps and even resorted to asking someone in our none existent Dutch. Had we have continued as instructed by Stella we would have realised that there was a ferry across the river! It was the only way to get to the Windmills!!!
Once across the river a very short drive took us into another bygone world on the horizon we could see these huge ancient windmills. It all seemed at odds with the built up industrial area around them.
There are 19 windmills all fairly close together they were built in 1738 and 1740, they were used to pump water from the surrounding land into the nearby river Lek, this protects the low lying land from flooding. The windmills are no longer in use the water is now removed by modern pumping stations. Because of its UNESCO protected status one of the windmills has been preserved in the state that it was in while it was being used. (the rest of my party went inside to have a look around, all a bit too claustrophobic for me!!) But the outside was very pretty and the sails were very impressive flying around at an amazing speed.
It was a great day out, with an interesting twist provided by faithful Stella.

12 comments:

Barbara Martin said...

As soon as I saw the windmills I thought immediately of Don Quioxite. How lovely they are after all these years. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

Manna said...

What great pix. And thanks for the great read as usual!

pattinase (abbott) said...

This is what we need here. We could power the Great Lakes area on windmills placed in the Great Lakes.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Lyzzydee,

Thanks for a great tour and some terrific pictures.

Terrie

Anonymous said...

What great photos!! Always beleive the sat nav!!!!

This is Sally by the way, having trouble signing in.

Charles Gramlich said...

I grew up in the country and it was always nice to see windmills. You knew there was water there. And there was something summery about the rusty creak of them as they turned.

Travis Erwin said...

Nice pics. Better trust Stella next time.

gina said...

Hi Lyzzy
Great to see your holiday pics, just catching up with all my sisters :)
Gina xxx

Louise, that's me!! said...

There is a lot to be said for "old skool"! Yay Stella!

Barrie said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing! Oh, by the way, we call our nav: Lydia!

Reb said...

Lovely photos and a very interesting read. You should have more faith in Stella ;)

Debbielou said...

I'm glad that you are keeping the side up by continuing to do the My town Monday posts- you are much more organised that me ! x