It’s amazing to think how inventive we were back in 1277 with regard to our handling of the impeding and threatening water surrounding us – water from the sea, rivers, rain and low-laying ground.
Before you go to Kinderdijk, either by bike or car, have a look at the history of this area.
What I really find fascinating is that in 1277 Count Floris V actually laid the basis for our current democracy: the water boards responsible for the drainage of the water so that the citizens of our below-sea level country could build a life. Water boards were the first democratically elected organisations, primarily responsible for draining the water and keeping land free from water and habitable.
Given the history of Kinderdijk and the establishment of water boards, it is easy to see where our “polder mentality”, the concept of working together to achieve a solution, comes from and why that is really not such a bad mentality.
Kinderdijk is listed as a Unesco world heritage site which has undoubted economic advantages, but also disadvantages in terms of tourism. Everyone knows the name Kinderdijk and everyone knows that in this beautiful, Dutcher than Dutch landscape, you can almost feel how, using these lovely windmills and nature’s wind, we were able to pump the water out of the polder.
In short, if you go to Kinderdijk you will have to accept that you will not be alone. From Hotel Karel de Stoute it is a pleasant bike ride of an hour and a half (one way); certainly worth the effort but don’t plan much more for that day. If you decide to go by car, after Kinderdijk you can go on to Dordrecht; once there you can explore that lovely city or take the ferry to Rotterdam to complete your day.