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Philadelphia Phillies Baseball - keeping my 100% win record

Watching baseball and eating cheesesteaks with the Phillie Phanatics

sunny 31 °C
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Having spent the morning sightseeing, we boarded the Philadelphia Subway to get back to our car and drive on to the Citizen Park Baseball Stadium, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, to watch their game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The fare system on the Philadelphia Subway was the most old fashioned I had seen on my travels; we needed coin tokens (costing $2 each and purchased from kiosks) to get through the platform turnstiles at the start of each journey. At the Delaware River the subway climbed out of its tunnel and crossed the river on tracks running along the side of the Ben Franklin Bridge from where we got a terrific view of the WWII USS New Jersey Battleship moored along the Camden Waterfront on the opposite side of the river.

A train on the Philadelphia Subway

A train on the Philadelphia Subway


The subway comes out into daylight and climbs onto the Ben Franklin Bridge to cross the Delaware River

The subway comes out into daylight and climbs onto the Ben Franklin Bridge to cross the Delaware River


The USS New Jersey Battleship from a subway train crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge

The USS New Jersey Battleship from a subway train crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge

After we parked the streets were remarkably quiet as no traffic is allowed on the roads immediately north of the stadium. As we walked we passed rows of parked vehicles with people sat on folding chairs sharing beers and barbeques at pre-game tailgate parties; although something of an American institution tailgating wasn't something I had encountered previously at the baseball games I had seen in Los Angeles and Denver.

Tailgate parties on the way to the Baseball Stadium

Tailgate parties on the way to the Baseball Stadium


Citizen Bank Park - home of the Philadelphia Phillies - with an advertising plane flying overhead

Citizen Bank Park - home of the Philadelphia Phillies - with an advertising plane flying overhead

As with all major baseball grounds Citizen Park Baseball Stadium had several statutes of Philadelphia Phillies baseball stars from the past. The first we saw was of pitcher Steve Carlton just outside the Left Field Gate entrance. However the one that matters most to the local fans is of Richie Ashburn on Ashburn Alley, a raised walkway behind the center field. Richie Ashburn played for the Phillies 1948-1959 and then was broadcaster for them until his death in 1997.

For me however Ashburn Alley will always be remembered as the place where I finally tried the much hyped local delicacy known as a Philadelphia Cheesesteak, a sandwich made from thinly-sliced pieces of steak and melted cheese in a long roll. I enjoyed my cheesesteak, it reminded me of good kebab from a takeaway back home.

Steve Carlton's statue outside the Left Field Gate Entrance... with Phillie Phanatic making his first appearance on the screen behind him!

Steve Carlton's statue outside the Left Field Gate Entrance... with Phillie Phanatic making his first appearance on the screen behind him!


Richie Ashburn's statue on Ashburn Alley

Richie Ashburn's statue on Ashburn Alley


Looking across the baseball field from Ashburn Alley

Looking across the baseball field from Ashburn Alley


Mike Schmidt's statue outside the Third Base Gate Entrance

Mike Schmidt's statue outside the Third Base Gate Entrance

The Philadelphia Phillies have a large, furry, green mascot called Phillie Phanatic who seems to get everywhere; we'd already seen on the large screen above the entrance on the way in. His job seems to be race around the stadium on an all-terrain vehicle taunting the opposition as much as possible and playing pranks on them! Phillie Phanatic certainly seems to be the most active of the baseball mascots I have seen.

Phillie Phanatic, the club mascot, racing around the field while the players warm up

Phillie Phanatic, the club mascot, racing around the field while the players warm up


Phillie Phanatic has a go at being catcher

Phillie Phanatic has a go at being catcher

The game got underway and the Philadelphia Phillies soon took a 5 run lead in their 1st innings including a 3 run homer which prompted the 'ringing' (i.e. illuminating and swinging) of the 52 feet (16 metre) high replica of the Liberty Bell that stands 102 feet (31 metres) above street level beyond the right outfield.

A batter for the Phillies prepares to hit the ball

A batter for the Phillies prepares to hit the ball

The sea of red shirted Phillies fans celebrate a 'triple' (batter reaching 3rd base)

The sea of red shirted Phillies fans celebrate a 'triple' (batter reaching 3rd base)


The Stadium Liberty Bell that 'rings' after every Phillies home run or win

The Stadium Liberty Bell that 'rings' after every Phillies home run or win

Action shot as the Brewers pitch at the Phillies

Action shot as the Brewers pitch at the Phillies

By the end of the 2nd innings Philadelphia were 7-0 ahead which remained the score until the 8th and 9th innings when Milwaukee managed to score 5 runs. It wasn't enough and Philadelphia eventually won 7-5, maintaining my 100% record of watching my cousins' baseball teams win; perhaps I am a lucky charm?

Cliff Lee pitching for the Phillies

Cliff Lee pitching for the Phillies


More beer arrives for thirsty fans watching the game

More beer arrives for thirsty fans watching the game


Raking the infield after the 6th innings

Raking the infield after the 6th innings


Phillie Phanatic tries to 'hex' the opposing pitcher as John Mayberry prepares to hit the ball for Philadelphia

Phillie Phanatic tries to 'hex' the opposing pitcher as John Mayberry prepares to hit the ball for Philadelphia

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in USA Tagged trains food sport philadelphia videos us_east_coast external_links Comments (0)

Washington Open Top Bus Tour

A tour around a nation's monuments, museums and national cemetery

semi-overcast 28 °C
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I wanted to see the US Capitol and White House while I was on the US East Coast so shortly before the end of my round the world trip I booked myself into a hotel for a few days in Washington and got myself a train ticket there on AMTRAK.

Arriving on my own in a strange city I started my stay with an open top bus tour to get my bearings; an approach I had also used earlier in my trip in Zurich and Sydney. The tour began from Washington's Union Station and soon after drove past the front of the US Capitol a short distance away for which I had a visit booked in a couple of days.

Washington's Union Railway Station

Washington's Union Railway Station


The US Capitol Building at the east end of the National Mall

The US Capitol Building at the east end of the National Mall

Washington is laid out with the Capitol Building atop Capitol Hill as its focal point and the 1.9 mile (3 kilometre) long open space of the National Mall stretching westwards to the needle like Washington Monument a little over half way along its length and then beyond to the Lincoln Memorial close to the Potomac River.

The view from the Capitol down the National Mall towards the Washington Monument

The view from the Capitol down the National Mall towards the Washington Monument

I'd heard of the Smithsonian Institute but never appreciated before that it was a collective term for the national museums of the USA. The 19 museums that make up the nucleus of the Institute line each side of top end of the National Mall, making it the largest museum campus in the world. I later managed to visit two of its most popular museums while I was in Washington - the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of Natural History.

The red-turreted Smithsonian Castle on Independence Avenue on the south side of the National Mall - headquarters of the Smithsonian Institute

The red-turreted Smithsonian Castle on Independence Avenue on the south side of the National Mall - headquarters of the Smithsonian Institute


The American Indian Museum on Independence Avenue

The American Indian Museum on Independence Avenue


The US Holocaust Memorial Museum on 14th Street

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum on 14th Street

About half way down the National Mall (where the White House faces onto it from the north) is the Washington Monument, the 555 feet (169 metre) high obelisk completed in 1884 in honour of George Washington the 1st US President. Unfortunately it was closed for repairs and covered in scaffolding while I was there having been damaged by the 2011 Virginia Earthquake and then Hurricane Irene later the same year.

The Washington Monument half way down the National Mall

The Washington Monument half way down the National Mall


View east up the National Mall to the Capitol Building from the Washington Monument

View east up the National Mall to the Capitol Building from the Washington Monument


The White House looking north from the National Mall

The White House looking north from the National Mall

A change of tour bus took us from the Washington Monument out to the Arlington National Cemetery just over the Potomac River where more than 400,000 military personnel from every US war since the American War of Independence right up until current day Afghanistan are buried. The cemetery was originally the home of Confederate Commander-in-Chief Robert E. Lee and was occupied by Union troops early in the Civil War in May 1861. In 1863 a village for freed and runaway slaves was created and then the following year for both practical and symbolic reasons it started being used as a military cemetery.

Memorial Avenue leading up to the Arlington National Cemetery

Memorial Avenue leading up to the Arlington National Cemetery


The entrance into Arlington National Cemetery

The entrance into Arlington National Cemetery


Wax model of a Honor Guard Bugler in the Visitors Center

Wax model of a Honor Guard Bugler in the Visitors Center


Rows of military graves at the Arlington National Cemetery

Rows of military graves at the Arlington National Cemetery

Deep in the heart of the cemetery with a terrific view over Washington are the Tombs of the Unknowns guarded by a honor guard from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment who also provide the ceremonial escort for the US President. None of the guards wear rank insignia so as not to outrank the unknowns and they perform a Changing of the Guard Ceremony by the tombs every half hour. There are four tombs; the original tomb from WWI with tombs from WWII, Korea and Vietnam in the plaza alongside it. The Vietnam Tomb is empty as modern DNA meant it was possible to identify who it was and return his remains to his family.

Looking up at the Tombs of the Unknowns

Looking up at the Tombs of the Unknowns


The Tombs of the Unknowns overlooking Washington

The Tombs of the Unknowns overlooking Washington


Changing the Guard Ceremony at the Tombs of the Unknowns

Changing the Guard Ceremony at the Tombs of the Unknowns

What I didn't appreciate beforehand is that all US military personnel who have seen active service and have been honourably discharged are eligible for burial at the cemetery if they so wish and this means it has on average seven burials per day. It took me a bit by surprise when I saw a Honor Band and Guard march past followed by a horse-drawn flag draped caisson and funeral cortege for one of these burials.

The Honor Guard leading a funeral cortege at Arlington National Cemetery

The Honor Guard leading a funeral cortege at Arlington National Cemetery


The horse-drawn caisson passes carrying an American flag-draped casket

The horse-drawn caisson passes carrying an American flag-draped casket

Arlington House itself was built in 1802 on high ground in the estate by Robert E. Lee's father-in-law George Washington Parke Custis (the step grandson of George Washington). The now restored house has a terrific view of Washington to its front with the wide boulevard of Memorial Drive and Arlington Memorial Bridge leading straight to the Lincoln Memorial.

Arlington House, the former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Arlington House, the former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee


The view over Washington from Arlington House

The view over Washington from Arlington House

On the hillside directly below the house is the grave and eternal flame of President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd 1963. His wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was buried alongside him 1994 and his younger brother Senator Robert F. Kennedy (assassinated in LA, California June 5th 1968) is buried in an adjacent grave plot.

The eternal flame by President John F. Kennedy's grave

The eternal flame by President John F. Kennedy's grave


Close up of President John F. Kennedy's gravestone

Close up of President John F. Kennedy's gravestone

The cemetery has lots of other memorials of interest including a pair of memorials behind the Tombs of the Unknowns Amphitheatre to the crews of the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttles lost in 1986 and 2003.

Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Memorials either side of the 1979 Iran Mission Monument

Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle Memorials either side of the 1979 Iran Mission Monument

As we returned to the Washington we drove past the Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Ministry of Defence and the largest office building in the world. Unfortunately (but perhaps not surprisingly) we were not allowed to take any close up photographs!

The Pentagon

The Pentagon


Another view of the Pentagon

Another view of the Pentagon

Returning to the Washington Memorial I took the opportunity before getting back onto the main tour bus to have a look around the nearby Federal Bureau of Printing and Engraving. I had so far been unsuccessful in my attempts to see coins being minted at the US Mints in Denver and Philadelphia so when there was an opportunity to see US bank notes being printed instead I was keen to take it! Not surprisingly for security reasons we were not allowed to take photographs of the printing presses running although in the gift shop on the way out there was a case containing a million dollars and you could also measure your height in $100 bills (I'm $1,607,700 tall!).

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing on 14th Street

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing on 14th Street


Tour Entrance for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Tour Entrance for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing


$1,000,000 in $10 notes on display in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

$1,000,000 in $10 notes on display in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing


How tall are you in $100 notes?

How tall are you in $100 notes?

I then got back on the main tour bus and we made our way around the numerous national memorials that pepper the lower section of the National Mall. Immediately behind the Washington Monument is the National World War II Memorial at the top end of the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The National World War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial behind it at the other end of the Reflecting Pool

The National World War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial behind it at the other end of the Reflecting Pool

The neo-classical Lincoln Memorial dedicated in 1922 to honour the 16th US President anchors the west end of the National Mall. Inside the memorial is the famous 19 feet (5.8 metre) high statue of Abraham Lincoln with words of his 1863 Gettysburg Address and 1865 Second Inaugural Address engraved on two of its walls.

The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches with hundreds of thousands of people gathered around its Reflecting Pool, including African-American Civil Rights Movement leader Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 and anti-Vietnam War Protests in the late 1960s. It has also been used a backdrop in numerous films including Logan's Run (1976), Forest Gump (1994) and Planet of the Apes (2001) amongst many others.

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial


Lincoln's Statue inside his Memorial on the National Mall

Lincoln's Statue inside his Memorial on the National Mall


Looking back up the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial

Looking back up the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial

Just to the south of the Lincoln Memorial beside the Tidal Basin are the Martin Luther King Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (32nd US President between 1933-1945) and picturesquely on the other side of the Basin the Thomas Jefferson Memorial (3rd US President between 1803-1809).

The Martin Luther King Memorial

The Martin Luther King Memorial


The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial


The Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Tidal Basin

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the other side of the Tidal Basin

Amongst the other memorials nearby was the Korean War Veterans Memorial depicting a patrol of soldiers from the conflict and the Albert Einstein Memorial with him holding a manuscript engraved with the formulas of his three most important scientific advances (the theory of general relativity, the photoelectric effect and the equivalence of energy and matter).

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial


The Albert Einstein Memorial

The Albert Einstein Memorial

In addition to a grid of north/south (numeric) and east/west (alphabetic) streets Washington also has diagonal avenues named after states and the final leg of our bus tour took us along Pennsylvania Avenue which is probably the most famous and busiest of them. This is where a lot of the federal government buildings such as the Internal Revenue, Department of Justice and FBI Headquarters are and is usually referred to as the Federal Triangle.

Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue


View from the bus on Pennsylvania Avenue - all roads lead to the Capitol

View from the bus on Pennsylvania Avenue - all roads lead to the Capitol


The J Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue - headquarters of the FBI

The J Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue - headquarters of the FBI

One of the final buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue before the Capitol is the Newseum which apparently contains loads of footage of major events over recent years and looks like something the media mogul baddie in the James Bond Film "Tomorrow Never Dies" would have dreamt up. It looked a fascinating place to visit with terrific reviews but unfortunately I didn't have time to fit it in.

The Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue

The Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue

Posted by FrancisRTW 02:00 Archived in USA Tagged trains museums tour washington videos solo war_memorials mints us_presidents us_east_coast film_locations Comments (0)

A taste of the Smithsonian

Exploring the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum in Washington

sunny 26 °C
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The Smithsonian Institute is massive; its nucleus of over a dozen large museums lining the top end of the National Mall in Washington is the largest museum complex in the world. It was founded in 1846 using 105 sacks of gold sovereigns bequeathed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men" by British scientist James Smithson who died in 1829.

The Washington Metro arrives to take me to the Smithsonian Institute

The Washington Metro arrives to take me to the Smithsonian Institute


The Smithsonian Castle and Joseph Henry Statue on the National Mall

The Smithsonian Castle and Joseph Henry Statue on the National Mall

Although there was no way I could (or would indeed want!) to explore all of the Smithsonian museums during my few days in Washington the National Air and Space Museum (the most popular of them, averaging 9 million visitors per annum) had always been high on my Washington bucket list.

The entrance to the  National Air and Space Museum

The entrance to the National Air and Space Museum

Excitingly several of the iconic "milestones of flight" are on display the moment you walk in off the National Mall; the Apollo 11 Command Module as recovered from the Pacific after the first manned flight to the Moon in 1969 has pride of place with the Spirit of St Louis in which Charles Lindberg made the first solo transatlantic flight in 1927 hanging from the ceiling above.

The Apollo 11 Command Module (1969)

The Apollo 11 Command Module (1969)


The 'Spirit of St. Louis' - first solo transatlantic flight (1927)

The 'Spirit of St. Louis' - first solo transatlantic flight (1927)


Viking Mars Lander (1976) in the entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum

Viking Mars Lander (1976) in the entrance hall of the National Air and Space Museum

In my opinion however the jewel of the collection is the Wright Flyer in which Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first manned heavier than air flight near Kitty Hawk in North Carolina on the 17th December 1903 which has been given a gallery of its own. The Apollo Lunar Module also has its own gallery with the module on display being the one used for ground testing; the other 5 that were built are still sat up on the surface of the Moon somewhere!

The 'Wright Flyer' - first manned heavier-than-air flight (1903)

The 'Wright Flyer' - first manned heavier-than-air flight (1903)


Apollo Lunar Module (1972)

Apollo Lunar Module (1972)

About a third of the museum's galleries are devoted to space flight with several other command modules (the only bits that normally come back!) on show including Friendship 7 (1st American in space 1962), Gemini IV (1st American spacewalk 1965) and the Apollo Command Module used for Skylab 4 (1st American space station 1973).

Apollo Command Module from Skylab 4 (1973)

Apollo Command Module from Skylab 4 (1973)

Most of the really big space exhibits are on display in the Space Race Gallery including the backup Skylab Workshop Module (1973) which you can walk through, test vehicles from the US/Soviet Apollo-Soyuz linkup in 1975 and the Hubble Space Telescope (1990). There was also a German V1 Flying Bomb and V2 Missile on display from WWII and from more recent times a Tomahawk Cruise Missile.

The Space Race Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum

The Space Race Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum


Inside the Skylab Orbital Workshop (1973)

Inside the Skylab Orbital Workshop (1973)


Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1975) with the Hubble Space Telescope (1990) in the corner

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (1975) with the Hubble Space Telescope (1990) in the corner

On the aviation side there were several galleries containing military aircraft from different periods of history or performing particular roles. There was a gallery of biplanes with a reconstruction of muddy trenches from World War I. There was also a WWI de Havilland DH-4 reconnaissance plane with a box camera being held over its side pointing groundward in the Looking at Earth gallery, it looked very crude alongside the U-2 Spy plane and satellites that were also on display there.

German Fokker D.VII fighter from WWI

German Fokker D.VII fighter from WWI


de Havilland DH-4 observation and photoreconnaissance plane from WWI

de Havilland DH-4 observation and photoreconnaissance plane from WWI


Lockheed U2 spy plane from the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

Lockheed U2 spy plane from the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

From World War II there was a gallery containing an example of a fighter aircraft and a pilot's uniform from the USA (P-51D Mustang), Britain (Mk. VII Spitfire), Italy (Macchi C.202 Folgore), Japan (Mitsubishi A6M Zero) and Germany (Messerschmitt Bf 109G). There was also a German WWII Messerschmitt Me 262 included as the first operational jet fighter amongst the exhibits in the Jet Aviation gallery.

British Mk. VII Spitfire, Japanese A6M Zero, Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore and American P-51D Mustang in the WWII Aviation Gallery

British Mk. VII Spitfire, Japanese A6M Zero, Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore and American P-51D Mustang in the WWII Aviation Gallery


Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero

Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero


German Messerschmitt Bf 109G

German Messerschmitt Bf 109G


Messerschmitt Me 262 - the world's first operational fighter jet (1944)

Messerschmitt Me 262 - the world's first operational fighter jet (1944)

Naval Aviation was covered by a separate Sea-Air Operations gallery containing a reconstruction of the bridge of an aircraft carrier (with video filmed aboard the USS Enterprise) and examples of naval aircraft such as the Gruman F4F Wildcat and Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless from the WWII Pacific War and A-4C Skyhawk from Vietnam. The was also a separate gallery for Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles which included a MQ-1L Predator that had recently flown 196 combat missions over Afghanistan.

Vietnam War Douglas A-4C Kittyhawk and WWII Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless

Vietnam War Douglas A-4C Kittyhawk and WWII Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless


MQ-1L Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

MQ-1L Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

There was also a large "America by Air" gallery devoted to passenger aircraft down the ages with a 1936 Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3 hanging centre stage amongst a host of other historic passenger aircraft arrayed in front of the nose of a 1970s Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 which you could also walk through to have a look at the flight deck.

Commercial aircraft in the 'America by Air' gallery

Commercial aircraft in the 'America by Air' gallery

The final couple of galleries covered pioneering aircraft from the inter war years; the bright red Lockheed 5B Vega that Amelia Earhartused in 1932 when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and then the USA seemed to centre stage however I must admit bearing in mind I was on an around the trip I was particularly interested in the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago which was of two (of four that started) to compete the 1st round the world flight in 1924.

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega in which she became the 1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the USA (1932)

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed 5B Vega in which she became the 1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the USA (1932)


Douglas World Cruiser Chicago which completed the 1st round the world flight in 1924

Douglas World Cruiser Chicago which completed the 1st round the world flight in 1924


Northrop Gamma 2B Polar Star that flew across Antarctica in 1935

Northrop Gamma 2B Polar Star that flew across Antarctica in 1935

I spent a whole afternoon in the Air and Space Museum and know I could have spent a lot longer and there was still plenty more to see. I also managed to squeeze in a brief visit the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum on the north side of the National Mall (7.5 million visitors per annum and the most visited natural history museum in the world) on my final morning in Washington.

The National Museum of Natural History on Constitution Avenue

The National Museum of Natural History on Constitution Avenue

The first exhibition hall I saw inside was the Ocean Hall dominated by a 45 feet (14 metre) long North Atlantic Right Whale hanging overhead. However the exhibit adopted as the symbol of the museum is the massive African Bull Elephant in the Rotunda which was shot by a Hungarian big-game hunter in 1955 and subsequently donated to the museum. Its hide weighed 2 tons and it took a taxidermist 10,000 pounds of clay and 16 months to get ready before it originally went on display in 1959.

North Atlantic Right Whale hanging high above the Ocean Hall

North Atlantic Right Whale hanging high above the Ocean Hall


The African Bull Elephant on display in the Rotunda

The African Bull Elephant on display in the Rotunda

Next up was the Dinosaur Hall with its mounted dinosaur skeletons towering above us and excited school parties. Predictably centre stage were enormous mounted skeletons of a horned Triceratops, long lumbering Diplodocus and the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Triceratops skeleton on display in the Dinosaur Hall

Triceratops skeleton on display in the Dinosaur Hall


Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons on display in the Dinosaur Hall

Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons on display in the Dinosaur Hall

There were several adjacent galleries containing fossils of sea life, plants and mammals but the next one to catch my eye was the one on Ice Age Mammals and Emergence of Man which included large mounted skeletons of a Woolly Mammoth and an Irish Elk. There was also a recreation of a Neanderthal family's burial of young man based on a 70,000-year-old site found in the Regourdou cave in Dordogne, France.

Woolly Mammoth skeleton on display in the Ice Age Hall

Woolly Mammoth skeleton on display in the Ice Age Hall


Irish Elk skeleton on display in the Ice Age Hall

Irish Elk skeleton on display in the Ice Age Hall


Recreation of a Neanderthal Burial in the Ice Age Hall

Recreation of a Neanderthal Burial in the Ice Age Hall

Amongst the galleries upstairs was the Gems and Minerals Hall with rooms full of cases of sparkling minerals and odd shaped meteorites. In pride of place surrounded by a permanent crowd admiring it was the deep blue 45.52-carat (9.10 g) Hope Diamond from India, often referred to as the "most famous diamond in the world" and notorious since it was first discovered in the 17th century for supposedly being cursed.

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond


The Gems and Minerals Hall

The Gems and Minerals Hall


Meteorites in the Gems and Minerals Hall

Meteorites in the Gems and Minerals Hall

Also upstairs there was the Western Cultures Hall containing amongst other things an ancient Egyptian coffin and an ugly looking mummy of a divine bull which when it was alive would have lived like a god in a special pen with a temple's walls. The Natural History Museum had several other galleries devoted to more contemporary wildlife with the Mammals Hall and Insect Zoo particularly popular but unfortunately I had run out of time and needed to move on.

Egyptian Coffin in the Western Cultures Hall

Egyptian Coffin in the Western Cultures Hall


Egyptian Bull Mummy in the Western Cultures Hall

Egyptian Bull Mummy in the Western Cultures Hall

Posted by FrancisRTW 03:00 Archived in USA Tagged buildings planes trains museums washington dinosaurs solo us_east_coast spacecraft Comments (0)

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