Aug 3, 2010

Chapter 2: Windmills and Water

    When our two travelers awoke from their slumber, they made their way towards the dining hall for breakfast. Ashby and Molly had arrived in Kinderdijk, Germany, ready to start their exploring. It was a sunny and brisk morning when they stepped onto the docks. They, along with the rest of the members of their ship, were headed  to the UNESCO windmills!
     After a fifteen minute stroll up to the windmills, Ashby and Molly approached eight stone windmills. Once everyone had gathered around, the guide began to speak. "Welcome to the UNESCO Windmills here in Kinderdijk," he pronounced. "These windmills before you are entirely made of stone and were built in 1738. Kinderdijk is Dutch for 'Childern's Dike'. The town of Kinderdijk is situated on a dike that sits just above sea level. Due to the shallow elevation of much of the land around Kinderdijk, the Dutch needed to find a way to get the water out of the low lying areas and into the Rhine river to keep the land dry.Their solution, the windmills that you see before you!"
     The guide informed them that one of the windmills would be open for the visitors to go inside and look around. Upon entry to the windmill, Molly and Ashby noticed the remarkable carpentry work that was put in to building the internal skeleton of this massive structure. The entire interior was built out of wooden beams and struts. There were four levels to every windmill and the levels were separated by a very steep ladder. Ashby decided to stay on the first floor and avoid climbing the ladders to the different sections. The first floor contained a kitchen and a small living room. The second floor contained two bedrooms where the family slept, but in these bedrooms were not your typical beds. There were three beds that more closely resembled cupboards that were spread out evenly in the room. On top there was a bed and towards the bottom there was a drawer. Curiously, Molly asked,"Is that where they store their clothes?" The guide turned to her and said, "No, that is where the baby is placed to sleep at night." Molly was shocked! "You mean that is where they put babies. Not in a crib, but in a drawer," she thought. As the group moved on to the next level, Molly was still puzzled by what she had just been told. On the third floor, the group found nothing but a storage area for the family's use, and the fourth floor contained the dangerous inner workings of the windmill and they, as visitors, were not permitted to access the fourth floor.
     The group soon gathered at the lower level of the windmill, and Molly rejoined her cheerful grandfather. As they walked back to the docks, Molly told Ashby of everything she saw in the upper levels of the windmill and the many interesting things she had learned.
     As they boarded the boat, they would shortly began to sail to their next destination down the river. It would take the rest of the day and into the night to reach their next stop. Suddenly, across the lounge, Molly spotted a young brunette that appeared to be the same age as her! "Finally," she thought,"someone my age!" After a couple of minutes deciding whether or not to introduce herself she did! The two quickly engaged in friendly conversation. Her name was Maggie, and she was twenty years old. Ironically Maggie was also on board with her grandparent, and they were from Vermont. After several hours of casual talk, Maggie informed Molly that there was yet another girl aboard the ship that was their age that was also there with her grandfather. I'm sure, like Molly, they both imagined they would be the youngest person on the boat, but they were surprisingly mistaken!
      The new found friends sat for a while and talked about their lives back home. Soon they said their goodbyes, and went their separate ways to retire for the night.
      With the boat in gear, there was a smell about the air, notioning that they were not far from their next destination....Cologne!


Jennifer said...

I love that your sharing your trip with us like this!

Jan said...

Well I must say Josh that you are really do the blog justice with your fine details and touches of comedy! Keep up the good work!