Before I visit Europe, in my mind, Netherlands is a distant country at the other end of the continent which is famous of tulip and windmill. I never imagine that one day I will have a chance to visit this wonder land like Alice visiting the world that exists in the imagination. Netherlands also means ‘lower country’ due to to its low elevation. Only about half of its land is above sea level. Canal and wetland spread over the whole country and this forms an unique idyllic landscape that you can not find in other places.
游历欧洲之前，在我的脑海里，荷兰是一个以郁金香和风车闻名，位于欧亚大陆的另一端异常遥远的国家。 我从未想过居然有一天我会像爱丽丝一样踏足这片神奇的土地，这片曾经只存在于想象中的世界。 由于海拔过低，荷兰字面意思就是“低地国家”。 它只有大约一半的土地高于海平面。 运河和湿地遍布全国，形成了异域独特的田园风光。
In September 2020, after I finished the trip in Brussels, I took the train towards Netherlands directly. My first stop is Dordrecht. It is a small city near Rotterdam. Actually urbanization in Netherlands has reached a high extent so there is not too much difference between city and rural area. The most common scene in the city of Netherlands is the interleaving of canals flowing through many small bridges.
2020年9月，结束布鲁塞尔之旅后，我坐火车直抵荷兰。 第一站便是多德雷赫特。 这是鹿特丹附近的一个小城市。 实际上荷兰的城市化程度很高，因此城市和农村之间没有太大的区别。 荷兰城市最常见的景观就是运河交错，小桥流水。
I got off the train at the station of Dordrecht in this cool morning as it is the nearest place towards my dreamed destination Kinderdijk. This is my first time of visiting Netherlands so I was curious of every thing here. I didn’t stay a long time in Dordrecht but I still tried record what I had seen in my camera. There are not many high rise buildings in this city and most of the mansions and resident house look quite modern and new.
这个凉爽的早晨我在多德雷赫特站下车，这是离我梦中的目的地小孩堤防最近的城市。 这也是我人生第一次探寻荷兰，故此对这里的一草一木都很好奇。我在多德雷赫特没未逗留很久，但仍然在相机中记下我的所见所闻。 这座城市的高层建筑匮乏，大部分的宅邸和民居感官上都崭新现代。
Next in a short while, I took the direct bus from Dordrecht to Kinderdijk and began this fantastic trip. The name Kinderdijk in Dutch stands for “Children dike”. The windmills of Kinderdijk are one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites. Tourists could rent boats to visit this village. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 since it represents the Dutch outstanding technology of handling water. From far away, their silhouettes against the sun light are really amazing, like the giants waving lance in the novel of Don Quixote.
顷刻之间我便乘坐从多德雷赫特到小孩堤防的直达巴士开启这段神奇之旅。 Kinderdijk 这个名字在荷兰语中意思就是“小孩堤坝”。小孩堤防的风车是荷兰最著名的旅游景点。 游客可以租船游览整个村庄。它代表了荷兰人民高超的水处理技术，并于 1997 年被列为联合国教科文组织世界遗产。 远远望去，在阳光照映下的风车身影真是令人陶醉，他们就像堂吉诃德小说中挥舞长矛的巨人一般。
Kinderdijk is a fascinating village with rural landscape of a total of nineteen 18th-century windmills. These ‘giants’ dancing in the wind are always the icon of Netherlands. These windmills are built to pump excess water into a reservoir from the polder and pump water from the reservoir into river when water level is low. Polder is a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea. Its level will be below the surrounding water level in the long run due to the ground subsidence. As a result, it is a priority for Dutch people to get rid of water from the polder. Even today, this complex system composed of windmills, dykes, reservoirs, pumping stations are still used.
小孩堤防是一个迷人的村庄，共有 19 座 18 世纪建造的风车。这些风中舞动的巨人一直是荷兰的标志。风车的建造是为了将多余的水从圩田泵入水库，并在水位低时将水从水库引入河流。圩田是一片从海中开垦的低洼土地。 由于地面沉降，长期以来它的水位将低于周围。因此荷兰当地人的首要任务就是清除圩田中的积水。时至今日，这个由风车、堤坝、水库、泵站组成的一体系统仍在启用。
Among the 19 windmills, two of them are built as museum and open for visit. This Nederwaard Museum in the center of this photo was a wooden windmill built in 1738. If you observe closely, you could find the word ‘Anno 1738’ on the white plaque of the mill. You’ll feel like a time-traveler when you enter through the ancient small wooden gate and stare at those remaining black-and-white photos and items used by real miller families. In the creak of the antiquated wheel axis, everything here breathes the atmosphere of ages past.
19座风车中，有两座被建成博物馆，对外开放参观。 这张照片中央的这座内德瓦德博物馆是一座建于 1738 年的木制风车。如果仔细观察，可以在磨坊的白色牌匾上发现“Anno 1738”字样（纪元1738）。从历尽沧桑的木制小门进入博物馆，凝视那些当年生活在此的家庭遗留下来的黑白照片和物品时，人们就会感觉自己如同一个穿越者一般。 在陈旧的轮轴的咯吱声中，这里的一切都弥漫着古老的历史气息。
Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the south side of the river Lek. There is a visiting center at the entrance of the village. I walked along the canal from the entrance towards south. There is no need to buy any tickets if visitors just walk on the footpath at the both banks of the canal. 19 windmills are distributed evenly southwards. The distance between each windmill is quite large so I could just take picture with only one of them. Now I was standing at one small pier. It’s like a platform protruding from the path and is suitable for taking a perfect picture.
小孩堤防位于Lek 河南侧的 Alblasserwaard 圩田。村口便是游客中心。 我从入口沿着运河一路向南。如果游客只是在运河两岸的人行便道上行走，无需购买任何门票。19座风车向南均匀分布。每个风车之间跨距甚远，无奈只能和它们的一员同框合影。此刻我站在一个小码头上。它就像一个从小径伸出的平台，适合拍摄一幅完美的照片。
On the way, I met a group of local people riding bicycles. Unlike other countries, cycling is a very common mode of transport in the Netherlands. Dutch have built a vast network of cycle paths even in the villages around the country. In Kinderdijk, there are some small bridges connecting both banks. They are convenient for the bicycle riders and me as well to cross the canal.
途中偶遇了一群骑自行车的当地人。与其他国家不同，自行车在荷兰是一种非常普遍的交通方式。 荷兰人甚至在全国各地的村庄都建立了庞大的自行车道网络。 在小孩堤防，有一些小桥连接两岸方便骑手和步行的我穿越运河。
The wide footpath is paved by bitumen flatly. It is well designed for both cyclists and pedestrians. On the road sides, reeds are planted and grow in exuberance. Here is a world away from the hubbub of city life and everything is so refreshing. The weather in Netherlands is not so good compared to the sunny Mediterranean coast. It has a typically moderate marine climate so in September, it is usually rainy everyday. I was fortune enough to see blue sky over this land on the day of my trip.
宽阔的人行道由平坦的沥青铺成。它专为自行车骑手和行人而设计。路边种满了枝繁叶茂的芦苇。此处是一个远离城市喧嚣的世界，眼前一切都是令人耳目一新。不过与阳光明媚的地中海沿岸相比，荷兰的天气实在不敢恭维。它是典型的温带海洋气候，在 9 月整月，通常都是阴雨连绵。我十分庆幸在旅行当天能够目睹这片土地上的蓝天白云。
Dutch culture is closely interwoven with the water. It is easy to find small rivers or canals or ponds in the country. The local people like to walk at the riverside or shuttle back and forth in the canals on small boat. This kind of landscape is extremely close to the southeast of China at the side of Yangtze river. At the start of Autumn, numerous dead reed leaves fall all over the sandbar, and the shallow cold water flows and hits the bank silently.
Netherlands will give people an impression of a country with green, flat landscapes and grazing cows. Of course when I stepped on this land, I would know that such a porotype impression is 100% true. In the south of Kinderdijk, there is a large area of meadow where hundreds of cows live in. Cows do not like soggy meadows so it’s important to exclude the extra water and keep the meadow dry. The cows in Netherlands has a more free and better life as well. Based on statistic, 71 percent of Dutch dairy cows were allowed to graze in the meadow. They are fed by grass of high quality in this land. Holstein Friesians is one famous breed of dairy cattle that originates in Netherlands.
荷兰给人的第一印象一般是一个绿意盎然、风吹草低见牛羊的国家。当我真正踏上这片土地时，我就发现这样的田园风光绝对是真实的。 在小孩堤防的南部，有一大片草地, 数百头奶牛在这里生活繁衍。奶牛不喜欢潮湿的草地，排除多余的水并保持草地干燥就显得格外重要。当然荷兰的奶牛也拥有更自由、更美好的生活。据统计，71% 的荷兰奶牛都是放牧而生，它们以这片土地上的优质草料为食。Holstein Friesians就 是一种起源于荷兰著名的奶牛品种。
I definitely believe Kinderdijk is an heaven for animals. Many pieces of lands are reclaimed from the sea and lined out for raising livestock. One horse family was browsing on the meadow silently beside the sluiceway. Their territory is separated by the fences so that no one will disrupt their peaceful life. I like the idyllic landscape here. Every creatures could live well in harmony.
我绝对相信小孩堤防就是是动物的天堂。 这里许多土地从海中开垦出来，用于饲养牲畜。 照片里马儿一家在水闸旁的草地上静静地觅食。他们的领地被栅栏隔开，没有人会干扰他们平静的生活。我尤其倾心这里的田园风光，各种生物都可以和谐相处。
I gave a close-up shot to one of the horses browsing grass. Horse is one of my favorite animals because my Chinese zodiac belongs to horse. I believe that horses will bring luck to me but I did not have chance to observe closely at them before. It’s possible that this horse is the breed of The Dutch Warmblood. It is an athletic breed of competition horse with better stamina and courage.
I took around 2 hours to finish my trip in the country side of Kinderdijk. I seemed to gain endless energy from this magic land. Followingly, I walked around their residence area in Alblasserdam without any rest. The rural areas of Netherlands including their houses and streets really impressed me. These small canals which surfaces are interspersed with water lily pads extend to every corner of the neighborhoods. Small mansions with span-new walls and windows are lined up neatly along both banks.
大约 2 个小时在小孩堤防乡村的旅行戛然而止。而我似乎从这片神奇的土地上获得了无尽的能量。 随后无需任何休息，我又在位于Alblasserdam的居住区周围四处漫步。荷兰的乡村包括他们的房屋和街道均给我留下了深刻的印象。这些水面散布着睡莲的小运河蜿蜒延伸到社区的每个角落。两岸一字排开的小宅邸，它们的墙壁和窗户都如此焕然一新。
The urban landscaping in the community is fantastic. There are always many trees, meadows, and water ponds. I love the cozy environment here. Under the umbrage of willows, I could tranquilly observe the ripples on the water, the frolics of swans, and overhear the whispers of the wind.
In the afternoon, I bade farewell to the windmills in Kinderdijk and headed towards my next destination Rotterdam. The public transport system in Netherlands is really convenient. Boat or called water bus is one main mode of transportation is well. In the water bus station Alblasserdam, travelers could take the waterbus No.20 towards Rotterdam Erasmusbrug. In Netherlands, you just need to buy one OV chipcard then you can go anywhere with just one card. It covers all the public transport like metro, bus, ferry, water bus and even train.
午后我告别了小孩堤防的风车，前往下一个目的地鹿特丹。 荷兰的公共交通系统绝对方便。 船或称为水上巴士是也一种主要的交通方式。 在水上巴士站 Alblasserdam，旅客可以乘坐 20 号水上巴士前往鹿特丹 Erasmusbrug站。 在荷兰游客只需购买一张 OV 芯片卡就可以去任何地方。它涵盖了所有公共交通工具，如地铁、公共汽车、渡轮、水上巴士甚至火车。
Lastly I would like to highlight that Kinderdijk is a really fantastic and worthy place to see the beautiful landscape of windmills but it is not the only one. Zaanse Schans is also one recommended place to see the similar scenery. As for which one is better, I could not make comments easily. It depends on your personal experience when you explore them by yourselves in reality. After that definitely like Alice you will find a new world that only existed in your dream before.
最后寄语，小孩堤防是一个非常值得旅游的地方，那里有美不胜收的风车风景，但它不是唯一参观风车的地方。桑斯安斯风车村也是观赏类似风景的推荐地点之一。 至于哪个更好，我不能妄下结论。 也许当你真正自己去探索它们时，才会有一些自己的观点。不过肯定的是，探寻之后你会像爱丽丝一样发现一个以前只存在于你梦中的新世界。