We travel: Luci stays home; Kinderdijk, Netherlands

Our cruise is coming to a conclusion as we sail into the Rhine delta. We see the land flatten out into farming country.

We pass industrial areas and bridges and towns.

Looking from above, you can see blocks of land that look uniform. Much of this area is called polders and lie below the level of the riverbanks. The land has been reclaimed by building dikes and draining the water. The outing today is an afternoon excursion to Kinderdijk, a village community located where the Lek and Nordic Rivers meet. There are 19 well preserved 18th century windmills here.

This is the vista from the dike as we hike to the museum where our guide gives a lecture on how windmills work.

Then we hike along the canal rich with birds and vegetation. Families on outings walk and bicycle here toting picnic lunches and enjoying the beautiful scenery.

And we get to go inside one of these working marvels with its blades called sails.

This windmill was built in 1740. The operator was required to live in the mill to keep it in running order. The Miller and his family had quarters on several levels. These bonnet mills are built from brick with large sails that can be positioned for best efficiency. The sails come within a foot of the ground. At one time there were more than 150 mills in the south Holland area; today the total is only 28, and 19 in the Kinderdijk area.

Space was at a premium. This closet bed was practical as was the rack for hanging and drying shoes. Narrow stairs took us practically straight up into the top of the structure. We climbed up and backed down in very tight quarters.

Modern pumps keep the polders dry these days. We enjoyed our country hike and seeing all the windmills.

We passengers had our disembarkation briefing today as we will be arriving in Amsterdam in the morning. We got information on the process and colored tags for our luggage; where and when to have the luggage outside the stateroom door and when we would leave the ship. Those not staying in Amsterdam for a Post cruise extension were given information on their transportation to the airport and flight numbers. This is all carefully thought out.

Our ship leaves Kinderdijk in the evening before dinner. We dine one last time in the restaurant beside the floor to ceiling windows, watching the countryside slide by as dusk falls. Then back to our room and pack.

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