It has taken a while to get to this. Jet lag has been a killer this time, plus not feeling 100% well on our return has really hammered me. Or maybe I am just getting old.

We had an “interesting” final week, some of which shall remain untold. But the highlight, maybe of the whole trip, was a day to what were a couple tourist traps, one of which was a fabulous look at working windmills.

First to an old fishing village that apparently was kind of locked in time until about 30 years ago. They had very strict rules about what people could wear and who they could associate with. Unfortunately the place is also remembered for a fatal fire in 2000

You get a hint of the fishing wharf in the picture above, but it does get a lot better.

Row of old boats at wharf

I think those are the real thing, the one below is cool, but a reproduction

Old Dutch sailing ship
Row of old blocks on a sailing ship

A different boat

Figure head on old dutch sailing boat

Then it was off to one of those historical village type places. It is pretty extensive with a not so good “cheese experience” where there were loads of different cheeses to taste, but they didn’t actually make any cheese there. In fact, that might be my only disappointment, I didn’t get to see a working cheese factory. There were also lolly makers, bakers and all the traditional stuff being made by people wearing traditional clothing. It was also cold and wet 😛

Four windmills in the Netherlands

But the windmills were fantastic. Being a tight arse I was reluctant to pay to go into any of them but eventually, since it was actually working, we went into a saw mill, which I think is the left hand one in the picture above.

These aren’t original mills. They are faithful reproductions from the originals. But they were built pretty much exactly as the originals were and I have to say it was incredible. We spent about an hour in the saw mill. Although it is a working business, it is mostly run by volunteers who speak good English and are as enthusiastic as you would expect. I applied for a volunteer job ;o)

Inside dutch sawmill showing log being cut by blades
ropes hanging on a wall in dutch windmill
Yes, that is an authentic traditional chain saw

The saw miller – he owns the business – actually wore clogs. I am not sure they are comfortable, but they likely would be classed as safety footwear.

Rows of clogs hanging on a wall (not souvenirs)

This is a winch that is driven by the windmill and when it is engaged it hauls a log up from the canal. It was all very impressive

Gears in dutch windmill
View inside dutch windmill
People standing at the stop of very narrow staircase

I just can’t get around my brain fog to edit a bunch of videos into something coherent, so here are some to give an idea of the day.

Next time Aussies whinge about the price of petrol, this is what it was like in The Netherlands

Dutch fuel price board

“Oh, it is only $2.36” I hear you say. Let me remind you that 1 Euro (I wish I had a Euro symbol on my keyboard) = $1.50 Australian. So fuel is about $AUD3.50 per litre. People don’t seem to care much.

And then we headed home, but that wasn’t without its trials. Firstly, the Australian Government makes you fill out of Digital Passenger Declaration that you are Covid vaccinated and where have you been and so on. But it has to be about the most painful online experience I have ever gone through. It is as though the app was created by a work experience teen with a grudge.

Then to the airport, always so much fun, especially on a weekend, especially when there is a public transport strike.

lines of people at airport

In case you are curious, this is more or less the layout to get into security (on the left)

They have to hold people at the bottom of the stairs, it is so crowded at the top. It is just ridiculous how under-staffed airport check-ins are.

And if you wondered whether some people were making a lot of money out of Covid, this was a big ad in Singapore airport

Advertisement for covid test at airport

But at least this time the butterflies were awake, though it was a little dark to get good shots

Thanks to all our Dutch friends and family for making the trip fantastic.

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