In the middle of Amsterdam is a huge and absolutely magnificent park, also known as Vondelpark. With a huge road around it full of joggers and cyclists getting some inner city exercise, lakes, clearings, and amazing (probably ridiculously expensive) houses on the waters edge, it was a beautiful spot to walk around.
One of the first things I noticed on arrival in Amsterdam was how much greenery there is everywhere. It seemed every spare space was full of grass and trees, and even further out from the city centre there were man made canals along leafy shaded pathways. It was quite a striking difference from every other city I’ve been to.
The parks of Amsterdam are, in my opinion, one of the most underrated parts of the city. We were staying just near Oosterpark and walked through it every day to get to the city centre, and it was really beautiful! I really enjoyed how extra special effort had been made, with statues all over this relatively small park in the middle of town.
The Viking Museum, or more accurately, the Moesgaard Museum, is surrounded by one of the most amazing park’s I have ever seen. Largely because of all of the untouched Viking burial grounds, viking huts and other historical treasures spread throughout. Not to mention the glorious sandy beach at the end.
It was really nice to stroll through the 100ha park, see some great artefacts, Nordic farm animals, beautiful streams, an iron-age house, lush forests, swampy patches, stonehenge-type rock formations, old style milling houses and the favourite: one named ‘Cult House‘ – where religious sacrifices and rituals took place. As we walked past it, a bunch of people were having a BBQ there. Vegans might argue they were being highly culturally appropriate.
The park area was huge, and I didn’t get through all of it despite a different route from the musuem to the beach to the one we took back again. I definitely look forward to returning next time we get a sunny day in Aarhus!
Sibelius Park is named after Finish Composer Johan Sibelius. I was particularly interested by this spot as the minute I read about it I was flooded with memories of my Year 11 music class. There were only 5 of us in the class, and all of us had been learning musical instruments since we were very young, so the school curriculum was a bit of a joke. The teacher knew it too. He’d swan in halfway through class with a Latte permanently attached to his hand, have a chat, make sure we were having fun and otherwise leave us to our own devices. It was part gossip session, part having a little jam and playing the odd song and part Facebooking. Actually back then I think it was Bebo, but close enough. Suited us just fine and a month before the Dean needed internal exam results from him, our teacher he gave us our final deadline warning and we whipped out a year’s worth of internal assignments. Some of them were composing assignments and we used a computer program called Sibelius (and a frustratingly slow version at that), so the walk there was full of fond memories music ‘classes’ – i.e. scheduled social time with my friends and a bit of music on the side!
Sibelius park is famous for a large sculpture that sings magnificently in the wind, and it was a reasonable (though lovely) walk from the city centre. Unfortunately, the one time I would have appreciated some wind there wasn’t any, but it was still a nice spot to see. There was also a tonne of snow to frolic around in too!