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Day 7 - A day at the Museum of Science and Industry

I can’t believe that this is already the seventh day of my journey, it feels as it was yesterday that I left LA. Perhaps one of the reasons that this doesn’t feel so much like a trip is because I have so plenty of time to do things slow, normally when traveling I always try to include as much program into every day as possible in order to get the most out of the time. Perhaps also the long train ride had a bit taken the speed out of the journey and last but not least I felt almost like at home at my accommodation, which even though a bit run down, was ten times nicer than a hotel room. Hotel rooms normally give me this very unpersonal feeling, nothing that would remind me about home in any way. So another plus point to Air B’n’B. Oh have I already mentioned that this was my first Air B’n’B experience. Right. So far I really liked it. Well there were two more to come, one in Miami and one in New York. But back to Chicago. This day I plainly dedicated to the Museum of Science and Industry and indeed the museum is big enough to spend an entire day in it. I also experienced Chicago at an ordinary workday, so far I had only been there during the weekend. Luckily however, I was able to skip rush hour. I left towards downtown around 9.30 taking once again the pink line train all the way to State and Lake. Unfortunately I just missed the bus 10 which only runs every half an hour. Nevertheless, I used the time to take some pictures at the nearby Chicago River before finally boarding the heavily crowded bus 10. The ride down to the Museum of Science and Industry took quite a while because traffic was bad. It was already well after 11 am when the bus finally arrived at the museum. The lines at the ticket counters were terribly long but I noticed that they also had ticket vending machines without cues. I had my ticket within minutes and could proceed to the entrance without waiting a single minute. I started with the Pioneer Zephyr a first generation diesel multiple unit train set from the 1930s. This train was revolutionary by the time it was introduced. The train set had just been freshly restored. Before entering the main exhibition I had lunch at the museum cafeteria, a good choice because a huge crowd of people just entered the cafeteria once I had started to eat. Then it was time to see all the great things the museum had to offer. I started with the Farm Tech exhibition where I saw how a computer driven milking machine works and I could sit behind the wheel of a large corn harvester. I moved then up to the second floor right into the Transportation Gallery where they had different steam engines on display and a large model railroad featuring the cities of Chicago and Seattle in miniature. The highlight of the transportation Gallery certainly was the Boeing 727 a real aircraft flown by United between 1967 and 1992. It was possible to enter the aircraft, see the cockpit and to take a seat in the rear cabin. After the transportation gallery I spend considerable time in the science section refreshing much of the knowledge I had gained from school but also adding some new and interesting facts to that. Followed by that I visited numerous smaller galleries featuring all kinds of topics. A few worth mentioning where the Toy Maker 3000, a model of a fully automatized factory, the baby chick hatchery where one could witness the birth of real chicken and the space flight gallery where the original capsular of the Apollo 8 mission was on display. Finally I left the museum by closing time which was at 5.30 pm. I could have easily spent another hour in the museum but it was about time to get back. Luckily bus 10 showed up just minutes after I had left the museum but was like in the morning very crowded. As it was looking after rain I decided to head back to my accommodation, skipping the free concert in the Grant Park. Instead I used the evening to make some further plans for the upcoming two days I still had left in Chicago.

At the Museum of Science and Industry

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