Monday, August 8, 2011

Royal Alberta Museum

As you know, since we went to the Legislative building yesterday, Edmonton is the capital of Alberta.  Surprisingly, it isn’t the largest city in Alberta; Calgary holds that distinction.  However, Edmonton has the distinction of being the northernmost city in North America to have a population of over a million.  It’s a big city and, as such, has various performing arts venues, museums, restaurants, and rush hour traffic.  Much of Edmonton’s population lives close to the city center so there are apartments, condos, and single family houses all the way to the downtown business district.

We went back downtown this morning to visit the Royal Alberta Museum.  This is not an art museum although there are several works of art, primarily sculptures, inside and on the grounds of the museum.  The Royal Alberta Museum is a natural history and cultural heritage museum.  It consists of two floors with two exhibit halls on each floor separated by a large lounge area on the second floor and a gift shop, theater, and information desk on the first floor.

We started our tour in the Wild Alberta exhibit hall which has impressive displays of various natural regions with stuffed wildlife found in that environment.  From there we went to the Aboriginal Culture exhibit.  We’ve seen a lot of First Nation and Native American heritage exhibits and this may be the best one we’ve ever seen.  Our last stop was in the Natural History gallery which had a small room dedicated to prehistoric animals, another area featuring quarts, crystals, and gemstones, and the Bug Room with live insects from around the world.  Thanks, but no thanks.  As it is, I’m probably going to have nightmares about those tropical cockroaches I got a glimpse of accidentally.

One exhibit hall is reserved for traveling “feature” exhibits.  The current feature exhibit is creatures of the abyss.  We skipped that, as well.

Nowhere in any of our guidebooks or internet research was there any mention of this being a “children’s” museum.  Many of the exhibits and displays had interactive parts which was very nice for children.  And children definitely use the museum--there must have been 200 of them there today.  Thankfully, their favorite place seemed to be the Bug Room and I didn’t want to go in there.

Edmonton Skyline

Today, we didn’t want to miss out on any of the museum features just because we didn’t walk around outside.  After touring inside we strolled around the grounds.  Directly across the driveway from the museum entrance is the Government House.  This “house” was the residence of the Territorial Governor back in the days before Alberta became a province.  Today, it is used for meetings and special events.  It’s open for tours on Sundays.   Alberta has a sister city in Korea and there is a beautiful Korean Pavilion in one corner of the lawn.  Also at the edge of the lawn is a nice viewpoint of the downtown skyline.

Government House
The admission to the Royal Alberta Museum was $11 each; not so bad for a nice museum.  We felt it was worth the price and are glad we went.

Tomorrow, we have a service appointment for the motor home.  I don’t remember if I mentioned a problem with our air conditioner or not.  Anyway, way back last winter when we were still in Florida, we discovered a problem with the control panel for the air conditioner and furnace.  The furnace worked fine and the air conditioner worked also, but just not on auto setting.  Since we didn’t feel like we’d need the AC this summer and, if we did, we could always turn it on and off manually, we didn’t take the time to have is repaired then.

Korean Pavilion
Well, a couple weeks ago, the furnace fan decided it wasn’t going to come on.  It is operated by the same control panel.  So, tomorrow, hopefully, they’ll be able to figure out what the problem is and, hopefully, it won’t take too much time or too much money to get if fixed.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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