Sunday, 23 April 2017

Museum holiday

     Following Easter, I needed a little break, so Beth and I took the train from London to Ottawa to have our first holiday as a couple since... well, since we had children! Our holidays had always been family ones and lately, included campfires, canvas tents, gun powder, and reenactments.
     Although I going to eventually focus on one particular museum, we did visit three in all and has a number of wonderful meals.
At an Irish pub in Ottawa...
Shepherd's Pie with Guinness gravy for the lady,
Spicy curry chicken for her escort.
Oh, so good!

Perfectly poured

Thoroughly enjoyed

A "Beaver-Dog" at the Canadian Museum of History in Gateneau.
A hot dog wrapped in beavertail dough and deep fired.
Beth loved it!

Meanwhile, I had pulled pork poutine and we split a chocolate croissant.
At the Museum of Nature, I was enamored with the blue whale skeleton on display. I was awed by the immensity. The skeleton is over 90% complete, with replacement parts for lost dorsal fins. The whale encountered a ship or so it seems.
An amazing sight.

... from any angle.

The grey-ish vertebrae is a moulded replica of a lost piece of the skeleton.

Self-explanatory... obviously.

The outline on the floor of the size of the tail fluke which held no bones.
There were also... DINOSAURS! Little else in the world will reduce me to a Grade 3 boy than dinosaurs!
Even the shadows are impressive.

Sea-going beasties

Horns and frills for defense

One of the duck-bill clan.

A carnivore from South America - the ONLY replica on display.
All the others are the real thing, actual fossils.

Another top-of-the-line Alpha carnivore.
I can't remember all the names and so many new names have been coined, that I
can't keep up.
A massive sea-turtle
More contemporary displays were available as well... and some prehistoric mammals. 

A diorama of very small mammals of the distant past.

Brontotherium? Megatherium? Can't remember whichium.

The male and a calf

the female
Carnivorous boar or a fevered nightmare

Outside, a mastodon model is on display.

The museum building is a gem in and of itself.
Beth took this photo from our hotel room, which was literally around the corner.

The main entryway.
This was once the Parliament building when the original building was
destroyed by fire.

Looking up from the entryway.
Some iconic Canadian wildlife in diorama - beavers






Mountain goats

Prong-horn antelope

Not Canadian!
This is an actual skull of platypus put on display for comparison to other small skulls.
I'd never seen one before and I had to take a photo. 

We spent an afternoon at the Canadian Museum of History across the river in Gateneau, Quebec. It is quite a place to visit.
Parliament Hill in Ottawa from the Quebec side.

A walking trail at the Museum of History

Steps to the walking trail on the river front

A "transformation mask" from one of the First Nations on the west coast.

The museum has an incredibly impressive collection of totem poles
displayed in the main hall.

The explanation is below.

One of the most beautiful Transformation Masks there.

The colourful face which is revealed during the dance as the outer mask unfolds.

The Spirit of Haida - with many traditional figures and symbols of that people.

Another beautiful painting from the far West.

Beautiful weaving

The Haida canoe from a different perspective.

Faces... faces and symbols... and stories retold.

The Museum itself is something to see.
And wisdom to be remembered.
Why am I fascinated by Quebec's traffic lights? Two reds!

In downtown Ottawa, this stand was open and doing a brisk business.
Sad to say, we were too full to indulge.
(Really, they're a flat dough patty coated in sugar and cinnamon and deep-fried.)

Private joke. I minister to a congregation in Aylmer (Ontario)
and this STO bus is going to Aylmer (Quebec).
Even on holiday, I can't get away from Aylmer!! 
We visited the Canadian War Museum, but deserves an entry of it's own. I know more than a few of the blogs I follow do museum expositions, so I did as well. For those interested in the more military entries, wait for these words: Brock's coatee... T-34/85... squeeze-bore...


  1. Beautiful pictures! A Museum trip is a great choice. The is an aeronautical and space museum in Ottawa that has the only remaining WW1 German AEG GIV bomber. Will have to check that out myself. I must add that the painting above is by Norval Morriseau, who was from Ontario! Sounds like a great trip, even if you missed the Beaver Tails. There is also a single malt scotch bar in Bytown Market. But that has it's own inherent dangers.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. Beth took most of the photos. We wanted to go to the Aeronautical and Space Museum, but it was closed on the day we wanted to go. So we went to the Museum of Nature instead. We had our Guinness in Bytown; I'm afraid that Scotch is not a draw for me. My loss, I suppose.