Windmill Nirvana

Kinderdijk Travel Blog

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Leaving Rotterdam en route to Ridderkerk on the Water Bus

Our fortunate run with good weather had run its course, and it was cold and windy Thursday morning, but we returned to the train station armed with Agnes’ directions to Kinderdijk.  Arrived at Rotterdam Centraal with no problems and followed signs to ‘Tourist Information’, which turned out to be a nicely appointed office space.  In response to our question of how to get to Kinderdijk they immediately steered us towards a long bus ride, but when we asked “what about the ferry” they instantly handed us a Water Bus brochure.

 

A few minutes later we headed for the tram (still plenty of strips left on our strippenkaart!) and caught the #7 line to Williamsplein, which is right on the water.

Welkom to Kinderdijk!
  The first thing you see here are the quite impressive Spido ferries, but I think they are limited to scenic cruises and do not provide ferry service.  You need to walk past their armada to the next dock (probably empty) where the Water Bus conducts business.  It was drizzling as we arrived and we were somewhat perplexed that there was no ticket booth or anything, but the next arriving ferry taught us all we needed to know.

 

You buy your tickets right on the boat and they will tell you if you are the right one or not. Of course it helps to have a schedule (try this site --> http://www.waterbus.nl/Dienstregeling%202009c.pdf).  We only had to wait a few more minutes before our connecting ferry arrived and delivered us to Ridderkerk for the link to Kinderdijk.  The Kinderdijk ferry was pretty small, and the first thing noticeable as it puttered in was the huge ponytail of one of the crew.

 

The crewman gave us a cheery greeting and we had an amusing conversation during the ten minute boat ride.

Cafe de Klok in Kinderdijk
  He only worked two days a week, having retired a couple years ago.  His English was not as good as most and he misunderstood our response to his question of where in the US we were from.  We had replied that we hailed from the Carolinas, which he heard as California.  The rest of our conversation was spent assuring him that Arnold Schwarzenegger was doing okay, peppered with plenty of “California here I come” interjections!

 

Our new friend did provide some valuable information as we had begun to wonder what would happen when we got off at Kinderdijk..  I was apprehensive because everything I had read about Kinderdijk referenced the windmills only, never a mention of lodging or places to eat.  Was there anything here besides windmills?  How far was it to the windmills from the drop off?  We didn’t have a clue, but the crewman filled us in that there was a small village with a restaurant and it was only a ten or fifteen minute walk to the windmills.

Kinderdijk windmills
  Phew!

 

His advice was right on.  Should you arrive at Kinderdijk by Water Bus, just follow the path to your left between the row of houses and the water and you will arrive at the windmills in no time.  Or you can head straight down the street and hang a left to pass some dining options before reaching the windmills almost as quickly.

 

We opted for the first restaurant we came upon, the Café De Klok.  It fit right in with the storybook setting of this pretty little village.  There were a few locals enjoying lunch at the bar and we were sure  the game rooms on either side of the dining area would be populated with boisterous activity on Friday nights.  Quite chilly outside, we warmed ourselves up with a hot lunch before continuing the march to the windmills.

 

Although our meal had fortified us for the walk, nothing could have prepared us for the beauty of the Kinderdijk windmills.

Kinderdijk windmills
  Seeing a sharp line of four or five windmills is brilliant, but when your panorama includes several such rows it is mind blowing.  How lovely - Kim and I were infatuated with the view.  The windmills are somewhat gray and were complemented nicely by the hues of our cloudy day.  Add the setting of waterways with tall grass and Kinderdijk completely overwhelms your senses.  There is no admission; you just amble along a black top bike path that extends past windmills spilling every direction (I think the length of all the pathways is about four kilometers).  Though you desperately desire to soak up the views, there is a lot of bird poop on the path so it’s best you pay some mind to foot placement!

 

One of the windmills nearer the entrance is open for touring, so we plunked down a few euros to climb inside one of the water pumps.  It was interesting to learn these structures also served as homesteads, with an entire family living within.  I think I’d pass: it was pretty noisy in there and the rotating paddles rendered a strobe light effect on several rooms!  Once you get past the touring windmill the bird poop cleared significantly, so we continued walking and actually looked around some.
View from inside the windmill you can tour
  Still, it was quite chilly so before long we retreated from windmill nirvana, where good windmills must go when they pass away.

Thanks to Agnes, another TravBuddy who made us aware of this magnificent spot and helped us actually get there!!!
vances says:
So many TravBuddy connections. Wally (Gemini59) told me that some of his ancestors were buried in Delft!
Posted on: Jan 08, 2010
polvandenwirre says:
Well, Vance we were just about 200 meters away from each other: my office is near Willemsplein (the end of line 7)!!! A pity I didn't know you were in Rotterdam....
Posted on: Jan 08, 2010
aggieaggie says:
It was my pleasure Vance!
I'm happy you and Kim enjoyed it!
Posted on: Jun 15, 2009
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Leaving Rotterdam en route to Rid…
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Water Bus from Ridderkerk to Kind…
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Kinderdijk
photo by: aggieaggie