Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wandering Around Saint Paul

I have been working hard on a paper about saline soils for Mano a Mano (see, and got it finished last night. This is volunteer research, not work, not paid. I decided today I should relax a bit before starting on this next research question for Mano a Mano. I decided to spend the afternoon wandering down the street.

The first thing I did was go to the Science Museum and get a ticket for the IMAX film. The Science Museum has now opened an exhibited on the Maya culture.

Today and tomorrow are fall vacation days for students in Minnesota while all teachers attend fall continuing education conference. The museum was busy, but the film theater is big so getting a ticket wasn't a problem.

The film being presented was made by the Canada Film Board and a museum in Mexico and it recreates the discovery of the Maya buildings in the 19th century and how the Maya Codex became interpreted. According to the film, the huge part of the population disappeared in the 9th and 10th centuries, but there are still Maya people in Central America who know their history and culture.

From previous pictures I had no idea how large are the buildings. When one sees a person standing beside them, then you can understand how huge they were, and marvel at how they were constructed obviously without heavy equipment or cranes to lift materials. The film says the Maya culture and its buildings rival both the Egyptian and Greek cultures.

Here are a couple of pictures I took during the film--not very good, but all I could do.

The one above shows some of the stone carving on all the buildings too.
Sometime in the next couple of weeks, during school hours when the kids are busy, I'll go back to see the exhibit which comes from Belize.

The theater exit brings everyone out by the Elements Cafe within the museum. I stopped for a cookie (biscuit in British English) and a cup of coffee.

The Science Museum hosts a small museum, too, for the Mississippi River Recreation Area, a national park. I stopped and spoke to the park ranger telling him I was glad he/they are back to work. He said he was happy to be back to work, too. 

After that I wandered out onto the plaza by the Science Museum.
A sign on the plaza calls attention to the cottonwood trees between the two boats. Cottonwood trees used to line the river bank from St. Paul to St  Louis. These particular trees are a bit more than 80 years old.

Below I got a good view of the maze. It's now closed for the expectation of the arriving winter season.

 And next to it is the mini-golf course all buttoned up for winter too.

Playing mini-golf is fun, but the real reason for this attraction is to teach hydrology concepts about the Mississippi River in a fun way.

Turning around I admired the viewpoint of the Xcel Center.

I walked over to the Ordway Theater  and got a ticket for a concert in January. Good thing for the seating for the date and time I wanted is almost sold out.

I walked around Rice Park and then headed back to the Science Museum, down the elevator, and out on a walking path through a small park surrounding the museum.

I admired this fall scene.

From the plaza I could see barges tied up again around the area where I live, so I walked along the river on the way back to my apartment.

Home in time to pick up the mail and relax a bit and then enjoy a German food style picnic put on by the building management. A very nice afternoon in Saint Paul.

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