Windmill Relics

Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Wow, I can't believe that it has been over three weeks since I last posted. Between the Labor Day weekend, two fantasy football drafts and a two week vacation to Europe, there has been little time and very limited internet access to post. But now I am back and raring to go. Our trip to Europe consisted of a river cruise from Amsterdam to Lucerne along the Rhine River. Being veterans of ocean cruising, it was a nice change to see Europe in a more relaxed fashion. Our first stop was in the Netherlands. When one thinks of the Netherlands, windmills and tulips are the first things that come to mind. I had visions of seeing windmills everywhere along the countryside but learned that windmills are quickly becoming relics. At their peak, there were over 10,000 windmills in the Netherlands. Today there are only about 1,000 still standing with many no longer working.

In order to see some real, working windmills, we took a tour outside of Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, an open air conservation area and museum. There along the banks of the Zaan River, the museum has six working windmills where there used to be more than 1,000. This image shows three of them (left to right), "De Zoeke"'(an oil mill built in 1672); "De Bonte Hen" (an oil mill built in 1693) and the youngster of the group, "De Gekroonde Poelenburg" (a saw mill built in 1869).