Viking River Cruise: Kinderdijk Windmills

I think it was lucky for many of the guests who came on the Cologne pub crawl that the next morning was a cruising day.  I still jumped out of bed at my regular time, and grabbed cup of coffee and a comfy couch next to a window in the lounge.  It was drizzly and chilly, but according to the crew the weather always does that when they arrive in the Netherlands.  
So, instead of taking hundreds of pictures of the Waal River (we had moved off of the Rhine for the final stretch of the cruise), I took a few, and spent the better part of the day relaxing, reading, and snacking on cookies between meals!
I got excited to see a few windmills scattered along the coast, traditional ones and modern wind turbines...little did I know what I had in store...
We arrived at Kinderdijk later that afternoon.  It is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it sort of village, but you will definitely not miss the windmills!  (Which I took loads of photos of...I apologize, but the landscape was just so nice!)
You know you're in the Netherlands when there are windmills and oversized wooden clogs!
According to our Viking Daily newsletter, there are now only a total of 28 windmills left in this region of the Netherlands, and 19 of them are in the Kinderdijk area!  That was the sole purpose of the quick stop in the little Dutch village, but it was worth it.
You'd have to try to get lost, but just incase, the path is clearly marked.
On our tour, we learned about the purpose of windmills in the Netherlands.  I hope I wasn't alone in thinking they were for grinding wheat and things like  In the Netherlands, the primary function of a windmill is water management.  They used turbines to suck the water out of areas where it wasn't wanted, and divert it to places where it needed to go!  We were given a much more long-winded explanation...too long in my opinion, I would have rather been exploring the area.  We also learned that the millers used the wings of the windmills to communicate.  Depending on the position of the wings when stopped, neighbors could tell if the miller was at home or away, or if someone in the family had died recently.
After our lecture, we
It was the one you could go inside of, otherwise I would have ditched the tour group aaaaaages ago.  It was worth it to go inside, though.  As you might expect, windmills are not big places, and to imagine a family of 10 or more living in one!!  No thank you!  

After looking inside, Bryn and I broke off from our group.  We had to be back on the ship shortly, and we wanted to go see the view recommended by the ship, which required walking a bit through the little village, which is super-cute!
But to be honest, I think I found better views.
By then it was time to get back on board to cast off for our final stop. 

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