Kinderdijk is a little village in the province of Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands, not too far from Amsterdam and famous for its windmills. I had admired them many times via online photographs; they are extremely photogenic in all seasons. Obviously, they were on my list of landscapes I wanted to create my own images of.
Kinderdijk at Dusk
A couple of years ago, Sonia and I had planned a little day trip to the Keukenhof (also very worthwhile to visit, but I’ll report on that another time). I had figured out beforehand that a stop at Kinderdijk on the way back would not be such a big detour. So the plan was to try and time it right so we’d arrive by dusk.
We arrived a little before dusk on a weekday, end of April. This is a good time to visit as parking places are scarce and you cannot risk parking your car illegally as you will definitely get a fine.
The area can only be visited well on foot and by bike, which is really nice as there are no cars around when you’re walking or biking in between the mills. From April 1st until October 1st, there is a 3rd alternative: you can enjoy a 30-minute boat ride through the area.
Since 1997, Kinderdijk is listed as a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site. It has become a very popular tourist attraction, even internationally.
A windmill in the landscape is always something special but here no less than 19 can be admired. That's 19 of the more than 1,000 still working windmills in the Netherlands. They are being used for water management and one of the mills can be visited and be seen in operation. We were very impressed by the beauty of the landscape when strolling through the area.
Photographically the situation was not ideal, as we had a bland sky and when the sun was setting, it did so with some industrial buildings and modern constructions in the background. So despite a very pleasant walk and although we really enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings, I already had made up my mind. I had to come back at dawn.
Kinderdijk at dawn
It took a while before that trip happened, partly also because to arrive pre-dawn at Kinderdijk (a 160 kilometre drive for me) I had to get up very early. But finally I managed to gather my courage and my photo gear, and drove to Holland.
I arrived at Kinderdijk before dawn, just at the right time to set up. Even at this early hour, I did not have the place all to myself. Another photographer was already working from one of the bridges. It was pretty cold and windy, but there was some cloud in the sky and already some colour at the horizon so there was promise for a wonderful sunrise. From then on, I was working frantically to make as many images as I had planned in my mind. It was beautiful. Just a little bit of mist on the water would have made it perfect.
I want home a happy man with some nice images on the memory cards. Wouldn’t it be nice to come back in winter when the water is frozen?
Where to stay in the Netherlands
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