This is a very nice historic village, the main village of what used to be Shermereiland (Schermer island). situated between two lakes, De Schermer and De Beemster. Before it was pumped dry this area used to thrive on whaling. What I learned today is that there is a difference between a polder and a droogmakerij. Given that this region was marshland below sea level, a polder is created when this land is pumped dry. A droogmakerij on the other hand is a lake that is pumped dry, and in this case the land that was thus created by pumping De Schermer and De Beemster, was lower than the surrounding land. All designed and supervised by Leeghwater.

I pick up some maps and information at the local tourist information and plan to run the walking route that circles the former Schermer eiland, renamed as Eilands polder. Running in this land is not the most exciting, but it is green and because very few people are walking, the trails over the dykes are quite nice. When I get FIVE windmills within my Field of View, I start to warm up to Leeghwater’s land, also helped by warmth of the sun.


The Dutch are very proud of the geometric design of this land and this is also mentioned as outstanding universal value in the UNESCO description. From an engineering perspective this system of windmills and canals is impressive, however, in the back of my mind I think the Mesoamerican cities served as prototypes or at least inspiration. The Dutch however seem to have appropriated the geometric STIJL as part of their character.

What may be more innovative about this project is how it was funded. Wealthy merchants from Amsterdam invested in this project and after completion each of them received a piece of agricultural lands based on the proportion of their investment, based on proto- crowd funding.

When I get to Schermerhorn I really want some food, but there is no grocery store, no other choice than to keep running. It is not that far, less than 10, but when I get to De Rijp I’m thinking food and fail to watch the uneven bricks in the road, I trip and make a slider. This is not even downhill! Where such thing usually happen. Oh well, story of my life, you fall, get back up, check your wounds, and keep running…. The bike ride back was sunny and dry, with fluffy clouds in the sky.