Walking Around Winnipeg
Winnipeg is a combo of old and new as you can see from the images above. We are staying at the historic Fort Garry Hotel, one of the traditionally elegant chateau-style hotels we have come to associate with luxury travel in Canada.
Although close to a million people live here, it’s very quiet with light traffic. I’m not sure how much the pandemic has contributed, but you do see some windows boarded up downtown and empty space for rent. We had a nice day, walking around downtown and visiting a couple of museums. The WAG-Qaumajuq (art museum) for me and the Winnipeg Railway Museum for my husband.
The art museum has the largest collection of Inuit art in the world. There were a number of interpretive installations as well as examples of conflict art, textiles, clothing, paintings, photography, and sculpture. The “Visible Vault” contains 4,500 stone carvings displayed on three levels, some of which can be seen through a transparent floor. I am always fascinated by sculpture and found the work in bone, ivory, antler, and stone beautiful. I also really enjoyed the style section.
Union station was designed by the same architect that did Grand Central Station in NYC, on a much smaller scale. The Railway Museum housed within, comprises 37,500 square feet of photos, exhibits, dining car china and silver, an in- progress HO model train display, and of course, trains. My husband and I can agree our favorite is the historic 1872 “Countess of Dufferin” steam locomotive that has been on display since 1910. Years ago my husband gave me a small gauge operating model of this engine and it still occupies a prominent position in my home office.
We walked five miles in chilly (low 30s) but tolerable weather. It’s warmer here than usual and the cloudy conditions held in some of the warmth from yesterday. After all that walking, we headed over to “The Forks” a newer park-like area with museums, and many other diversions including The Forks Market, with a Time-Out-style food court and second level with shops. It was a great spot for a late lunch.
We’ve also had another COVID test, selected our Arctic parkas and boots, and met our guide Kristin who will lead us on our journey north to Churchill in the morning. We have chosen to travel with Natural Habitat/ WWF due to their excellent reputation and small group policy. Tonight will have an orientation dinner and set the stage to see Polar Bears in the wild. Cant’t wait!
PS – in a shout-out to our friend Mark, we are watching local news from Fargo.