National Windmill Day – Holland

Today and tomorrow is National Windmall Day in Holland where windmills around the country open their doors to the public.  Out of the approximately 1,000 windmills left in Holland, about 600 of them participate.  The ones flying a blue pennant welcome visitors.

Unfortunately the official website for National Windmill Day is only in Dutch but from what I gather, most of the windmills that participate have some sort of festivities going on as well such as music or special exhibits.

There are only eight windmills in the city of Amsterdam because most of them are built outside city walls.  If there are buildings too close then the windmill isn’t able to be as effective.  But for visitors to Amsterdam, this is a great chance to get outside of the city as this website points out.  When I visited Holland last weekend I was lucky to get the chance to bicycle outside of the city.  My friends lived about 8 miles outside of the center of Amsterdam and one of the days instead of taking the Metro to the suburbs, I decided to bicycle.

Pretty much the whole weekend in Amsterdam I had no idea of any sense of direction.  On the last day, of course, I started to get the hang of things but on my third day there I rented a bike for the day to ride around the city center.  In order to get back to my friends’ house that I was staying with, I needed to get on the Metro and it is about a 40 minute ride.  Even though I had a map I wasn’t able to get the hang of things this day and the map didn’t include the suburb area that my friend lived in.  But nonetheless, I knew he lived THAT way which is south of the city and I started biking to where I thought I needed to go.

The only real indicator I had was that I knew I needed to be west of the Amstel River but as I rode along the river it started veering further and further from where I needed to be.  Eventually I was out in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful countryside riding along the river.  There were a bunch of farms that looked to be around five to ten acres large each.  Some of them had sheep, chickens, lamb and many other types of farm animals and crops.  Also, situated in this part of the countryside was a windmill which really caught my attention.

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