From Holland, with Love: Kinderdijk

by - 7:57 PM

'What's boring to you is special to me,' a blog buddy once told me when I was complaining about how boring my country was. The Netherlands has a bit of an image problem, especially with people like me, who are used to sights like Machu Picchu at sunrise or the Fernsehturm in Berlin at midnight. So as of May 2016 I'm on a mission to convince myself and the rest of the world of the Dutch awesomeness. First stop: Kinderdijk.

Does the name Kinderdijk ring any bells? It probably doesn't, even though the place is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It's only three kilometers from my front door, yet I'd never been there. I was about time I went over to check the place out.
Among the locals Kinderdijk is known for two things: the world-famous windmills and the endless stream of Asian tourists. I hadn't even crossed the river with a local ferry when I already felt the eyes of a group of South Asian tourists fixated on my hair and bright red bike... So I decided to try and focus on the windmills and ignore the staring I apparently had ahead of me.

I took the road along the river, since that was the shortest way for cyclists. Let me tell you this real quick: I was born and raised in the Netherlands and have seen my fair share of mills. But when I spotted the first mills in the middle of the fields, seemingly coming out of nowhere, I was a blown away. It's beautiful in a very simple way.

 I entered the site, zigzagging and making my way through a gigantic group of Chinese tourists. They were very happy to see me, because I added a little extra Dutchness to their pictures. By that I mean they actually pointed their cameras at me and took pictures so they could show their relatives they'd seen a real Dutch girl. This is literally the only thing I didn't like: if you look Western European, you will feel like an animal in the zoo. Apart from that, it's totally worth a visit. Here's why.
There are seventeen old windmills at Kinderdijk. They were built in the first half of the 1700s, because the land around Kinderdijk kept getting flooded. The mills were used to pump the water out of the area. Modern equipment has taken over their job now, but in case of extreme need the mills can still do their thing. Two of them were turned into museums, there are tours and you can go on a boat ride to get real close to the mills. Most important of all: it's the perfect place to take plenty of pictures.

What did I do there? I cycled all the way to the end of the road. Most of the Asian tourists walk up to the fifth mill, then turn around. Don't do that. Walk all the way to the end. You'll see different types of mills and eventually arrive at the best spot to take the cliche picture of Kinderdijk that's on all the brochures. It's calmer there and you can feel the calm Dutch vibes much better there. Until you get chased by angry geese. True story.

Since there's so much water around, there are also plenty of ducks, coots and geese. While the ducks and coots make for great photo material and are immensely cute, the geese will not be happy to see you. Watch out for them, they are evil! They immediately ganged up on me once I'd reached the end of the road. This resulted in me racing back to the entrance like the devil was on my heels.

Back at the entrance I had ice cream, because no trip is complete without ice cream, even though I was only half an hour away from home. There's a shop with postcards and good food. You can also get homemade apple pie there. That's not a recommendation, that's something you just have to do. Apart from that, let me know when you're dropping by, so I can give you a private tour :)

Stay Awesome!

P.S. Now I can imagine you would like to know some actually important things (even though I already consider my geese warning important), so here's a little list of things you need to know if you want to plan a trip to Kinderdijk

  • You can get to Kinderdijk by car or boat if you're staying in Rotterdam. I recommend the boat. It's called "Waterbus", goes quite fast and is awesome
  • Access to the area where the mills stand is completely free. If you want to enter the two mills that are now museums and do all the extra things (like watching a documentary) you'll have to pay €7,50
  • There are tours in English 
  • The geese are EVIL!

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14 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Hi Envy,
    Oh yes Asian tourists are everywhere and take photos of everything. A few years ago, I visited a castle from Ludwig the second with my class. There were a Asian marriage and every Asian we saw wanted to take a photo with a German group, like we are the attraction at these point.
    By the way the pictures are really beautiful!
    Love, Lea

    1. Did you know that China now offers courses on how to be a good tourist? They got the news that some of their tourists don't really handle Europe and its culture very well :P I felt like an attraction too when they started taking pictures!
      Thank you! I'm trying to get into photography but I find it very difficult

  2. YOUR PICTURES ARE SO CUTE! I'm sorry you got chased by angry geese to get them though, that must have been traumatising :O The netherlands is on my list, one day!x

    Loved this, and I love the idea about exploring your everyday. So many things are right on our doorstep and we hardly know about them!


    Anne //

    1. Thank you so much! The geese were the absolute worst part, I was so scared.
      I hope the day you visit the Netherlands comes soon.
      Most of the beautiful places in my country are very close to home and I've never seen them. When i have seen them I didn't fully appreciate them. Time to make a change :)

  3. Hi Envy...So Beautiful blog...well written.
    I am thankful to you for sharing important information about Windmills of Kinderdijk is an UNECSO world heritage site. I promise to visit all windmills from starting to the end. Picture are very good
    Take Care and Keep Exploring your city.

    1. Thank you! If you ever visit the place I'll make sure you stick to your word of visiting all the mills :P

  4. Wow! After this I plan on doing two things.

    1. Make a "make-it-happen" list

    2. Add visit Kinderdijk to it! (:

    1. Can't wait to see your Make it Happen List! It's awesome to see other bloggers start their own lists, you'd be the third to join me :) Please give credit for the idea though :)

  5. wooooahh holland XDD
    i love it <3
    hope i can goes there too :3

    Shiro Usagi
    The Chronicle Of Otaku

    1. I hope so too! It's a great place when you know what you're looking at :)

  6. The geese sound terrifying, but also a bit funny, hahah sorry

    Stella xx

    1. They're funny as long as you don't come near them, hahaha


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