15 March 2008

March Break Report, iii

The kids were sick and we did nothing for Wednesday and Thursday. Yesterday everyone was fine, so we went to the Royal Ontario Museum and took advantage of half price Friday nights. I am still not used to the external design of the new section of the ROM- it looks to my eye like an iceberg drifted into a Victorian Neo-Classical building- but inside it is very nice. We took in as much as we could, but still didn't see a tenth of the exhibits. I think I will get the Family Membership and start making regular visits.

Among the highlights was a small medieval exhibit near the main entrance. Among other things they had illuminated pages from medieval manuscripts, including a page from a choirbook. I began softly chanting one of the hymns there, until I was about halfway through, and realized there was a large group of people standing in line, and looking at me rather curiously.

The real highlight for the kids was the dionosaur exhibit. I find these things fascinating. It wasn't just dinosaurs, though, they also had pterasaurs and icthyosaurs. I don't know if it's just me, but even the fish back then look mean. They also had some ice age skeletons, including a species whose latin name translates as "subway deer," so named because its remains were found while digging out the underground passages for the Toronto subway.

They also had several sections set aside for children including several interactive areas where the children can pet the fur of dead animals, take rubbings of animal tracks and skeletons and the like. Younger also excavated her own dinosaur.

They also had a section upstairs devoted to european culture, showing artifacts from the medieval period up to modern. The medieval artifacts were mainly religous, as may well be imagined. They had beautiful statues and some wonderful stained glass. Even better, they had a few statues that were just plain butt ugly. I say that because I often hear people say how good everything was done back then, how wonderful it all was, and it's good to have a reminder that not all of them were design geniuses, and not everything made was an earthly copy of heavenly perfection. "Old" is not always a synonym for "great".

We also looked at a few suits of armour, or as I like to think of them, "dragon food in a tin."

We didn't get to the Egyptian, Roman or Greek exhibits, but as I said, I think we may make some regular visits until we can take it all in.

This has been a good March Break.

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