Polar Bear Express 2012 travel blog

The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park






Queen Victoria Memorial





Safe Polar Bears


Tom Lamb - Famous Bush Pilot

Family Group


Grand Staircase at the Legislative Building

Second Floor


Our Guide

Legislative Chambers Shaped Like a Horseshoe

Medallion Dead Center on the Floor

Fossils in the Stone Walls




World War I Mural

Ceiling in the Rotunda


Front of the Building


Golden Boy


Saint Boniface Cathedral


Old Cathedral

Inside the New Cathedral

The Altar

The Last Supper

Jesus Is Arrested

Jesus Is Accused

Jesus Is Condemed To Death

Jesus Is Beaten

Jesus Is Made To Carry His Cross

Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Jesus Being Mocked

Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross

Jesus Is Raised Upon The Cross And Dies

Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross

The Spear Being Driven Into His Side

Jesus Is Laid In The Sepulcher

The Ascencion



The Original Pancake House at the Forks Market

Some of Our Group Enjoying Lunch


Debbie & Yogi

Steve & Debbie

























The Nonsuch Ship





Pharmacy in the 1800s

Restaurant in the 1800s

Church in the 1800s

Parlor in the 1800s

Dentist in the 1800s

Our German Restaurant

Our Dessert Table


Great Fun

Good Food

Lots of Memories

Last Night Together




Red River Exhibition Center Camping

Farewell Breakfast



Winnipeg, MB – 10/12

We arrived at the Red River Exhibition Park around 3:00. We had a quick dinner and off to Tim Horton’s Donut Shop for coffee, desert and Internet access where we spent 3 ½ hours journaling.

City Tour - 10/13

Today we took a guided bus tour of the city of Winnipeg. Our guide, Marianne, gave us a very informative history of the city. We visited the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park, St. Boniface Cathedral, the Manitoba Legislative Building and the Manitoba Museum.

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden

Combining artistic beauty with a natural setting, the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden offered us a quiet garden retreat to view and enjoy the magnificent works of master sculptor, Dr. Leo Mol. The garden was created as a result of Dr. Mol’s generous gift of many of his wonderful bronze pieces and works of art to the community in which he lived.

St. Boniface Cathedral

In 1832, Father Provencher built the second cathedral on this site. This cathedral burned in 1860, and a third one would be built in 1862. In 1905-1908, the fourth one would be built for the growing population. Sadly, it was ravaged by fire on July 22, 1968. A new Cathedral was built in 1972 within the ruin’s wall.

The Cathedral was so beautiful inside. My favorite part of the Cathedral was the stained glass windows depicting the Stations of the Cross.

For Roman Catholics throughout the world, the Stations of the Cross are synonymous with Lent, Holy Week and, especially, Good Friday. This devotion is also known as the "Way of the Cross", the "Via Crucis", and the "Via Dolorosa." It commemorates 14 key events on the day of Christ's crucifixion. The majority concern His final walk through the streets of Jerusalem, carrying the Cross.

The Stations originated in medieval Europe when wars prevented Christian pilgrims from visiting the Holy Land. European artists created works depicting scenes of Christ's journey to Calvary. The faithful installed these sculptures or paintings at intervals along a procession route, inside the parish church or outdoors. Performing the devotion meant walking the entire route, stopping to pray at each "station."

Today, images of the Stations are on display in almost all Catholic churches. They serve mainly as a focus for Lenten worship services.

Station 1 Jesus Is Condemned To Death

Station 2 Jesus Is Made To Carry His Cross

Station 3 Jesus Falls The First Time

Station 4 Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

Station 5 Simon Of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Station 6 Veronica Wipes The Face Of Jesus

Station 7 Jesus Falls The Second Time

Station 8 The Women Of Jerusalem Weep Over Jesus

Station 9 Jesus Falls The Third Time

Station 10 Jesus Is Stripped Of His Garments

Station 11 Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross

Station 12 Jesus Is Raised Upon The Cross And Dies

Station 13 Jesus Taken Down From The Cross And Placed In The Arms Of His Mother

Station 14 Jesus Is Laid In The Sepulcher

Manitoba Legislative Building

The Grand Staircase - Inside the legislative building is the magnificent grand staircase, composed of 39 steps in three flights of 13. The steps are brown-veined Carrara marble, reported to be the finest building marble in the world. On either side of the base of the steps are two life-size North American bison, symbolic of the herds that once roamed the prairies. They were modeled by Georges Gardet of Paris, creator of the Golden Boy. Cast at the Roman Bronze Works in New York City, each bison weighs 2½ tons. An intriguing story surrounds the installation of these statues. It is said that in order to diminish the risk of scratching the building's exquisite marble floors with these massive sculptures, the entire main floor of the building was flooded with water, and then left to freeze solid. Both bison were then placed on enormous slabs of ice cut from the Assiniboine River, and safely slid into the building. Whether this tale is true may never be known. Such legends add to the storied nature of this historic building.

The Golden Boy – The Golden Boy, a magnificently gilded 17.2-foot figure, is probably Manitoba's best known symbol. Embodying the spirit of enterprise and eternal youth, he is poised atop the dome of the building. He faces the north, with its mineral resources; fish, forest, furs, hydroelectric power and seaport, where his province's future lies.

The boy is a runner, like the messengers in Greek mythology. He carries a sheaf of golden grain in his left arm, while his right hand holds high a torch, calling youth to enter the race. The top of his torch is 255 feet above ground and before the more recent construction of high-rise buildings that today form Winnipeg's skyline, it was the highest point in the city.

The figure was sculpted by Georges Gardet of Paris, and cast in 1918 at the Barbidienne foundry in France. The foundry was partially destroyed by bombs during the First World War, but the Golden Boy emerged unharmed. The figure was rushed to a seaport and put aboard a French ship carrying wheat. Before the ship could put out to sea, it was commandeered for the transport of troops.

The boy lay in the hold of the ship, travelling many miles, constantly in danger. When the war was over, the figure arrived at Halifax and was shipped to Winnipeg and finally hoisted to the top of Manitoba's then-new Legislative Building.

The Golden Boy was in place for the official opening of the Legislative Building in 1920. Except for several months during 2002, when workers lowered the Golden Boy from the dome for repair and refurbishing, he has stood proud as a symbol for all Manitobans.

The Legislative Chamber - Manitoba's legislative chamber is unique among provincial legislatures in that the members' benches are grouped in a horseshoe shape.

Manitoba Museum

Our tour guide, Gary, gave us a wonderful tour of this museum. The Manitoba Museum is the largest museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The museum was designed by Herbert Henry Gatenby Moody of Moody and Moore in 1965. The museum is the largest heritage center in Manitoba and the world, and focuses on human and natural heritage. It has planetarium shows and a Science Gallery hall. The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at the Manitoba Museum.

The Manitoba Museum is the first Canadian museum to recreate marine life as it was 450 million years ago. A virtual underwater observatory shows the Hudson’s Bay region during the Ordovician period. Manitoba is home to the giant trilobite. This was an amazing virtual show.

The collections in the museum reflect the heritage of Manitoba. The interpretive galleries are Earth History, Arctic/Sub-Arctic, Boreal Forest, Nonsuch, Hudson's Bay Company, Parklands/Mixed Woods, Grasslands and Urban.

Together these explore the history and environment of the province from its northern Arctic coast to its southern prairie grasslands. In particular, the museum is famed for its Urban Gallery, which recreates a Winnipeg street scene in the 1920s.

The full-size replica ship Nonsuch, whose voyage in 1668 led to the founding of the Hudson's Bay Company, is the museum's showcase piece. Awesome!

Forks Market

We had lunch at this wonderful Forks Market. The Forks’ unique history is apparent in its bustling market. Originally two adjacent stables for competing rail companies circa early 1900, the horse stalls were joined together by a courtyard and bridges to create The Forks Market, Winnipeg’s incomparable shopping experience.

The Forks Market offers a multitude of shops to browse for a wide variety of specialty items and souvenirs. Downstairs, The Market features an irresistible fresh food emporium with everything from gourmet cheeses to meats, organic baked goods and wine. Upstairs, in the Market Loft, items ranged from cigars and aromatherapy products to crafts and artworks from 300 local and Canadian artisans.

A constantly changing array of artisans and vendors also sell their wares at day tables inside The Forks Market and outside on The Plaza.

We chose to eat at “The Original Pancake House”. We had a great lunch, visited a few gift shops, and enjoyed some of the sights around the area.

Farewell Dinner at Gutenberger German Restaurant

We had a fantastic authentic German buffet farewell dinner. There was so much food that we couldn’t possibly try all of the choices that we had. And to top it off, there were eight choices for dessert! Needless to say we were stuffed. While we were eating, we were entertained by a young German lady playing the violin and accordion. We had a fantastic time with all the new friends we had met on our caravan. Unfortunately, we will have to say good-bye tomorrow.

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