.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Denmark’s unusual Maritime Museum, Helsingor

00 Maritime Museum

It’s a little hard to see Denmark’s Maritime Museum until you almost fall into it because it’s located entirely below ground level, having been built into an old dry dock.  Because nearby Kronberg Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, approval for construction of the museum mandated that it in no way obstruct views of the castle, — hence this novel approach to its unusual architecture (which has won numerous awards over the past few years).  The Museum opened in 2013, its collection having previously been housed within Kronberg Castle.
You descend into the museum, pay a lofty admission (typical it seems of everything in Scandanavia, although admission is included with the cost-effective Copenhagen card), then you …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

A Visit to the Maritime and Prison Museum, Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia Marfitime Museum

The Maritime and Prison Museum was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a prison (by prisoners).  It consists of 5 two-story wings built onto a central hub.  The prison became the most southerly situated jail in the world and was where Buenos Aires sent prisoners it didn’t want to house locally — sort of like the English sending prisoners to Australia.
The prison had 380 cells which housed up to 800 inmates ranging from political prisoners to murderers.  In some ways the prison was reformative, prisoners receiving a basic education and pay for work performed (which they could take with them when — or if — they ever left).  The prison ran various shops that served the needs of …

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Central USA / Missouri / North America

“Pic of the Week”, July 17, 2020: Titanic Museum, Branson, Missouri

00a Titanic

I was surprised by many things during a recent visit to Branson.  I was surprised how much I liked the town and its residents.  And I was also surprised that my favorite attraction (of the ones we visited) would be the Titanic Museum.
At first blush the Museum seemed a little too corny.  A museum about a ship sunken in the Atlantic located in a mid-western American city?  And the museum is shaped like the ship itself, complete with the iceberg that sank it?  Really?
Fortunately I overcame my original instincts to avoid the place and am very glad I bought those entry tickets, as this was a fascinating 3 hour visit.  The museum covers two floors and gives …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

The Niagara Apothecary, Niagara-on-the-Lake

00 The Niagara Apothecary

The Niagara Apothecary is a pharmacy museum you can visit when in the small historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.  The building actually was a active pharmacy from 1820 to 1964.  It was restored to its appearance circa 1869, and was opened as a Museum in 1971.

The interior is quite luxurious, especially for a small town pharmacy.  There are black walnut and butternut fixtures, and three crystal chandeliers.  Most of the shelves are filled with bottles and jars, all original and imported from Britain around 1830.  A pharmacist in the 19th century made most of the medications consumed by his customers, unlike in the 21st century when pharmacists only rarely make custom medications.

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Admission is free and it’s a lot of fun to …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

A Visit to the Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum, Milan

Leonardo Da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum

The da Vinci Science Museum is spread over 40,000 m2 and is in three separate buildings, one of which was a 16th century monastery.  There are more than 15,000 pieces in the museum’s collection, so trying to see everything is like taking everything at the Louvre — an impossibility in a week, much less in a single day.

It’s hard for anyone with a love of science not to be drawn to a museum with the great Leonardo da Vinci’s name in it.  I wish I could gush about what a wonderful museum this was, but that would mostly be untrue.  There were a few aspects to the museum that were quite imaginative and interesting, but overall it was a rambling unfocused collection …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Whitehorse

02 Yukon Beringia Center (1)

Canada’s Yukon territory is well know for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor recreation.  It’s a very sparsely populated region (one human for every 2 moose), but there are a few interesting indoor sites to visit including this one, which I think is the best in the territory.  

Why was Beringia not covered with ice?  Because while it was cold, it was too dry.  The coastal mountains of Alaska so sheltered the interior of Alaska and the Yukon from moisture that there was not enough precipitation here to create a glacier.  Because of thick ice sheets on the continents, the ocean levels were lowered and a land bridge appeared which allowed migration of people and animals between Asia and North …

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.All Trips / Europe / France

A Visit to Paris’ Rodin Museum

19 01 Paris 05-2013. Rodin Museum (64)

Many consider Auguste Rodin to be the greatest sculpture since the Renaissance.  It’s a point that’s hard to argue with as Rodin was a highly imaginative and successful artist, still well known a century after his death.

Probably the best place to see his work and learn more about his life is in Paris’ Rodin Museum.  Most pieces in the Museum’s collection are located within the Hôtel Biron, a classic 18th-century mansion, very close to Les Invalides (where Napoleon’s tomb is located).  To a large extent the Rodin Museum is park-like, with seven beautifully landscaped acres dotted with sculptures by Rodin.  It’s a lovely relaxing place to be, within the heart of the city but removed from the busy …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

A Visit to the Al Ain Palace Museum

02 Al Ain Palace Museum (6)

The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (a.k.a. the Al Ain Palace Museum), is located in the oasis city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.  The museum is located in the home/family palace of former U.A.E. President, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004).  The palace was built in 1937 and Sheikh Zayed lived here until 1966.  As you would expect, local building materials were used including adobe, clay, stones and palm trees.  It features rooms for the royal family, official meeting chambers, and quarters for visitors. 

The palace was converted to a museum in 1998, opening to the public in 2001.  The museum does a good job of creating an atmosphere as existed here when the Sheikh called it home.

Al Ain is …

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