266. House of Bols

In Amsterdam we were met with some pretty disappointing weather, so indoor activities were bumped higher up the priority list. Thanks to the wonderful iPhone app that is Tripadvisor Cityguides, we were able to download a guide to all the attractions, with map locations and reviews, and even a compass feature that points you in the direction of an attraction/restaurant/bar, all without needing to be connected to the internet. With that, our scavenger hunt began.

The House of Bols turned out to be quite the hidden gem, and probably something we wouldn’t have stumbled across if it weren’t for the bad weather, and the Tripadvisor app! Bols, creater of the Dutch spirit Genever, was an unfamiliar name to me, but once I arrived and saw the bottles, a realised I had seen them before, probably many times on the back walls of bars.

I had always assumed they were just another version of cheap and cheerful flavoured liqueurs used for cocktails. As it turns out, Genever is an apparently famous type of spirit, with a price tag to match, and careful effort has been made to create a range of different flavours.

The tour of the House of Bols goes through the history of its creation, gives an opportunity to smell all of the flavours, watch panoramic films and most importantly, try a few cocktails and sample shots.

The thing I liked the most about it, being a marketing geek, was how well designed the displays were. Given I was paying for a tourist attraction for a drink I previously thought was cheap, and came out knowing all about the product and realising it was actually quite nice and far more upmarket, I’d say it was a pretty succesful marketing campaign on their part. Now they just need someone to make the bottles less tacky.

133. Moesgaard Parklands

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!