The Old Courthouse Museum with Katie Klaassen

It’s time to say hello to another guest blogger on Holme & Away. This post is coming all the way from South Dakota, USA, an area with a shed-load of great stories and a fascinating history. Here to tell us about it is Katie Klaassen; take it away!

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

At the end of February, I ventured up to Glasgow for an incredibly brief visit. Obviously, the limited time meant I had to pick my activities very carefully, and after much deliberation, I settled on the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. It is Scotland’s most visited museum, so clearly it has something going for it!

A Brief Weekend in Liverpool

As part of my birthday celebrations and presents, I was treated to a weekend in Liverpool with my sister. She’d bought me tickets to see Steps at the Echo Arena which was absolutely incredible, as well as a huge nostalgia trip!

We did also get the chance to wander along the waterfront and potter around the Museum of Liverpool for an hour or so. Liverpool is such a fantastic city, and it’s brilliant for shopping too. I may have spent one or two pounds in John Lewis!

Le Louvre

One of the must-see attractions in Paris is the Musée du Louvre, noted for its huge collection and iconic glass pyramids. Several people recognise the pyramids from the 2006 film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. based on the book by Dan Brown. Apparently, the film company paid the Louvre $2.5million for the privilege of filming in its galleries!

Grande Galerie de l’Évolution

So after a slight hiatus following an incredibly busy week for me, I am returning to France. Sadly, I’m not actually physically going back to France, but my blog is. I’ve got so much still to share from my year away that I haven’t got round to yet, so there’s lots to look forward too!

This time, it’s the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution! I’m lumping this in with one other museum around the Jardin des Plantes, so there’s a bit of variety in this one! The Grande Galerie is home to a huge collection of taxidermied animals from all corners of the world. I’ve never really seen anything quite like it! The collection is split over four floors, starting with underwater/marine life, and a massive whale skeleton.

Domaine de Chantilly

Roughly 40km north of Paris, you’ll find Chantilly, a commune that was once part of the historic Valois region. In May, I took a trip up to Chantilly for a plant festival in the grounds of the château, combining it with a nosey into the building itself. What I didn’t realise at the time was that the castle is now the home of the Musée Condé, which has one of the best collections in France.

Musée d’Orsay

It’s one of the most well-known museums in Paris, and in fact, the world. Its collection is housed in an old train station, the Gare d’Orsay, which was finished in 1900 and was built for the Universal Exhibition in the same year. So really, the station was a work of art in and of itself.

Musée des Arts et Métiers

With over 80,000 objects in their collection, the Musée des Arts et Métiers is a pretty important one. It is an industrial design museum, which houses the collection of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. The Conservatoire was founded back in 1794 with the task of preserving the most important scientific instruments and inventions. It is even thought to be one of the oldest technical and industrial museums in the world!

Conciergerie

Part 2 of my Île de la Cité ventures took me to the Conciergerie, has been at times a prison, a royal residence, and is now a museum and functioning courts. This, along with Sainte Chapelle, are the last remnants of the oldest royal palace in France, which is pretty awesome. Before starting this properly, this one will be more of a history lesson than photographical exhibition, so you have been warned!

Jardin des Plantes

Home to thousands of plant species, the Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France, and forms one eleventh of the ‘Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle’ (No prizes for guessing it’s English translation). It’s also right over the road from the Grand Mosque of Paris so it’s easy to combine a trip to both places in the same afternoon.