Friday, 7 May 2010

Stop 2 : Kinderdijk - windmill and cycling

Before starting this entry, I wanted to inform you all that today is a remarkably big day in UK. Today the result of UK general election will be announced. Although I am not so much into politic but I am interested to know the outcome and the impact it has on us, UK resident.

We hope you can lay aside 1 minute of your time to pray for our leaders and voters. I believe that whosoever will reign UK will be God chosen man, the same way Obama has beat all the odd and won the vote in America, that's nothing impossible to God to make His will a reality.
As christian I strongly believe we ought to pray for our leader, no matter how wicked they could be, or ungodly, because through out the bible it has proven that God can use even a wicked man for his mighty purpose. All we need to do is to execute our part : pray for our leaders!

Ok now jump to my next exciting stop, Kinderdijk.
Kinderdijk is a village in the Netherlands, belonging to the municipality of Nieuw-Lekkerland (yes Nieuw-Lekker-land... must be really lekker there), in the province South Holland, about 15 km east of Rotterdam. So we drove our car from Ghent to Rotterdam, and then to Kinderdijk. The journey lasted about 1 hour and 20 minutes (or about 20 minutes if you ride a car from Rotterdam). I had been informed the best way to visit Kinderdijk is by car.
My son excited to see loads of windmill...
And on the way, we (I mean "our car") even ride on the ferry. Even though it only lasted for 10 minutes... my son are so excited.
And not long after that, here we are!
Kinderdijk is situated in a polder at the confluence of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.
The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best known Dutch tourist sites. They were placed on the list of UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.
The best way to explore this place is by riding a bicycle. It was so flat and no car inside this massive place. You can rent a bike from local tea shop at 2.5 EUR for 2 hour! Isn't that a deal?
Furthermore, I learn that you have to pay 5 EUR to park your car in their secure car park, however, sideroad parking is free!
So why people build so many windmill anyway?
In the Netherlands, the drainage system is an important matter. The Dutch need a well developed water control system in order to keep large areas from being flooded, because some parts of the Netherlands are below sea level. In Alblasserwaard, problems with water became more and more apparent in the 13th century.
Large canals, called 'weteringen', were dug to get rid of the excess water in the polders. However, the drained soil started setting, while the level of the river rose due to the river's sand deposits.

After a few centuries, an additional way to keep the polders dry was required. It was decided to build a series of windmills, with a limited capacity to bridge water level differences, but just able to pump water into a reservoir at an intermediate level between the soil in the polder and the river; the reservoir could be pumped out into the river by other windmills whenever the river level was low enough; the river level has both seasonal and tidal variations.
So how do we spent the whole 2 hours beside just ride the bike? Well, we did stop for ice cream... and this...
Interesting read about Kinderdijk:
The name Kinderdijk is Dutch for "Child's Dike". In 1421 during the Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. It is said that when the terrible storm had subsided, someone went on to the dike between these two areas, to see what could be saved. He saw in the distance a wooden cradle floating. There was no hope that anything would be living in it, but when it approached, movement was seen. When the cradle came nearer, someone saw that a cat was in the cradle trying to keep it in balance by jumping back and forth so that no water could come into it. When the cradle eventually came near the dike, someone fished the cradle out and saw that in it a baby slept quiet and dry. In some of the stories the cat kept it balanced and afloat. This folktale and legend has been published as "The Cat and the Cradle" in English (Meder 2007; Griffis, 1918).

The best time to see the windmill is at sunset time, unfortunately... I had no time to wait until the sunset at 9pm summer time! So I decide to....just fake it.

Stay : 1 night
Where : InnTel Rotterdam,


Marfa said...

You're so right and wise...I am very opinionated politically (conservative)...wish our leaders were better and we do need to PRAY for them!
Such gorgeous photos of you on the bike with all the yellow flowers...and your husband and son with the windmills in the background! I wish I could join you!!!

Merryn said...

dear, i so love these sets of pictures. Really really nice! I can 'feel' it :)

J.H said...

@Marfa : actually, I am quite opinionanted as well politically... I just never said it in my blog. Coming from Indonesia (whereby your leader had to be moslem), I learn to accept things God had put in my life as minority Christian. We both just need to thank God that whatever happen with the goverment, even when second Hilter rule the continent, our Lord is still in full control :-)

@Merryn : thank you!

Snowcatcher said...

I, too, love your cycling photos! The pictures of your sun with the dandelions are precious also. And I admire your faith. Always.