The Rhine & Mosel River Cruise travel blog

Our boat, the Grand Circle Cruise Line, the "Harmony"

We're in Willemstad, Netherlands

A real windmill

Willemstad

The old City Hall

Lover's Lane, walk straight to the church

The church (the first Prostestant Church)

The church from afar

The church tower can be seen from everywhere in this small town

Beautiful park

Park

War Memorial in park

The punishment for minor crimes

Oh no! Doug got caught!

French memorial in the park

Look closely for an example of Dutch humor

Interesting buildings

Used to be one of the King's Palaces; now a hall for...

Shops

German bunkers just outside of town

They're everywhere

An artillery piece would have been in this bunker

Here's what they saw from the bunker. German bunkers were made with...

The Arsenal; note the chimes just under the second floor. The play...

Back to the boat for lunch.

Kinderdijk (Children's Dike)

This is the largest concentration of wind mills in the Netherlands, 19...

An original wind mill

The original wind mill

Paddle wheels. These wind mills move water from the land to the...

The miller (wind mill operator) showed us how he makes the wind...

The miller lived in the wind mill with his family; note the...

They had to entertain themselves.

Kitchen

Wooden shoes

Miller's garden

Miller's animal pen

Miller's rabbits

Miller's wood shop

Miller's ?, maybe a playground for the children

Miller's goats

More of the miller's stuff

Dutch wind mills

Dutch wind mills

The Netherlands


Okay, here's the story: The country is The Netherlands. The people of this country are called Dutch. Holland is a province of the country. There is a North Holland and a South Holland. Both are very large and are on the North Sea. So when their sailors went out and about the world, they would say they were from Holland. So that's where the confusion comes about the difference in Netherlands, Dutch and Holland. We got it from "the horses' mouth", actual natives from this country.

Willemstad is a very small village; just 2329 people.

It is shaped like a star with historical fortifications at each point. It was started in 1585. The Reformed Church was built in 1607 as the first new Protestant church building in the Netherlands.

It has been variously occupied by the French, Spanish and the Germans. The Germans left heavy concrete fortifications that are almost impossible to destroy. So the people live with the memory, permanently.

Another view of Willemstad from "The Dutch Review": Willemstad has the charm of a storybook village with a small historic quaint harbor where the multi-million euro yachts are snugly parked side-by-side. Within a few meters of the dock is a row of restaurants where you can overlook the harbor while enjoying a quiet relaxing lunch, dinner or a beer.

It reminds me of some small New England towns.

We came back to the boat for lunch. They served an Indonesian Rice Platter. Indonesia was a colony of The Netherlands so of course they brought back some of their food. This was one of them. It's like tapas, small dishes for everyone at the table to taste. It includes some curry dishes, fish, chicken, meat, egg; all nicely spiced.

Then for our afternoon tour we travel by bus to Dordrecht to the Kinderdyke. This is the location of the iconic 19 original windmills

. Windmills were used as the power source for grain mills, saw mills, paper mills and much more. These 19 were used as a rudimentary pumping system that helped to keep the land behind the dykes dry, even though it is lower than the water level of the river. Most of the mills date from the 18th century. Now of course they use electric pumps that do the job of draining the wet land much more quickly and efficiently.

We arrive back to the boat for dinner-beef, fish or pasta, soup, dessert. We will not starve of this trip.

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