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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 50.9411, 6.95984
We woke up this morning in Kinderdijk. It is in southern Netherlands. This area is all below sea level and the only thing that used to keep the land dry were dikes and the windmills. There are 19 windmills in this area that were built in the 1730's. Some of them still work. Families live in all of them. They have been replaced by electric pumps now. We got to tour one that still works and is furnished as it would have been in the late 1700's. It is really interesting to see how they built these sophisticated machines back in the 1700's. We are talking about gears that are made of wood that are 6 feet in diameter and a main shaft that is about 40 feet long that was made from one tree. After our tour, we headed back to our ship for the rest of the day sailing up the Rhine River. This morning, we sailed into Cologne. We did an excursion into the old city and visited the Great Saint Martin's church. It was started in 1248 and not finished until the 1800's. It is absolutely huge! It was the tallest building in the
world for quite a few years. We also looked around the old town for a while. Then it was back to the ship for a quick lunch and then on to another adventure. We took a bus and headed to the UNESCO site called the Bruhl Palaces. We saw 2 palaces that were built by the prince-archbishops of Cologne. He had 22 palaces built for him and the first one we toured was the largest and most opulent of them all. It had lots of marble, gold, statues and gardens. It is hard to believe that one person could be so wealthy in the 18th century when most people were just getting by. We left there and headed to his hunting lodge, which was about 3 miles away. It was about 4,000 square feet. That is about 1/10 of the palace 3 miles away. He only used these places about 1 month a year. We finally headed back to the ship for some rest and dinner. The food on the ship is outstanding. There are so many choices and the food is so fresh and delicious. Its going to be hard to go to England and have pub food.The weather
has been excellent so far. We had a couple of sprinkles on our 2nd day in Amsterdam, but since then it has been mostly sunny and in the mid to upper 70's. They say that this is quite unusual for this time of year. Lucky us!
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