The Netherlands is famous for a lot of things, such as cheese, tulips, clogs and windmills. Yeah, those were probably the most stereotypical things I could think of, but it’s also what I came to see while road tripping cross-country Netherlands with my man. Well, I already knew I’d be a couple of weeks too late for tulip-season, which means there’d be a higher probability of winning the lottery than seeing any tulips by now. And then there’s those famous clogs. Well, to be honest, I don’t really care that much about clogs. So I guess that narrows it down a bit. Let’s just talk about windmills for now.
Because windmills are amazing. I mean, they have an amazing effect on me, since I’m not used to them. They turn me into an annoying little child who’s overly excited about everything and goes “wow!”, “LOOK!”, “it’s amazing” every five seconds, and that’s exactly the reason why I followed my guidebook’s advice to visit a village named Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which is the ultimate hot spot for windmill-scouting!
Before going, we didn’t know much about Kinderdijk. We knew there’d be 19 windmills there (dating back to the 18th century) and we knew we’d have the possibility to visit the area either by foot, by bicycle (like a true Dutch) or by canal boat.
When we arrived, the first thing that caught our attention was not the windmills but an air balloon which had crash-landed into the canal. An ambulance, police officers and a rescue-team, including divers, were on site. What a traumatizing experience that must have been for everyone involved. At least they all made it out unharmed (from what I could see).
So what is there to do on site, besides watching air balloons float upside down on the canal? Well, you can rent a bicycle, or go on a sightseeing-tour on the canal, drink coffee and have a snack at the cafe, while admiring the spectacular view of the windmills.
Or just stroll along the footpaths, take photos, walk some more, take more photos.
And that’s exactly what we did. We’d paid for parking for just one hour and a half, and we didn’t wanna waste our time. Our plan was to go hardcore paparazzi on the windmills. Each and every one of them. Well. As many as we could before we had to return to the car to avoid getting a parking ticket.
With the exception of all the tourists who were doing exactly the same thing as we were doing, Kinderdijk seemed to be a very peaceful village. I would have loved to bring my own bicycle, follow the pathway, get distracted by the beautiful scenery, fall off my bicycle, get back up again, ride a little further, feel overly exhausted and almost vomit, and eventually stop somewhere to have a nice little picnic and fight off flies, wasps, ants and other creatures that can’t resist my food and beverages. Now that would have been lovely!
Sadly, I don’t actually own a bicycle anymore (it got stolen – many years ago).
“Can you take a picture of me for my Instagram?” I begged my boyfriend, in the most annoying way possible. As much as I love sharing photos on my social media platforms – especially Instagram – I feel like the biggest loser on the planet whenever I have to ask someone to take a picture of me for my Instagram. It makes me feel like I’m some kind of narcissist, and a try-hard wannabe-fashionista (note: I suck at fashion) whose only reason for traveling is to take cringe-worthy photos that pretty much scream “look at me, I’m relevant. The background isn’t”. Yuck. Maybe I am one of those people without even realizing it? Maybe I’ve tricked my mind into thinking I wanted to go to Kinderdijk to photograph windmills, but in reality, I went there only to have photos taken of ME in front of windmills? I’m sure my partner would say I’m semi-narcissistic, and also that we went to Kinderdijk for multiple reasons.
To learn, to see, and to make it a teeny tiny bit about me.
Enough with that selfie-talk.
Some of the windmills of Kinderdijk can be visited (for a fee of 6,50 euros) and function as museums. If you wanna learn more about the history of windmills in the Netherlands, this is a fun way to do it!
And how do you get to Kinderdijk?
There are direct trains to Kinderdijk from Utrecht and Rotterdam. If you’re visiting by car, the distance from Amsterdam to Kinderdijk is 98 km (via A2) and 53.9 km from The Hague (via A13).
As previously mentioned, there is parking on-site.