Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Outing At The Museum

Everybody had the day off yesterday, so in celebration of the new van, we headed off to our fair capital city, Ottawa, for the day.  My eldest and I are both history buffs, so the destination for the day was the Museum of Civilization located just over the Quebec border in Hull, in sight of our Parliament Buildings.

Here you see the view of the fountain out front of the museum, and rising majestically in the background are our Canadian Parliamentary buildings.

This is the front entrance to the museum.  We sat on a park bench with this view and the last one, and ate our picnic lunch, which youngest packed early in the morning.  It was a great spot for people watching - lots of runners and business people, and of course the usual assortment of motleys.

Our first session inside was the history of mail.  This was a very fascinating overview of everything Canada Post and more.  Did you know that Canada only made five new postage stamps in 1961?  And yes, I do believe I have three of them in my collection.  Unfortunately I did not pull the camera out once during this part of the visit.

The great Arctic Expedition of 1914 -1917 was next on our list.  This was one of my personal favourite diplays in the entire museum.  It chronicled the events of this trip, its hardships, victories, day to day documentation and artifacts collected by this brave team of explorers.  Unfortunately, once again I was not camera-ready in this exhibit.
One of the actual sleighs used to carry supplies on the Arctic Expedition.

Next was the visit to Japan.  It was also very well done.  Below is a photo of two Japanese cars and three bikes.  There were many other fine examples of Japanese innovation and craftsmanship.  The robotic baby seal was especially appealing.  It responded to human voice and touch in much the same way a real animal might.

Next stop - the IMAX theater, always a highlight of the visit to the Museum of Civilization.  The 3D feature this time round was a riveting documentary on the rescue of orphaned baby elephants and orangutangs by two very dedicated ladies.

The third floor is home to a reproduction of a Canadian village depicting various cultures and events that combined to form the rich tapestry that is modern Canadian society.

This ship is indicative of the ship building and fishing industries prevalent on both the east and west coasts of Canada.

I found this next scene particularly poignant.  I thought of my great great great grandfather Charles Croswell who died of ship's fever on the Atlantic crossing.  Here you see the doctor attending to a sick patient in the hold of the ship.  Note all the cargo and cramped conditions.

Another tableau of early Canadian settlers.

This is a poor capturing of a most impressive modern fresco on the ceiling of the museum.

The entire first floor was dedicated to the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.  It was very thorough display of artifacts, but I think I was starting to get a little bit of sensory overload for the day.  Hence you see only one rather poor picture of the totem poles.  Note to self, concentrate on getting a good shot of one totem pole, rather than capturing a whole blurry, nondescript panarama.

And here we have the good man himself, Sir John A. MacDonald, first prime minister of Canada, welcoming visitors to the Face To Face exhibit on the fourth floor.  Unfortunately, yours truly had run out of time and steam, as the missus pointed out later, I missed a whole wing on this floor.  I prefer to think I was saving something for the next time.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

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