Category Archives: Museums

The Best View in Town: Observatoire de la Capitale in Quebec City

Observatoire de la Capitale – the viewing deck on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart Building in Quebec City, Canada – boasts it has “the best view in town” from “221 meters up.”

And they’re absolutely right – the views are spectacular.

The Views

To the east, you can see the beautiful and picturesque Old Quebec and the citadel:

view from the Observatoire de la Capitale toward Old Quebec and the citadel
view from the Observatoire de la Capitale toward Old Quebec and the citadel

Looking a bit to the north, you can get a glimpse of the expanse of St. Lawrence River, the Quebec City port, and the mountain ranges in the distance: Continue reading The Best View in Town: Observatoire de la Capitale in Quebec City

Krakow, Poland Photo Essay

If you’ve never been to Kraków (Cracow), Poland and aren’t sure whether it’s worth visiting, this essay is for you.

What’s is there to see in Kraków, you may ask? Take a look at the photos below, highlighting just a few places you might enjoy seeing in this beautiful city, with history going back into the medieval times.

The Wawel Castle

The Wawel Castle is, of course, a must. Dating back to the tenth century, it was the seat of the kings of Poland for several hundred years, and includes both Gothic and baroque elements.

You need tickets to go inside the castle, but walking around the Wawel Castle hill, and within the courtyard is free of charge.

the Wawel Castle as seen from Starodomska street
the Wawel Castle as seen from Starodomska street

Continue reading Krakow, Poland Photo Essay

Old Quebec Bus Tours: Les Tours du Vieux Quebec

Whenever we’re in a new city, and especially if we’re there for only a few days, we like to do a bus tour, because it’s a great way to cover a large area in a relatively short time, and also helps us see if there are any places that we might like to visit again during the rest of our stay.

During our recent trip to Québec City, we spent the first day of our short stay there admiring the city from the second deck of a big red bus, on a sightseeing tour organized by Les Tours du Vieux Québec (Old Quebec Tours).

Where Do You Get On?

The tours begin in the Old Québec, at Place d’Armes, right by the famous (and impressive) Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, but you can get on the bus at any of the 12 stops. Just make sure to check the bus schedule to see what time the next bus is coming, because they depart every 30 minutes so, and you might be in for quite a bit of a wait if you just miss the previous one, like we did the second time we boarded.

route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)
route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)

Continue reading Old Quebec Bus Tours: Les Tours du Vieux Quebec

How much can you see in three-and-a-half days in Quebec City?

Mind you, just so we’re clear on that – three-and-a-half days is NOT enough to see everything worth seeing in Québec City and the area.

From its centuries-old stone buildings that look like they were transported straight from France, to its many museums, this charming city of about half a million has a lot to offer to visitors.

Unfortunately, we only had a long weekend for this visit, but if you have more time, do yourself a favor and spend a few more days in this capital of the Canadian province of Québec.

It’s an about six-hour drive from Boston, another old city worth seeing, but it’s very different than any American cities you will see, including the also-French New Orleans.

We saw the following attractions in Québec City. You can decide whether you want to put them on your to-see list as well.

Continue reading How much can you see in three-and-a-half days in Quebec City?

Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland = Fun for the whole family

Have you ever seen a fire tornado, experienced a simulated earthquake, or turned on a light bulb with a stair master?

You can do all that and more at the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernika) in Warsaw, Poland, which opened in 2010, right on the bank of the Vistula river.

We’ve been there twice – once right after it opened, and the second time in January 2013. Both times not only the kids had a lot of fun, but the grown ups as well.

What can you see at the Copernicus Science Centre?

Well, looking at the Centre website I see that several of the exhibits that my kids loved, have been replaced by new, probably just as exciting exhibits, but a few of the old classics remained:

“Roots of Civilization”

The “Roots of Civilization” area, located on the ground floor, explains how some inventions, some quite ancient, changed the world and contributed to the development of the civilization.

At one of the exhibits, you can see what your name would look like when spelled in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

my name, Jolanta, in hieroglyphics
my name, Jolanta, in hieroglyphics

Continue reading Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland = Fun for the whole family

What to do during the April Break? Go To the Cambridge Science Festival!

If your kids have a vacation break in April, like the kids in the New England states (Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), consider heading to Cambridge, Massachusetts next year to geek out during the annual Cambridge Science Festival.

As they say on their website,

the Cambridge Science Festival is a celebration showcasing fun and the leading edge in science, technology, engineering, art, and/or math in our region.  A multifaceted, multicultural event, the Cambridge Science Festival makes science accessible, interactive and fun, highlighting the impact of STEAM in all our lives.

Be mindful, though, that the science-related events start before the festival officially opens, and sometimes go on after it ends, so you may not be able to see everything if you come for just a week.

This year (2015), for instance, the Cambridge Science Festival included a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which started with a March 26 event “Cosmic Loops: Music Beneath the Stars” at the Museum of Science.

 

And the “Black (W)hole” interactive experience at the Central Square Theatre ran into May.

Continue reading What to do during the April Break? Go To the Cambridge Science Festival!