A Cloudy Day In Chicago

So I am back with the story of my visit to Chicago. The first day was to be dedicated to mostly the city center, but apparently the weather was not really on my side, so after a short stroll (if going from Millenium Park to the Museum Campus can be called short) I decided to visit some indoor attractions.
The first target of the day was the Field Museum, which I could not fully visit the first two times I was in Chicago. The museum does not exhibit beautiful paintings or statues, but something that I like much more: the evolution of our life on Earth. The exhibit ranges from stuffed animals, via ancient cultures to the all majestic dinosaur exhibits. The field museum is, I think, one of the best of the latter: the skeleton of the T-Rex, Sue, is the most complete on Earth. Also the skeleton of the huge brachiosaurus, has it’s place at the museum. The basic entry price to the museum is $15, which can be spiced up to over $30 if one includes all the special exhibitions and 3D movies about Sue. For me, spending that much, would have granted access to so many exhibitions, that it would have taken the entire day to visit everything, so I decided to stay with basic access: and I did not miss a thing of the flavor of the museum 😉 . The whole visit took me 2 hours or so (and I was not taking the visit slowly), so I think it was money well spent.

After getting out from the museum I realized, that I have about 3-4 hours to see another indoor landmark. Well, there was a huge line at the entrance of the Shedd Aquarium and I was hungry, so I decided to stand in line at the hot-dog stand instead (it was long, but not as long as the aquarium queue). While eating the delicious Chicago style hot-dog I remarked, that the aquarium queue is actually moving quite fast, and I had to do something while eating the hot-dog anyway, so ‘I might as well stand in line’ I thought 😉 . And indeed, I made it up to the aquarium entrance in no time.

The Shedd Pass costs $28.95, which gives access to 80% of all attractions, is not the cheapest, the $8 “General Admission” ticket is, but I think the latter ticket covers only about 30% of the total attractions, so… I went for the first one. The aquarium is really nicely arranged, presenting a huge range of aquatic life from the very small fish to the playful belugas. Also reptiles have a few representatives there. For example a giant anaconda (a REAL giant) lurks in one of the tanks which was quite impressing. The penguin area is also nice. It was funny to see how friendly the penguins were with the keepers, who were just there, petting them. The shark tank was a bit of a disappointment (the aquarium of Genova I think is much better at that chapter): it was badly lit, I could not see much. The beluga tank and the dolphin tank, however, made up for the loss in quality. There was actually a newborn dolphin in the tank, swimming around with the proud mother, so that was something really out of the ordinary 😉 .

The visit to the aquarium actually ate up the remaining time I had before I had to head off from downtown, so that was it for the first day. I think it was time well spent 😉 . I have uploaded the photos made that first day here.


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