Everybody is always impressed with windmill De Otter. I mean, De Otter was opened in 1631. This is the last of a series of sawmills that existed in the Marktkanaal area before the modern neighbourhood got built. Just like everybody, I am always impressed with the structure. No matter how often I cycle past it, it is a joyful sight every time. First of all, because it is an unexpected one. It feels like some mad time-traveller scientist managed to transplant a typical 17th-century scenario to the bustle of a 21st-century city. It doesn’t make any sense. And the surprise element is what usually makes things interesting.
Second thing: there’s a bench. And the existence of a place to sit right across the windmill allows for many pleasurable activities. Think packing a to-go lunch and having it while staring at the reflection of the gigantic grinder in the canal waters – yes, there’s a canal in between the bench and the Mister De Otter – so you will also be catching sight of some boat sailing by. Also, meditating in the fresh air is possible, or reading your book, or getting the writing of your postcards done. Oh and, of course, selfying yourself like it’s 1631. There will be a super instagrammable red bridge behind you, in case you want the back-to-the-future feel to your photos. Just beware of the bikes.