Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ljubljana Day 2!

We once again split up on Sunday. We wanted to see separate things! I started out early with a lovely (pretty cold) walk to the Ljubljana Zoo! I had seen a card for it, and they had some animal feedings that looked interesting. Also, I knew the museums I wanted to visit wouldn’t take all day and I didn’t want to hang out at the hostel.

When I got there (about 3 minutes before they opened), I wrote down the feeding schedule for the day. Then I started wandering. For the first 30 minutes, I was the only person there, besides the workers. It was kinda cool. They had all sort of animals there! California sea lions, giraffes, an elephant, wolves, mountain goats, and meerkats! Some pictures for your enjoyment:

oh- the entertainment with breakfast is back. Pretty small showing today.

Then I walked back to center and to the ethnographic museum. They had four floors of exhibits. On the first floor was “Styled in Africa” which had original signs from hair stylists in Africa. They had different pictures that you could choose from to style your hair.

The second floor (this is US style, not rest of the world style), had a temporary exhibit on the Orinoco. It is a river basin in Southern Venezuela. This collection is the largest “and most beautiful” collection of ethnographic artifacts in Venezuela. It includes around 700 ritual items, jewelry, canoes, dishes, textiles, and baskets.

Then the third floor had one of their permanent exhibits “I, we and others: Images of my World.” It is “an exhibition about man and his place in the world; about personal, communal, and universal heritage- what it is, how it comes about, and what it means. It is a space in which to pause between everyday responsibilities, to contemplate yourself and others, to reflect on the world and the life we live. It is a space in which to ask questions and seek your own answers, a space for exchanging ideas and experiences. It is an exhibition that wishes to delight in questioning and which strives to bring about a simple joy and wonder at the lively multitude of images of many different worlds.” Or in the words of the lady at the front desk “It is about you.”

The top floor had a bunch of old stuff from Slovenian history: from chairs, to dresses, to cradles, to icons, to whatever else you can think of. There was also a section on “a reflection of distant worlds.” There was apparently a Slovenian guy who brought the story of Pocahontas back to Slovenia!
One thing I really really want to give props to this museum is how they dealt with stereotypes. I have been recently having a tough time in museums that deal with culture, because they often seem to "other" the other culture you are 'observing.' But this museum actually acknowledged them. They commented on how often museums often do that. Then they said to combat this, they will be show casing two items from their collection to show how often these museums do this. And they do this acknowledging that it is problematic. They showed, in these little special rooms that you had to wind around to get into, a shrunken head (with description on how to do it) and foot binding shoes in China.
Then I went next door to the second part of the National History museum (there are actually many different parts, not just two). This one had old print thingies on it. Yea, descriptive- but they weren’t that interesting. The second floor was better- they had old chairs and candlesticks. lol. There were also old chests of drawers and clocks. They were kinda cool. There was also info about a few famous Slovenian athletes. Then there was stuff about TOYS! They had those set things that chemistry students use to model molecules and stuff- who knew those would (1) be toys (2) already history!

I then ate lunch at the central atrium between the three museums located in that area. I went to go see if I could get into the Contemporary Art Museum- but it wasn’t free and I was just doing it to kill time. I don’t really understand modern art. If I can do it, it don’t really consider it art. Then I wandered towards the castle (after stopping at a church and getting batteries). The castle had been around since before the Romans. It has been everything from a house to a prison to barracks to a museum. In 1905, the city purchased the museum and 60 years later turned it into museum. I rushed up to the tower to get some pictures of the city before the sun set. Then waited about 20 minutes for the sun to set.
I also took some video:


Then I went to the Chapel, a few art exhibits and then to the Slovenian history museum. The castle is a MAZE. It is so easy to get lost in there! I got turned around sooo many times! But the museum was pretty cool. It took you through pre-Roman times to now. You need at least one hour to really appreciate this museum. And you need to do it early in the day, so you can stand and read all of the little excerpts. So much history, so much information. It was a little overwhelming, and at this point in the day I was tired of standing all day.

Mandrin Schweppes-aka Sunkist. The food was good, but my stomach had been acting up this whole trip (as before mentioned). We then caught a shuttle to the airport. It was driven by the owner of a transportation company who has a PhD and is working on a second one. Like where is This work ethic America?

See you around the globe!

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