Monday, May 20, 2019

British Museum London




The British Museum in London is a favorite place for many. The lines can be long during holidays and when special exhibits are featured. It's also a favorite place for school children on a mission to complete their lessons. However, I have always enjoyed my visits and found myself unable to see it all in one day.

The collections are organised in a few ways as you will see on the floor plan available on the website. Because there is so much to see, it is best to plan a visit. The exhibits are organised by parts of the world and by time period. Examples include The Americas, Africa, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, and Europe. There are also themed collections such as Enlightenment and Living and Dying.

Exhibits from the ancient world are incredible.







Jehu pays tribute





















Rosetta Stone



The Sutton Hoo Treasure is an amazing find.






Location: Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Transportation: Several underground stations are nearby e.g., Russell Square and Holborn. Many busses stop nearby.

Security: There is a bag search and large luggage is not permitted- storage is available at nearby stations like Euston and Kings Cross

Food: There is food service in the Museum

Admission: Free general admission. Some exhibitions must be booked in advance-see the website

Website: https://www.britishmuseum.org/














Churchill War Rooms London England

Winston Churchill & Tommy Gun*

The Churchill War Rooms are open most days and well worth a visit if you are interested in WWII history or British history. The website recommends allowing 90 minutes to visit this part of the Imperial War Museum

The entrance is opposite the beautiful James Park off Horse Guards Road. We enter a lower level of the War Office Building.


A guard reminds us of the incredible importance of secrecy and safety to the conduct of the war.




Offices include period furniture, wall maps, and depict activities related to the conduct of WWII.














Posters and story boards also give a sense of the war years.
















A bookstore with books, and various gifts are available.








































Location: Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London SW1A 2AQ

Nearby Underground: St Jame's Park, Westminster.

Admission: There is a fee structure with some discounts. See the website

Food: A cafĂ© serves traditional British meals.

Website: https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/churchill-war-rooms










Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Imperial War Museum London England

Imperial War Museum London / Sutton 16 April 2016
Britain has been a part of the world's wars for centuries. The Imperial War Museum in London is worth a visit to understand the life of soldiers as well as the lives of those at home. Because the wars involved many world powers, there's much to learn about other nations as well. Of course, the machinery of war is also on display in the air and on the ground. Well worth a visit.

The presence of RAF planes hanging from the ceiling illustrate the size of the museum.


There are tanks and other large war machines and vehicles on display.









A number of story boards and posters explain or illustrate various exhibits.


From the simulated trench exhibit during the WWI centennial.


Exhibits include allied nations













Hours: The museum is open 10 - 6 daily except for 24, 25, 26 December

Admission: Free

Refreshments: A Cafe is available.

Toilets: They were well maintained when I visited.

Exhibits: These vary so check the website for details

Storage: Only small lockers are available.

Accessibility: See the website

Locations: This post is about the London site. There are other locations--see the website

London Address: Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ

Website: https://www.iwm.org.uk/









Monday, May 13, 2019

Visiting Chicago



Chicago, Illinois is a beautiful city with many attractions unavailable nearby. And some are unique in the United States and even the world. I've visited a few over the years. In this post, I provide links to my blogs about various Chicago sites.



On arrival at the airport (ORD), I purcahsed a CTA multiday pass. The Blue Line took me to a stop near my hotel on Michigan Avenue. From there I was able to walk to the Museum Campus and Willis Tower and get a Metra train down to the Museum of Science and Industry. There are beautiful parks nearby, plenty of restaurants, and supermarkets for those on a budget.



I recommend checking out the City Pass, which I picked up at the Field Museum when I visted there in May 2019. At that time, I paid $108 to see five attractions. The cost included additional items like exhibits, shows, or films.

You might sample some local foods like Chicago Dogs and Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza.














Here are some places I have visited in or near Chicago.

Morton Arboretum

Willis Tower (Formerly called the Sears Tower)

Museum of Science and Industry- near Hyde Park

Museum Campus near Lake Michigan

The whole area is a nice place to walk, run, ride a bike, and enjoy a picnic.

  Adler Planaterium

 Field Museum (Think Dinosaurs)
   
  Shedd Aquarium


Here's a link to my Chicago Playlist of videos on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxYjYcgwalAX9ChGni2XlxarHOWPfWoY9


Transportation note

Metra travel 2017
When I visited, the CTA pass worked for CTA trains and busses but did NOT include travel on the Metra trains. Check out their websites for details.







Adler Planetaruim


There are a number of exhibits dealing with space science, space travel, the solar system, telescopes and more.

I saw two movies, which are child friendly. They are impressive on the large ceiling screen viewed from reclining chairs. The childish numor can be annoying or entertaining, depending on your taste or tolerance.

I'd allow 2-3 hours for a basic interest level visit.

Location: The Adler Planetarium is located on the Museum Campus by Lake Michigan.

Admission: It's expensive for those of us from out-of-state. I bought a City Pass to save on costs at five attractions. Some exhibits or events cost extra. Check the website for details.

Crowds: I went after lunch on a Saturday. It was not crowded.

Hours: 9:00 - 4:00 - Open daily --check the website for the latest details.

Food: There are places to purchase lunches and snacks. I was able to bring in my own food.

Friendliness: All the staff I spoke to were friendly.

Maps: A map is available to visitors.

Accessibility: See the website for details.

Parking: Available and expensive.

Website:



Shedd Aquarium Chicago Illinois



I almost skipped the Shedd Aquarium because I have seen several in varioius cities around the world, including a very good one at Wonders of the Wildlife in Springfield, Missouri. However, I am glad I went.

The Shedd Aquarium is worth seeing for the range of sealife inlcuded in the large exhibits.

Seals are entertaining. I was only a few feet away from this one. See video below.


The Beluga Whale exhibit is quite impressive. You can see them from the surface and below the water level.






The penguin exhibit is another favorite.



As you might expect, there are many informative, unusual, and colorful exhibits throughout the aquarium.

The glass was clean and the lighting did not interfere with photography at most displays. This is a valuable lesson other aquarium designers should consider.







My City Pass included a film. I chose the 4-D film about sharks- great fun.

Check out the video clip from the Dolphin Show.



Here's a video clip from the seal show.




Location: The Shedd Aquarium is located on the Museum Campus by Lake Michigan.

Admission: It's expensive for those of us from out-of-state. I bought a City Pass to save on costs at five attractions. Some exhibits or events cost extra. Check the website for details.

Crowds: It did not take long after opening for lots of groups of children to arrive. The aquarium is  large enough that it did not feel crowded.

Hours: Open daily --check the website for the latest.

Food: There are places to purchase lunches and snacks. I was able to bring in my own food.

Friendliness: All the staff I spoke to were friendly.

Maps: A map is available to visitors.

Accessibility: See the website for details.

Websitehttps://www.sheddaquarium.org/


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Willis Tower aka Sears Tower Chicago Illinois




The views from the Willis Tower (formerly called the Sears Tower) in Chicago are amazing. I went a day after rainy days in May and the lines to stand on the glass ledge were long. But judging by the wait area, the lines could be much longer in peak season.

The ledge is a worthwhile experience, but it was limited to 60 seconds when I visited.




Some folks thought I was brave on seeing my picture. I guess if you are troubled by heights or worried about human engineering errors, it could be scary.

The tower has 110-story and stands at 1,450. It is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere.


You walk around the top and see different views before reaching the section where the glass ledges are located. Most of the glass was clean but you may have to get close with your camera lens to get a clear picture. My iphone worked better than my expensive 4K camera.




I thought it compared favorably with the Shard in London, England



Location: 233 S Whacker Dr. Chicago IL 60606 

Admission: It's expensive. I bought a City Pass to save on costs at five attractions. Check the website for details.

Crowds: The line was only moderately long when I visited. It seemed to move quickly. Having my advanced ticket helped a little.

Hours: Open days and evenings but hours change with time of year so see the website.

Food:  There are places to purchase refreshments.

Friendliness: All the staff I spoke to were friendly.

Accessibility: See the website for details.

Websitehttps://www.willistower.com/  And the Skydeck Ledge Experience



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