The Windmill Edition

When you have a Dutch mother, images of windmills are likely going to be a prominent feature throughout your childhood … at least, that’s the reason I give myself for having a love of windmills.

Gilles learned some time ago in our travels that when I squeal ‘WINDMILL!!’ it means I’ve spotted one and want to stop – no, make that I NEED to stop IMMEDIATELY.

On our recent trip to France and Belgium, we unexpectedly encountered a few.

Near Mont St-Michel, France

The first time I saw a real windmill was back in high school when I journeyed to Holland with my mom and sister. It was postcard perfect and from that point forward my love of the gentle giants was firmly entrenched.

Hoeke Windmill, Damme Belgium
It can trace its history back to 1324, but this version was built in 1840 after its predecessor was destroyed in a storm.
Bonne-Chièremolen, Brugge Belgium.
Built in 1844

All the windmills we discovered in Belgium were while cycling. Our accommodations included 2 beat-up old bikes which we took advantage of one sunny day. We quickly understood why there were so many windmills.

Wind! Lots of it!! The gusting, sandstorm kind of wind that left our skin somewhat pink and feeling exfoliated by the end of the day. Glasses were a MUST on this day.

I’ve lost track of which windmill above is Sint-Janshuismolen and which is Koeleweimolen … “molen” meaning “mill” in Dutch. It doesn’t really matter, both are old, dating back to 1770 and 1760 respectively.

Because this is Thursday Doors, and I feel like I’ve been cheating by indulging in my windmill fascination, I have to include a few of the many non-windmill doors also found during our windmill excursion.

Brugge
Brugge
Damme
If you look closely at the image above the door, it has the body of dog and a human face. What the hell?!

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo challenge hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0. What’s not to love about doors?! … and windmills.

91 comments

    • I’ve heard about a number of these windmill hotels in various places. I think it would be very cool to stay in one … but then again, I just want to go to Portugal. I’ve never been and it’s on my list!!

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  1. Hi Joanne, You have given me a new appreciation for windmills. I recall seeing them in the Netherlands, although I have never seen a windmill up close. I did notice how Iceland and NZ had more modern windmills, also likely because of all of the wind:). The close up photo of the Brugge door is very interesting. Weird about the dog and human face above the other door. Likely a story there. A fascinating post, Joanne! Thanks for sharing:)

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    • I don’t recall seeing any windmills in Iceland! Now I feel like I missed something very important.

      As an interesting aside – it’s so windy in Newfoundland, I was surprised we couldn’t find any wind farms.
      We were told that NFLD has so much power with the massive hydro dams in Labrador and the offshore oil and gas, there has been no need to generate even more power.

      I’ve always associated windmills as a Dutch phenomenon but over the years I’ve had to reassess that thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That last door is absolutely phenomenal!
    My grandmother was Dutch, but not in the same way your mother was πŸ˜‰ I have her skin, most of us do. VanWinkle rhymes with wrinkle, but we seem to crinkle instead. Anyway, I love windmills, but I’m pretty sure it’s just from an aesthetic standpoint, like lighthouses — don’t see as many as I see other types of structures. I love wind like that, too, so I look forward to ruddy cheeks and sore smiles! πŸ˜€
    Great share!

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    • I’ve seen so many different variations on the spelling of that city. It was hard to know which exactly was the most correct. I decided it was safe to go with the spelling used by the city itself πŸ™‚

      What did surprise me though was that Brugge was Dutch and for whatever reason, I was expecting more French. With a Belgian grandfather you’d think I’d know better.

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      • Brugge is still in the Flemish part:) Can’t remember where exactly the original border was between Holland and France, but it’s probably where the language changes, and people started speaking French.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the green door!

    Further to your comment on my post about the Hamilton Beach Trail, I didn’t know either, until we went for lunch with friends and took a walk after. There are some great restaurants overlooking the lake as well.

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  4. I can see why you love windmills! I’ll have to come back tomorrow to see the bottoms of all the photos. My internet speed is a bit slower tonight than it is first thing in the morning!

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  5. I love both the windmill photos and the door photos. Windmills seem exotic to me, but oh so fun to see. I get why you need to stop when you see one. And doors, of course, are just plain cool. Great post.

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  6. I really enjoyed the windmills today, Joanne. The blades are quite different from each other, and the structures are beautiful. I especially liked hearing that there was so much wind while you were there, and how appropriate the windmill was. Great doors too.

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  7. Windmills and lighthouses both appeal equally, especially unusual ones! Love your photos particularly the first and second. Beauties! You certainly found some unusual ones with a lot of character. Aside from Holland we saw some cool windmills in the South of Spain a few years back.

    Peta

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  8. I must admit, windmills get my heart beating faster than doors. I’m told I have Dutch blood in me, and perhaps that’s the proof. Your photos of some oldies and most definitely goodies are breathtaking. Are they still in use (I’m supposing yes) for power? I even go ga ga over the new contemporary wind turbines that I find when driving across (America’s) country in large open fields. They’re breathtaking too!

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  9. Oh, LOVELY windmills! And LOVELY doors that are not windmill doors, too! I do love doors with character, and you’ve provided plenty of those here, attached and unattached to wind blades.

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  10. For me, it is windmills and lighthouses that make me squeal with glee. I have lots of lighthouses now but need more windmills!!! I thank you for indulging in them for Thursday’s doors because you have satisfied my craving …for now #moreplease. PS. I started my circumnavigation in Amsterdam and would have loved to have ‘crossed my line’ there but The Captain had other ideas so I will cross in Panama instead.

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  11. The human face on the dog body is creepy. Perhaps the door leads to a dark place we just don’t want to visit.
    Let me know how that turns out for you lol 😜

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    • Yeaaaah – I had no desire to explore inside which was just as well since the building was closed. Rumour has it that the vacant building was going to be repurposed into a shopping mall. There were many of these inset statues in the building exterior wall. I suspect the creepy dog-person will live on to puzzle other visitors in the future 😬

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  12. What a Saturday treat. I knew there was a reason besides being busy that I hadn’t read your Thursday Doors post. I thank you for the good memories and the smiles this evoked from not only your wonderful photos but also the memories from our Belgium visit. Brugge has DOORS. I admired every windmill we saw on our trip, but you captured some that I have never seen so thank you for sharing. I think you have the makings of a beautiful coffee table book. πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks for thinking my photos were worthy of making a coffee table book. I did consider making a book of this trip and the most recent one I just returned from in Newfoundland … but I just don’t know what I’d stop doing in order to find the time. It’s both good news and bad news πŸ˜‰

      And yes, Brugges definitely had doors!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Joanne,
    Windmills and doors all in one post – no need to apologize!
    We saw LOTS of “windmills” in Canada while driving the 401 and 403 across from Windsor to Niagra…do these “new-fangled” turbines count? I think they are kind of cool, and love the clean energy they produce. Some folks aren’t so happy about them, though.

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    • I’m with you, Nancy. I l know that many people hate the modern turbines, but I love them. I would much rather see a wind farm than a solar farm … or the massive hydro corridors.

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  14. I love windmills but have no Heritage that can explain my obsession. Love how you have captured so many different varieties. As to the human dog combo decorations perhaps somebody went beyond the β€˜man’s best friend’ idea. πŸ™‚

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  15. Beautiful daughters and beautiful windmills. I love these old fashion type windmills. I can’t stand the new fangled ones they have at Palm Springs. They are bird killers, sadly.

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  16. haha! So I read your last comment and cracked up. WTH indeed! We have wind turbines here….they don’t have near the charm of windmills.I guess your skin looked great after its exfoliation?

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    • This aging skin will take all the ‘benefits’ it can get πŸ˜‰

      While it’s true that the turbines lack the style of its predecessor, I still love turbines too. I know many people hate them, but in my opinion, they aren’t worse the mighty hydro transmission lines we see here.

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  17. Such charismatic buildings they are!

    Kan je een beetje Nederlands spreken, Joanne?
    Mijn moedertaal is Afrikaans, afstammeling van het Nederlands, dus ik zou het moeten begrijpen als je me een gecodeerd bericht in het Nederlands stuurt. En miskien sal jy dan ook Afrikaans verstaan? πŸ˜‰

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    • I wish I did speak some Dutch but sadly no. With an Italian father and a Dutch mother, the only common language was English.

      I knew that there is a long history of Dutch settlers in South Africa. I guess it makes a lot of sense that the Dutch language would play a large part of the S.A. heritage.

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    • You have me baffled because I don’t have a clue.

      I do know that a couple of these windmills are still operational, but I don’t remember which ones, nor did I see any of them running. That would have been pretty cool to see.

      I doubt there would be any fabric on the panels but I’m equally baffled.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I recall learning about windmills in grade-school – and then in later years, when I came across a reference to a windmill in an Ontario setting, I had to fight the urge to think, Well, that’s wrong. Only Holland has windmills. Funny the early teaching that sticks with you, eh?

    I like the ornamentation on the chain link fence – the decoration makes an otherwise functional, ugly barrier look attractive and welcome.

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  19. That first windmill near Mont St Michel was a special one for us many years ago. We had a tour guide who only spoke French and I spoke schoolgirl French and could only understand one in every 10 words. Our three young daughters enjoyed themselves despite not understanding a word!! Thanks for these amazing windmill photos, I love them too!

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