I guess we’re windmill junkies. On our first trip to Ireland in 2002 we stayed for a week in Holywood, County Down with our cousins Henry and Geraldine. One day they took us to Ballycopeland on the Ards peninsula to see where our ancestors farmed. Our common ancestor James Muckle came over from Scotland in the 1700s to farm on a spot close to the famous Ballycopeland windmill which we toured on that day. So here we are ten years later and it is our last day in the Netherlands and we hadn’t toured a windmill yet. So after lunch on our walk around Leiden we decided to walk up the path from our restaurant and visit De Valk (The Falcon) Molen (Windmill) Museum.
De Valk is a cereal mill like the one in Ballycopeland. It was built in 1743 and was acquired by the Van Rhijn family in the 1860s (Rembrandt was a Van Rhijn from Leiden). The last miller Willem Van Rhijn died in 1966 and the windmill became a museum. It is still used occasionally to produce whole wheat flour which is sometimes available in the gift shop.
After our tour we walked to the Beestenmarkt — a square in the shape of a triangle that used to be a cattle market — and then wandered down the Oude Vest for awhile.
Tomorrow: What’s Wrong with Amsterdam and What’s Right?