Most people know that I live in The Netherlands, and I am asked many times when family and friends come over to visit can we look at some Windmills.
So, my walk is based on walking from Zwolle to the small city of Ommen and on the way I will pass the town of Dalfsen and little village Vilsteren to the small City of Ommen. My challenge today is to capture all of the 7 windmills on the way.
I started nice and early and it was dry so was happy , the weather for today was light rain later in the morning and heavy rain in the afternoon. I had made sure I had plenty of food and drink to keep me going but also my rain gear and warm fleece etc .
It was still dark and was headed to the first Windmill around 3kms away from my house, it didn’t take me long to find it and take a photo.
This was my first windmill of the day and it was called De Passiebloem was built in 1776 and was used for making oil from seeds.
So off to the next stop travelling past the football stadium of PEC Zwolle and onwards towards the Dijk along the river Vecht which flows all the way to Dalfsen and the next windmill. This route was really nice along the Vecht and the sun was coming up and the sheep and cows were waking and following me in their fields along the way. It was great because I had the path all to myself along the Dijk so no problem with the usual mass of bikes, it was heaven to be able to take photos and also watch the birds on the small lakes along the way.
I could see Dalfsen in the distance and crossed the road and walked beside the train track, this took me passed the statue of stones on the side which is built like a mushroom . I headed towards the bridge as the windmill is in the centre of the town.
Dalfsen is a little town on the river Vecht where boats can stop to visit and where visitors can drop into. Also, there are some great restaurants, yes, they have two Michelin restaurants , the first one called Sugerieje and the other one called Herberg de Witte Gans. Also has a church in the centre called the Grote Kerk which then has nice shops and pubs around it.
I found my second windmill and took my photos. This windmill was called De Westermolen and was built in 1818 and used for making flour. All done and I was off to my next Windmill in the small village of Vilsteren.
I crossed the bridge again and the light rain started but really didn’t need a jacket at the moment due to my Brubeck shirt was doing its job keeping me dry by regulating my body heat. The route took me towards Castle Rectheren, as I walked past it I was amazed of its beauty and the gardens looked stunning with a small lake too, next time I told myself it would be worth a visit .
I walked on and while looking around I saw a sign on the side informing me about a Belgium RAF pilot who crash and died in the ww2, his name was Adjutant pilot (Flight Sergeant RAF) Léon van de Werve de Vorselaer (°14 October 1919 Antwerp), pilot in 349 Squadron, who was hit by anti-aircraft fire during an armed reconnaissance over the Gorinchem region on 3rd Feb 1945, and crashed with his Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX PT549 near Hessum , 2 km east of Dalfsen.
The Belgian formation bombarded a German road convoy. During a second dive, van de Werve hit the treetops or was knocked down by the Flak. He was buried in Dalfsen General Cemetery but repatriated to Evere in 1950.
I carried along the route along the bike path looking and enjoying the beautiful houses and woods on each side dreaming and wishing I had time to explore. I had arrived in Vilstteren and my guide to find the next windmill was to take the road left with the church on the right-side. Church found which was called St. Willibrordus with its pointed tower and clock was looking outstanding.
I turned left down the road and saw windmill number three called De Vilsterse built in 1858 and 1901 and is a flour mill, photo done and started my journey to the city of Ommen but remembered one of my good friends wanted to meet me at the first windmill in Ommen, so I gave him a quick phone call and told him its now 9oclock I have 5kms to go till I meet you, will be there at 09.45am don’t be late .
Off I went the light rain was still falling but to be honest was happy everything was going well and I was over the 20kms and had only 10 to go. I enjoyed again the route walking along with lots of woods on each side and noticed the people parking up with their dogs going mad waiting for their early walk.
I came out of the woods and noticed in the distance the river Vecht on the left side which I had followed mostly all the way from Zwolle was hitting the banks of the city Ommen .
Ommen is a busy place and is visited by many tourists for the river but also for shopping and its old streets. There are many campsites and has woods surrounding the area. The woods of Laarbos and Ommerbos are well known for its beauty but also its nature. It is a nature reserve also was also in 2013 elected Walking Municipality of the year. It also has many events such as the Ommer Bissingh an annual market with a long tradition.
Yes, I was saying to myself, I had to find my fourth windmill which was on the right-side before the bridge . I saw it standing out and looking at my watch was pleased it was nearly 09.45am and could see my good friend Jan walking towards me in the distance. We greeted each other and I had a quick refill of food and drink and took my photo of the windmill number four called De Konijnbelt ,built in 1806 and also was used for making flour. This was a very Beautiful old mill.
So off we went to windmill number five which was 2kms away, we turn right past the railway station and crossed the road passing all the nice restaurant’s which I was thinking were going to be busy later if the rain stops. Past the stunning houses and we both saw our target Mill number five standing out and looking awesome this one was called De Basthenermolen and was built in 1862 and rebuilt in 1995. And yes, used as another flour mill, photos done and it was onwards to the last two mills.
We were lucky the rain had stopped and we made our way back towards the bridge and crossed over and saw mill number six on the right side next to the river Vecht . Standing tall and shining in the sunshine now. This windmill was called Den Oord built in 1821 and rebuilt in 1961 and has been used as a sawmill and now for making flour.
Yes, I was thinking last mill and was done, Jan and I made our way to the mill number seven of the day which was 5mins away and in the centre. We turned a few corners and there it was the last one of the morning.
Windmill number Seven was called Bokkers Molle started in 1729/1866-1895 was used as a flourmill. Photos done and it was time for a well-earned drink as Jan said, so off we went to find a place for a nice hot drink and cake .
All in all, this was a great walk just over 30kms with the weather being sunny with a sprinkling of light rain. I had enjoyed the route and all the things I had seen on the way. It’s always strange, I had been many times over the years to these places but have never noticed the windmills or castle and all the other things which I had seen this morning , just shows how busy we are in our lives and how we carry on and miss so many stunning and beautiful things.
What I have learned over the years with my walking, is that there is so much beauty missed in modern life we all need to take time and slow down , it’s good for your wellbeing, stress and mind .
I thanked Jan for meeting me and took the train back to Zwolle well pleased with myself, I was feeling good. I dreamed about my hot bath which was getting closer, however there was one small problem, I had forgotten to capture the first windmill in Zwolle, it was dark so had to go back to take a photo , oh well never mind .