Sunday, January 26, 2014

Trip within a trip . . . part 1

This, and a forthcoming entry, will basically cover the more touristy type sites we saw in Canada whilst venturing forth on our War of 1812 Tour Year Two. 

Upper Canada Village . . . this is a heritage park that represents a mid-19th century village.  Most of the buildings were moved here from the surrounding area which was flooded due to the St. Lawrence Seaway and is adjacent to the Battle of Crysler's Farm. The Upper Canada Village is one of Canada's largest living history attractions . . . it reminded me of a less pretentious Colonial Williamsburg.

A "traveling medicine show" . . . among the many historic structures there were also many very knowledgeable interpreters. The village enabled a good many of them to continue their lifelong passion and/or profession with the added benefit of educating the general populace. We learned quite a bit just by engaging in conversation with them while they were working.

In addition to touring old mills and the like, we were also able to ride on a canal boat--always a favorite of Dudeboy and Dr. J. The canal can sorta be seen just above the cattle.

Casa Loma in Toronto. A crazy-ass rich dweeb went broke building this mansion for his wife. It seems that he was really into status. Case in point, he was very desirous for a member of the royal family to visit. I found Casa Loma to be a completely disturbing obscene display of elitist vanity. The dang place had its own telephone exchange with 59 telephones. Often, the house switchboard operator handled more calls than did the whole city of Toronto! And the bronze doors that lead to the conservatory each cost $10,000. Keep in mind, the house was built between 1911 and 1914. The man deserved to go broke.

Of course one can not fault the actual structure for the misguided endeavors of the owner. Truly, Casa Loma is very beautiful. And it is massive . . . and I haven't even mentioned the separate hunting lodge and stables!  An 800 foot tunnel was constructed to reach them so the owners could avoid crossing a street . . . a street the city refused to sell him just because he found it a nuisance.

 View of downtown Toronto from Casa Loma . . .

The Royal Ontario Museum (or ROM) in Toronto. This is a must-visit museum if you ever find yourself bored in Toronto. It contains extensive collections pertaining to both cultural history and natural history--so extensive in fact, that we were unable to cover the whole museum.

However, we were able to peruse a wonderful temporary exhibit called Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit composed of ancient treasures from Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon.

But like I said, the permanent collection is amazing in itself . . . specimens from the Burgess Shale, full-size totem poles, ancient artifacts from Rome and Egypt, a gallery pertaining to Canada's First Peoples, etc.

Ground sloth coprolite. The placard stated that . . . "Nothrotheriops, the sloth that produced this coprolite, was about the size of a bear, much smaller than the giant ground sloth, Eremotherium. This coprolite shows us that Nothrotheriops was a herbivore -- you can see the small pieces of plant material preserved in it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mane says you coulda left the poop out! Good night.