165 days away
20 km / 12 miles since last post
59,234 km / 36,806 miles total
Today we headed out to the Museum of Science and Industry. Chaz very kindly offered us a lift there, as it is a bit further afield than the journey we were normally taking to downtown.
We got there in the early afternoon. It is a huge museum, and there is a vast amount to see inside. When purchasing our tickets the normal entrance fee was fairly reasonable. However, we wanted to see the Body Worlds exhibition which they currently had going on, plus it was also an extra cost for the tour inside the German U-boat, which we had been recommended to do by Chaz. In total, it was $70 for the two of us, so not cheap, but it ended up being totally worthwhile.
We had to book time slots for the Body Worlds and U-boat tours. We headed to the Body Worlds first.
We really enjoyed the Body Worlds exhibition. It was created by physician and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, and it presents the body throughout the human life cycle and across the arc of aging. It contains more than 200 plastinates (real human specimens preserved through Dr. von Hagens' invention of plastination) and it reveals the human body in all its stages across youth, growth, maturity and advanced age, and in all its conditions, from health to distress to disease. It is really impressive and worth catching, as it has exhibits all over the world.
After the Body Worlds tour it was time for our U-boat tour. This U-boat is U-505, a German Type IXC U-boat built for service in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. She was captured on 4 June 1944 by a United States Navy Task Group. Codebooks and other secret materials from U-505 assisted Allied code breaking operations. You can look at the outside of the U-boat for free but it was an extra cost to have the tour inside. The tour was quite short, but the guide was very informative there was a bit of a recreation of events using lights and sound inside. It was great seeing the inside of the U-boat and worth the extra money. Just as you walk out of the U-boat exhibit you get to watch a film of how they managed to fit the U-boat inside the museum - quite a feat.
We had some time after the tours to explore the rest of the museum, though there is still a lot we didn't have time for. Of particular interest was the massive model railway, the giant aircrafts hanging from the ceiling, the recreated tornado and the section on space travel. The space travel section included the chance to land a space shuttle - which we both managed to crash.
Once the museum closed at 5:30pm we had to try and make our way back to Chaz's house. We would be ok once back in Downtown as we could get the train line straight back to Chaz's, but to get to that train line we had to first find another train station here. However, while we were looking around outside the museum we spotted a bus parked right next to us which was heading for Downtown. Also, because all the public transport is integrated we could use the same travel card on the bus as on the train. Not only that, but we would only have to pay for one trip to use this bus and then the train to Chaz's - because if you use your card on the train within 2 hours of using it on the bus, you don't get charged twice. How great is that? There was also a guy in the queue for the bus who we got chatting to and he reassured us that we were getting on the right bus and where we needed to get off etc.
We were a bit worried about getting back to Chaz's place as Stu had said he'd forgotten to pick up a spare pair of keys before we left. So if Chaz and Ellen were out when we got back there was no way of us getting in. We took the risk, but when we got there it appeared they had gone out. Standing there wondering what to do (as we didn't have a working mobile phone on us either) Stu suddenly produced the keys from his pocket, not realising that he'd had them all along! At least we could get in the warm.
Shortly, Ellen and then Chaz both returned and we decided to head out to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. Chaz and Ellen hadn't been before so it was a new place for all of us.
The food was really nice, but the portion sizes were ridiculous. I ordered Gnocchi, which is filling enough in itself, but each main course comes with a soup and a salad to start! Not to mention the loaf of bread and mini pizza that also comes out to share, complimentary. Also, when my plate of Gnocchi arrived it was huge! I could barely eat half of it and it felt like such a waste, but there was no way I could eat the whole thing. I think we all left some food. I suppose that should have meant we didn't have room for dessert... but somehow we managed to fit some in.