Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kinderdijk, November 17

We are underway and already enjoying the rhythm of life on board the Viking Sun. The crew is young and unfailingly kind, friendly and patient. Our cabin is at the very back of the boat, a nice hike to meals and the gangway. The only disadvantage we noticed was the occasional roar of the engines and thrusters as we docked or left the dock, and a strong whiff or two of diesel fuel as the engines cranked up.

Our shipmates are the usual assortment of folks, most, probably in the 60 to 70 year range, although there are some younger couples, as well. North America is home for most everyone, with the States having the largest number. However, there are a good number of Canadians, "the nice and polite" North Americans, they like to say. (ouch!) There is a wide variety of interests and experiences as well, including a couple from Martha's Vineyard who enjoy seeing the historian David McCullough around town. (We told them to tell David "hi" from his Montana fan club.) Also the retired dean of the Nebraska School of Architecture was working on a book on sustainable communities most days in the library while his wife enjoyed the excursions.

We linked up with two interesting couples, one from Laguna Nigel in So. Cal. and the other from Bellevue, WA. We all enjoyed lots of laughs and giggles around the meal tables.

On to Kinderdijk. We have moved on to The Netherlands, sailing on the rivers that flow, join and spread out as the Rhine nears the North Sea. As we sailed along toward Kinderdijk we enjoyed a lecture with slides on the windmills and the ongoing struggle of the Dutch to keep the sea waters at bay and reclaim land.

Kinderdijk has 19 of the old windmills still standing...

The "miller" who lives with his family in the windmill is able to turn the blades to face the wind.

Small living quarters, and noisy for a family. The children learn to swim at an early age.

Always do this (note the sign)

Cozy little bed in the mill...

A path along the dike...

Modern day turbines are still pumping water up and into the rivers to go to the sea

These folks are not looking for a job as a miller...

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