DAY 10: Last Day in Rotterdam
Muggier than yesterday. Worried about not walking away with decent pictures. I took the Waterbus to a place called Kinderdijk. Pronounced Kinder-dek. Silent “J”. The largest concentration of windmills in Netherlands. This is the dutch imagery I associate with the culture.
The open fields. The live stock. The wind mills. Soon as we docked I noticed a gorgeous house right next to the canal. Roosters ran amuck, chasing one another. A small horse with spotted grey skin and white hair was eating grass. She looked as though she belonged in a fable. All of it, really. The whole scene did.
Followed a narrow road towards open fields and some kind of admission booth for canal rides and tickets for the museums and their films. I didn’t have an exorbitant amount of time; The Waterbus’ final departure time to Rotterdam was in less than 3 hours and it’d be a helluva mission getting back without the ferry. I didn’t want to waste what time I had with my eyes plastered to a screen; I do enough of that as it is, so I passed on the first windmill to my immediate right, where they held the museum and screenings.
The sky was overcast but not without design. The clouds weren’t ideal I suppose but they weren’t without shape. The sun was diffused just enough for solid balance between light and shadow. I preferred this anyway, I think. If you google “Kinderdijk Windmills” right now and hit images, you’d probably find all the blue-skied photographs you could stomach.
The first stretch of road offered 6 Windmills on my left side running along the canal. Me and the other tourists tracked down a mulch-covered path with beds upon beds of blooming daisies. There were countless flowers. You’d spot a red or purple tulip out of the blanket of white and feel your retinas zone in. Made the colors all the more mesmerizing. Family of geese with their offspring. A mother keeping her child warm while he or she naps on her back, nestled in her feathers. Her other child scavenged for food. The father did the same nearby, returning with increments from below the water.
The fans weren’t spinning but they were a sight regardless. Covered in rough brownish tile and towering over the canal, they were difficult to turn away from for too long. I found an off-trail path, which lead to an open field. Green. Everywhere. I spotted a group of cows eating nearby. I moved closer and closer for a photograph without disturbing them. Then the furthest cow to the right turned his head. It was a male. With horns. A fucking bull. His eyes locked on mine, frozen. I halted.
“Fuuuuuuuuck that,” I mumbled under my breath. I didn’t stay long in the field; The bull watched me the entire time.
By the time I found myself in residential territory, it’d been an hour and forty-five minutes. I needed to head back… But not before seeing the horses. There were two: a black stallion and another with a brown coat and white-stripes. I didn’t take too many photos of this, just absorbed them. Horses match a humans heart rate when you come within a few feet of them. I always found that fascinating; They can feel you. My heart swelled being in their presence. Truly amazing creatures. So much power and beauty within a single being.
The light cloud coverage was moving away while the thicker dark gray clouds were approaching. Got to the dock too early. Stopped for a sandwich and pie at the cafe in their souvenir shop. Picked up some Dutch candy. It’s a multi-colored hard candy shaped like a small pillow. They taste alright. I had what I wanted to see of Rotterdam covered by this point. Outside of seeing art museums, which were all closed, I’d seen everything I wanted to. I hopped back on the Metro and took the train to another place within the Netherlands called The Hague.
It was a late Sunday afternoon so tourist activity was non-existent. All the museums were closed for the day. They were tearing down a big festival when I arrived. I was tempted to see a screening of ‘Blade Runner: The Final Cut’ at an art house theater. I wandered instead.
The Hague is a wonderful place to get lost. Compressed and easy to navigate. I really wanted to see the Panoramic room but that was closed too unfortunately. The old architecture is breathtaking. The Hague gives you the feeling of walking back in time I was hoping Amsterdam would provide. There’s a dirt path lined with light posts and pieces of art, sculptures and abstract. The Hague was so compressed I’d walk short distances and be astonished by the ground I covered according to the local maps. I saw everything I could have in a short time and headed back home.
Back in Kinderdijk earlier today, I was walking along a stretch of grassy road with empty fields surrounding me. I found myself happy. Wrapped up in the place. Lost without care. I love to wander. Safe to call it an addiction.