Uitwaaien: A Walk in the Wind
One of my favorite days in the Netherlands was when my Dutch friend took me on an Uitwaaien adventure. Uitwaaien literally means to walk in the wind':
We went to a windy beach - where the ships enter the Netherlands on the way to Amsterdam from the North Sea!
This was extra exciting to me because I was reading a book about the history of Amsterdam, which includes a big part about the Dutch fleet traveling around the world trading spices and many other exotic goods. This is how it happened - the big ships coming back from long journeys back to Amsterdam!
The walk along the pier was absolutely refreshing - the embodiment of the word Uitwaaien.
There were some people fishing (or letting their motorcycle do the job for them!):
We then went to see the LOCKS!!!! I didn't know what this was, so it was cool to learn. When the ships enter the canals from the North Sea, it's different water. So it's a system to transition the ships from the sea water to the canal water and to regulate the water level at the same time:
There were some ships waiting to be let in in both the small ship and big ship spots!
When the ships enter the locks area, they have to wait until the water is pumped out to the correct level (and do document checks) until being let into the canals system leading to Amsterdam! We got to see the locks open!
Uitwaaien is supposed to help you clear your head and the outdoors is supposed to refresh you. It definitely did that for me! What a wonderful day :)