Monday, October 22, 2007

Amsterdam 2: Windmills, Canals, and Dikes

I managed to get all my stuff out of storage today, and I do mean ALL of it. I'm not sure how on earth I'm going to fit it all in this place. I may be able to move some of it to Moish and Dena's machsan (the storage locker that came with their rental.) My situation is compounded since Moshe never really moved out, so most of my stuff will remain stuck in boxes until he gets the closets and cupboards cleared out. Also, my Vonage phone is still not up and running. I'm still waiting for Bezek Benleumi to change my account to the continuous connection type so I can then arrange with Vonage to get the thing working. Meanwhile I'm sitting here constantly checking my online voicemail to see if anyone is calling, then I quickly call them back using my international long-distance calling card.

Meanwhile, a few more pictures from our tour of Amsterdam...

While wind power could be used for anything from milling flour to textile work, this particular windmill was used to pump water to a higher elevation. This was one fact that impressed me about the Netherlands, and in a way made it similar to Israel; it's a man-made country. Where Israel is constantly fighting the desert, the Netherlands is at war with water. Since most of the country is below sea level, water is constantly leaking in and has to be pumped out by a system of pump stations, dikes, and canals. Without constant work, the country would become a useless marsh, just as Israel would revert to desert without constant maintenance.

The windmill, from the back. It's blades have been secured, so it doesn't actually spin or anything. This windmill is a historic landmark, built way back in 1636.

There's actually someone living in it who takes care of the maintenance. And what's that?
Is he actually growing tulips? Now all he needs to do is come out in wooden clogs and he'd be a walking stereotype.

Front view of the windmill.

Dikes and canals. In the back ground is the heart of the city of Amsterdam, which is our next stop...


LoAnglo said...

Was the tour guide an "Anglo"--meaning did he speak English, or was it in dutch???

Evan said...

Well, the tour was in English, but the guy sure wasn't an Anglo. It was tough to understand half the stuff he was saying. It would have been funny if I weren't so jet lagged.