If I didn’t have my photos to look at (over 1,000 of them) it would be easy to start to think that my two and a half weeks in Europe were a dream. We saw so many amazing and wonderful sights and I need the proof of the pictures to convince me that we were really there. This is my fourth day home and I am so jet lagged I can barely get through the day…sleepy in the afternoon…wide awake around 2 a.m. It took over two weeks to get my sleep schedule turned around to European time and it’s going to take me about as long to get back to our time here in the Pacific NW. My daughter and I had some grand adventures, ate lots of wonderful food, saw amazing sights, and are overwhelmed by how beautiful the countrysides are in The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. We flew into Amsterdam several days before our cruise started so we had time to explore the city…yes, we did end up in the red light district on the first day, but other than that we walked our legs off and loved the city.
On our first cruising day we stopped in Kinderdijk, a small village in The Netherlands, that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and is one of Holland’s most popular tourist sites. Built here in the 1700’s, nineteen windmills were used to control water level differences between land and the river. The mills pumped excess land water into reservoirs where it was held until it could be pumped into the rivers. We arrived at the site early in the morning and first saw the windmills as a heavy mist began to clear. The mills are lined up in two opposite rows and form a spectacular sight. In July and August, you can witness how all nineteen mills still operate. During wintertime, you can capture picturesque moments when families ice-skate along the canal.
A significant part of Holland is up to approximately 7 meters below sea level. and an incredibly innovative and intricate system keeps the ever-rising seawater from flooding the land.
One of the windmills is operational and open for view. In the past families lived in all of them. Despite their tight quarters the homes were comfortable and efficient.
I’m saving Amsterdam for another post when I’m more alert but thought you might enjoy a photo of one of the stalls in their famous flower market. The colors were spectacular.