Monday, 30 January 2012

Searching for Fun: Museum Edition

The majority of cities you go to will have a museum that houses at least two (if not more) of the following: History and/or War, Science and Technology, Art, The life’s work of (insert name of composer, artist, or inventor), or maybe even Archeology or Space. This is great, if that’s YOUR thing. I however, have discovered that I really don’t enjoy spending hours walking around a museum, reading the many facts I read/learned about in High School or staring at paintings that are in all the books or all over the internet. To be honest, I wasn’t even really interested in them back in High School.

I have nothing against the Science and Technology Museums. They generally have interesting things to see and allow you to touch the items and be part of the scene. However, I don’t want to see the same thing over and over in each city. So as I research all of the cities I want to see, I find myself checking out the museum section of the tourism sight, looking for something fun and different. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t always pulling through for me. I Google phrases such as the: “Best Museums in Germany” or “Most Interesting Museums of Germany” and the top 5-10 results are for history and art museums. So, I find myself Googling each individual city I may want to visit and book marking those with interesting museums. I am sad to report that a number of sites, while boasting over 30 museums, having nothing I want to see.

So, what is it that I’m looking for? I haven’t completely ruled out history museums…just the ones about city history, war and fur trading, etc.

Here is a list of some of the museums that caught MY attention and they didn’t disappoint.

Learn about the history of chocolate, cocoa farming, and how chocolate’s made. Learn about your favourite products and beauty supplies that contain cocoa and what the old fashion chocolate shops look like. And if you weren’t impressed with that, part of the tour includes touring the Lindt Chocolate Factory where you can get an up close look at how the Chocolate makers make those delicious Bunnies you get in your Easter baskets or those creamy Lindor balls you get for every occasion. The Lindt store is located on your way out and will be sure to satisfy the Chocolate craving
you developed throughout your visit.

Located right beside the Chocolate Museum, you can plan on making this your second stop. A close look at the actual items used in both the Winter and Summer Olympics through the years. These items include, the torches you might have seen in your community, the outfits, clubs, gloves, etc worn by winning or participating athletes, including Shaq O’Neal’s very large running shoe, patches of grass from the stadiums, tickets to the final Canada-U.S hockey game at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and the list goes on. When I visited, they were in the process of designing the interior of some new rooms…my guess is that it will be for the 2012 London Summer

3. National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, Ireland
 While this museum is both quite new and small, it’s the red headed tour guide that made the experience. Learn about Irish mythology and the story of the Leprechaun. Listen, as your tour guide tells you the tales of how he almost caught a leprechaun and feel what it’s like to be a leprechaun as you try to climb into the chairs that tower above your head.

4. Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland
If you like beer, this tour will not disappoint. Discover how Guinness beer is made and pour your own perfect pint of Guinness at the end of the tour. One beer included in the price of admission ticket.It doesn't stop there, head upstairs to the Gravity Bar where you can take in a 360 degree view of the city. Don't forget to hit-up the Guinness Store on your way out to pick up some Guinness merchandise.

And here is the list of Museums that I might possibly entertain, should I have time to explore the location:
1. The Nordic Museum of Daily Life in Stockholm, Sweden
2. The Museum of Bags and Purses in Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, Netherlands
4. Madame Tussauds- A collection of Wax Figures in Berlin, Germany
5. ModellPark Berlin- Brandenburg in Berlin, Germany
6. University Museum in Krakow, Poland
7. Budapest Memento Park (Statue Park): Gigantic Reminders of the Past in Budapest, Hungary
8. Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany

My ultimate goal is not to hit a museum in every city; they are just nice to visit on a rainy day or a Sunday, when nothing else is open anyways.If you find yourself looking for something similar to I am, I hope you have found this list useful! I would also love to hear about some of the fascinating European museums that others have hit, and where I can find it!

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