Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Dutch Polder Joyride in July

If I told you I had gotten so hungry for weathervanes and asked Astrid for another joyride out in the boonies, you'd believe me, wouldn't you!  Yes, of course.

So, what happens is that Astrid first researches exactly where we might find a good route out in the polder that might serve up some vanes for us.  One never knows for sure, of course, but the likelihood is there.  Her route took us from Drimmelen to Moerdijk.

 Of course, Astrid always picks a good place for lunch...which happened to be Drimmelen.
Drimmelen happens to be a harbor town in the Biesbosch National Park, 27 km from home.
That's where we ate lunch, on the Amer river...and saw the Dutch version of "beached" boats above. 

From lunch we wandered off the main roads into the polder.
What is the polder, you ask!
The polder is the low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or river, protected by dikes.
It's usually below sea level, which is why there are windmills to pump out the water.

I love the polder.  I love how the Dutch USE it for their health and pleasure...

...and sustenance.
It's out in the polder where we always see the farm machinery.
Don't you wonder what THAT one does!

We often also see something unusual, like a windmill without its sails.
There are ca. 991 windmills left in the Netherlands right now, down from 10,000 in its heyday.
This one, I suspect, doesn't count...because it can't be registered if it doesn't work.

Right about now, between Drimmelen and Moerdijk...a distance of 26 km...
we finally began finding weathervanes, our goal for the day.
Some of them, like the fishes and ram horoscope, were clearly custom-made.
In fact, the lady of that house was out in her garden and she is the Pisces part of the duo.
How fun is that!

 We stopped for a total of 13 vanes.  
Was I happy or what!

By the time we got to Moerdijk, we passed the Moerdijkbrug war monument from 1978.
The relief is from Frits van Hall, a Dutch sculptor, who made it for the first bridge in 1936.

The relief consists "of a triumphant figure of women for the north and south of the Netherlands.
She is standing on the waves, in the waves some fish are pictured, in the sky two angels, the sun and a cloud of rain.
The whole is surrounded by the twelve weapons of the respective places..."

Last but not least, we stopped at the cloister of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
that is now apparently a primary school (still trying to find a link).
ADDENDUM:  Astrid found this link in Dutch.  
It essentially was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in 1948.

All in the course of a Saturday's joyride...and just before it started to rain on our way home!


  1. Such a great excursion, Ginnie! There is so much to see and all so close to home!

    1. We used to do these excursions much more often than we do now, Marie, which is probably why I was hankering for another one. We were both filled up!

  2. Bonsoir Ginnie. Je ne connais pas ton pays mais je suis certaine que ce soit être un très beau pays car toutes les photos que je vois donnent envie d'y aller en visite. Une belle série donc que j'apprécie beaucoup.

    1. I think you would love our country, Marie, so if you are ever able to come, please know that the welcome mat is out for you!

  3. This was a fun and drive and yes I always like to 'investigate' some route and see something we did not see before. Even for me it was the first. I tried to get some more information about the cloister, no success here. The weather-vanes are wonderful and it is fun to find them and capture them. A fun afternoon, we should do this more often. Great pictures. IHVJ.

    1. You did end up finding a link, for which I thank you, Astrid! And yes, we really should do this more often again...kinda like when I first came? HA!

  4. well, thank you for the jolly tour of the countryside, much to see in older countries, isn't there? unlike north america, where everything is still so young... and the real estate prices keep them tearing down older buildings in favour of crap new buildings lol

    1. I know, I know, Elaine. THAT'S why I just adore Europe. Nothing like what I grew up with, for sure!

  5. The Dutch has certainly made the weather vanes an art form.

    1. Yes, they have, Maria. The Brits also do a great job but perhaps don't have as many?

  6. Beautifully detailed weathervanes, which you capture expertly!

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I want to start making a book on them, finally!

  7. Finally...a book! :) You are amazing how you continue to add to your collection! Love the polder and how it keeps on giving to you both!

    1. That book has been in my head for long enough, Robin, so I think it's time to get crackin' on it. Of course, by the time I get it done, I'll find another vane that I wish I could have included. HA! Thank you for your loving support, which means more than you'll ever know.