Natural History Museum of Venice – Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia

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Today was a bit exciting for me as Adell and I wandered the streets of Venice looking for the Museo di Storia Naturale di Venezia. (Location) I had the address (S. Croce 1730 – 30135 VENEZIA – tel. (+39) 0412750206 ) and had a general idea where to find it based on Google maps but, once we got walking through the streets and over canal bridges and down vias that dead-ended at the Grand Canal, it became obvious that our tourist map was less than adequate. Once we reached a spot where I thought the museum should be, I stopped and asked a nearby gondolier for directions and he pointed along the canal to a building only a few doors away. What luck! We had found the museum!
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Moths at Large, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario

Moths at Large, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario

Tonight was the vernissage for the new exhibit “Moths at Large/Papillons de Nuit: Plus Grande Que Nature” at the Canadian Museum of Nature and I had the pleasure of being there to see this new exhibit of high resolution images of moths seeming to come alive off the very paper that they were printed on.
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Museum of Civilization – Gatineau, Quebec

Museum of Civilization – Gatineau, Quebec

A great place to visit but I certainly don’t get there as often as I would like to. This day in June, seemed like a good time as any to pack up my camera gear and head across the river for another visit to this museum. A number of years ago, I met a tour guide of Haidan ancestry at the UBC Museum of Anthropology who said that she would like to see pictures of the Museum of Civilization’s Grand Hall. She was particularly interested in the Haidan house because much of the exhibit came from a location of her youth and her grandmother’s village.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization

The grand hall is indeed grand. Because the totem poles are so tall and the buildings are so wide it is a bit tough to photograph the whole area.

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Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada

Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada

Visited the museum and then over to a restaurant to eat, drink and be merry with a dozen or so of the Ottawa Flickr community.  Had to feed the Dinosaur exhibit first though :-).

Yup! Definitely tastes like "human"

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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Our tour bus for the day - 17 adults, a guide and a driver - THE FAMILY

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Today, I was a tourist going on a tour of Santo Domingo. (location) Our tour bus would be our mobile home-away-from-home from 6AM to 8PM. – 17 adults, a guide and a driver – THE FAMILY! Look Ma – No Washroom – No problem FAMILY – we’ll just stop at the next tourist shop!!! How convenient. There’s one now —– A comfortable ride but a long ride in each direction. Up before dawn and arriving back at the resort after dark.

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Day 0 – European Inspiration – The British Museum

Day 0 – European Inspiration – The British Museum

There are three things I like about this museum.

  1. Its Free*
  2. It has interesting exhibits from around the world
  3. They allow Photography

Here is a link to their website –> http://www.britishmuseum.org/

*There is a special exhibit section which is not free. I think you need a museum membership or pay a small fee, but unless your hard set on seeing whatever the special exhibit is, there is so much other stuff in the museum to keep you busy.

If you have hoarding tendencies and think you’re bad, you should visit this museum to get an idea of what real hoarding is. They have so much in this museum that it would be hard to cover it in one day if one were to read everything in detail.  If you’re me with a camera and quick feet, it only takes 2 hours and 15 minutes and 350 photos :-).

Let’s Start with the Egyptian Section, by far the largest section in terms of collected statues, mummies, and tomb items. The primary hall is full of large stone statues such as one one shown below, some reaching all the way up ~30 feet into the air.

Once you go into the side halls, you can see various mummified remains behind glass enclosures, I’d suggest bringing a small cloth to wipe away all the finger prints; especially at child level. Overall, I wasn’t as impressed with the mummies as they seem to lack a lot of the golden head dresses, etc. that one would normally think of when talking about mummies (aka King Tut).

So I continued on and there were more statues to be found… a lot more.

They also had a section of mechanical clocks and compasses, which I though was really neat.

The reality is that this is a huge museum, with many things to see from many different parts of the world which used to be part of the British empire. It’s worth a visit if you are visiting London.

Day 0 – European Inspiration – Sherlock Holmes Museum

Day 0 – European Inspiration – Sherlock Holmes Museum

As any fan of the books or movies knows, 221b Baker Street is The Place to go! It’s just south of Regents Park and right around the corner from Madame Tussauds (London). There is also a statue of the Great Detective not too far off as well.

And if that wasn’t enough for you to deduce the location of the museum (as some people may point out there really wasn’t a 221b baker street in his time), I’m sure that the green sign (shown above), and the era appropriate police man standing outside, will surely point you on your way (and through the right door to purchase a ticket).

The Museum does have a webpage with information about Hours of Operation and Admission Fees, but  the museum website does not have many pictures. There is, however, a youtube video that someone has made. I’ve embedded below for your enjoyment.

Each floor of Sherlock’s home is filled with memorabilia from his many adventures. The main floor has the Parlour room where one can sit down and enjoy the ambiance.

There is further memorabilia in the various rooms, along with placards explaining what some of it is, although any fan of the books could tell you if they have a keen sense of detail, not unlike Holmes himself.

Also upstairs are rooms full of wax reincarnations of various characters in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series.

Overall: In my opinion, it’s one of the pricier choices around London considering a “bang for buck” enjoyment, but if you’re a Sherlock Holmes Fan, it’s worth the trip and the admission charge. Unfortunately, you may not meet the Great Detective himself as he and Watson take turns greeting the many visitors, but if Holmes is out, you get to wear his hat and play with his pipe.


Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Paris, France

Paris – getting there was half the fun or at least it should have been 🙁 . Unfortunately, the day of our flight, there was a switch to daylight saving time zone or some such occurrence and the North American airlines forgot to tell the European Airlines. The result, flight schedules didn’t match and the wild scramble at the airports to re-book flights, shuffle passengers onto other airlines, re-book connecting flights many miles away by standing in airport queues, etc., just to get across the ocean and then redo the whole process once on the ground in Europe, began in earnest. I realized fairly quickly what had happened with our flight arrangements and rushed to start the re-booking process to make sure that we had a connecting flight booked when we eventually got across the Atlantic. The easy part was estimating that we would be one hour later in arriving. The more difficult part was booking without knowing the schedules or what complications we might encounter on the other side of the Atlantic. I was able to get connecting flights booked so ended up in Paris only an hour or two later than planned. I can assume that others were not so lucky.

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Oil Springs, Ontario

Oil Springs, Ontario

I managed to get into The Pinery Provincial Park last night and got my tent up without getting too wet but the next morning, everything was dripping wet. After packing up the still wet tent, I decided to try to go for a hike along one of the nature trails. It wasn’t long before I decided that walking along a soggy nature trail on a cold, damp drizzly day wouldn’t be good for me or for the camera so hoped in the car and went looking for something else to visit. Wasn’t long before I arrived at the Oil Springs Museum site. Interesting to see the spot where Canada’s oil industry began less about 150 years ago. Definitely a sobering thought. Only about 150 years ago and horses and buggies were the thing to drive. WOW!

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