Kinderdijk- Top of the bucket list – Day 2
After a wholesome homemade breakfast of mango, bio apple and prune fruit salad with a bio bun topped with organic eggs, mushrooms and a sliver of prosciutto to fuel our bodies for our adventure bound day we headed for The ride of our dreams in Kinderdijk.
We did some research into the name Kinder meaning small child and dyke meaning a man made mound that holds the water back. The name of the town Kinderdijk is explained in the children’s story Cat in the Cradle. Legend has it that after the Saint Elizabeth flood that killed thousands of people in 1421 a baby was found. Once the flood waters subsided and the survivors dared to leave their homes a basket was found floating with a baby. The basket was kept afloat by a cat jumping up and down to keep the water out, hence the name Kinderdijk!
We went to see the historical windmills. Nineteen, three hundred year old windmills that still stand as they did in their former glory. These historically winged beauties were built between 1738 – 1740 to keep the land above water!!!
We chatted to a friendly local man who told us that the government rents the windmills out as historical homes to live in for 300 euro a month on the proviso that tenants up keep and care for these historical beauties. A very clever initiative by the Government as they don’t wear the restoration costs.
After an hour’s drive and petrol is really expensive here. We filled up at around $2.50 a litre!!! Maybe that is why soooo many people both young and old use bikes as their main form of transport. No bike helmets law where push bikes rule on city and village streets. You have to really, really pay ATTENTION when driving . For example when exiting a roundabout you have to give way to bikes on the bike path. Also when turning into a road you also have to give way to pedaling cyclists sometimes coming both directions. Hair raising!!!!
Also the Netherlands is Europe’s most densely populated country. A lot of the highways are 6 lanes wide. You have got have your wits about you when driving here.
Rob has the nerves of a surgeon. Ironman!!! Well his mum is now called Dr Cordiner.
When we arrived at the Kinderdijk historical windmills we were eager to hire a pair of push bikes. We were armed with our jelly bike pants from home to give us extra support and cushioning in our own nether lands.
Our ride along the canal was nothing short of spectacular. With 19 historical windmills sitting on the banks.
This ride was a true highlight for us both!! The banks of the rural muddy fields were full of wild geese happily honking as they took flight or landed on their local runway.
It was such a panoramic, nature lover’s ride. Ducks enjoyed the serenity of the quaint canals, some cushioned into the reeds for a day nap. Gwen the swamp hen was standing strong guarding her territory. A silk like pheasant strutted about with its long tail weighing it down in a field near calm caramel ponies.
Riding along side these giant windmills made us feel like we had stepped back in time. I am not sure if we will ever top this whirl wind of a ride. It created a picture perfect painted memory for us to treasure. Just like the song – Colour of Love by Billy Ocean.
Our next stop was in Delft at Wandelpark De Nootdorpse Plassen (lake). This is a big wildlife park reserve that is home to a wonderful deer park. We walked through the park and enjoyed gazing at the stag and does grazing happily with their fawns.
We were stunned by all the nature that presented itself before us. A stork flew in and sat up high in its nest and wild geese honk as they landed and grazed happily near the deer family.
There were street signs saying drive slow due to toad migration and biking, horse riding and walking the dog were popular time fillers in the passing narrow spellbinding streets.