Yes. It's the ultimate Netherlands experience.
You can't go to the Netherlands and not see a windmill. It just isn't done!
Today there are more than 1,000 windmills in the Netherlands, but the Dutch village of Kinderdijk is credited with having the most.
The windmills we would see here -- 19 of them -- were built around 1740 or before. They are well preserved today.
I learned that the windmills can manage water or grain. Those in Kinderdijk manage water.
And there is a lot of it. The wetlands were simply stunning on a gray, overcast morning.
We saw plenty of local inhabitants, too.
And some were very young!
The windmills of Kinderdijk have been considered a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. Their literature states that the construction of the hydraulic works for the drainage of land...began in the Middle Ages and have continued without interruption.
So, here's a quiz for you. Why does every windmill have two doors?
The answer makes a lot of sense. Blades always face the wind and the wind can vary, so if the blades run in front of the door, it's rather dangerous. Consequently, using the back door is a safer bet.
Windmills can pump or grind, but not do both. The grinding stones cause enough friction that there isn't sufficient energy to drive a scoopwhile around.
And finally, what happens if there is a hole in the sail? Why, it's patched and patched again until it can be patched no more and then it is replaced, leaving the old sail as fabric for children's clothes.
I found Kinderdijk a magical place. Perhaps it was the overcast day.
Perhaps it was the nature.
Or maybe it was because it was all I had imagined Holland to be.
Yes indeed. It was.