Moving from Amsterdam into the South Holland area of the Netherlands is a major shift in both physical and metaphorical gears. Still buzzing from the fun of Amsterdam, this frolic was much slower in pace and scale. It was powered by the charming allure of the Dutch windmills scattered about. Many of these are several centuries old and still running strong to keep these low areas as dry as my throat was on this cool morning. Only one surviving windmill (Kyck over den Dyck) loomed above Dordrecht which emerged as a sleepy yet picturesque town on this cloudy May Sunday. Evidently, this windmill was used to produce malt for local breweries. A valid enough reason in my book to convince me to stay for a spell.
A little wandering on foot found us in a park that harkened back to every fairy tale I’ve ever read complete with roaming gentle beasts. The towering trees above were beautiful Weeping Willows and Japanese Maples that completed the personal fable and had me on the look out for pixies and toadstools.
Sprinkle in the 15th century buildings that tower over cobblestone streets and you’ve got yourself a real life wonderland. Now add the serene sound of church bells harkening down through Voorstraat, the main shopping street in town lined with a parade of living topiaries, and you’re soaking in this delightful niche of Holland. Sadly for me and my traveling companion, the businesses and people of Dordrecht were seemingly observing a day of rest, but we made time for one final dutch treat before heading off for the village of Zons in western Germany: the pannenkoek, a sort of pancake-crepe hybrid filled with any number of sweet or savory fillings. Yum and done.