Kinderdijk: UNESCO World Heritage Site
26% of the Netherlands area is below sea level and only 50% of the land exceeds one meter above sea level. I guess I already knew it but a map such as this shows how bad it is. So, they built windmills starting in the 15th century. Kinderdijk, with 19 preserved windmills built in 1740, is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands and is indeed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All of the blue is below sea level!
I should say that at this point we are not on the Rhine but a tributary. For those who are interested, travelling on these boats is as smooth as glass. There are no rutters, no swaying, no nothing. You hardly know you are on the water. The only "bumps" we ever felt were going through some of the locks. Quite different from travelling on the sea.
Of course, we had the mandatory muster safety drill. We are laughing because, in an emergency, we could just dive off the side and swim to shore. Or, just go to the top deck because even if the boat sank, the top level would still be above the water!
It was a cold, rainy day and very windy. Typical, they said.
Perfect for seeing the windmills in action.
These windmills are all original and any fixes made to them have to be consistent with original materials and technologies. Quite awesome to behold.
There are so many windmills in a row because each one could only raise the water a certain amount. It took this many to keep the land from flooding
The top of this windmill (dome) can be rotated to catch the wind in any direction. This can be very dangerous if you go out the door without knowing where the blades are. There was a photo of a family with 12 children who lived in the windmill.( The children are bald, by the way, to keep from getting lice.) One day, one of the children ran out the door and the mom ran out to save her and they both were killed by the giant blades.
Nowadays, there is a lottery to see who can live in these windmills. Apparently, it is a cool thing to do. However, you have to take care of the windmill and keep it running.
A certain number of rotations a year is required.
To learn more about these windmills, you can go to this link
More recently, Archimedes' screws are used to move the water
(invented in the 3rd century B.C.)
And I add this sign because "Wiz-boom-Gmail" is just kind of fun to say!!
Back on the boat and dressed up for the Captain's Toast!!