As Lea and Carter prepare to depart L'viv for home, we have been attempting to check off a few final tourist activities from our "to do" list. One of the last attractions is a mere two blocks from the apartment - the Palace of Arts, housing several collections of European and Ukrainian paintings. Carter has been amazingly tolerant of our efforts to introduce him to high culture. He especially enjoys discovering images of animals embedded in the artwork in the museums we have visited. Unfortunately for him, the bulk of art exhibited in this part of the world seems to be portraits. As we entered the Palace of Arts today, we saw a grand painting that captures the history of Ukraine on a huge canvas. The painting had sections dedicated to the triumphs and tragedies of Ukraine, with many recognizable politicians, as well as historic and cultural icons. While we intended to see art, we were drawn to another exhibition in the facility.
The poster for the "Giants of the Ice Age" exhibit beckoned us to stop in. Since Prehistoric Forest back in Irish Hills, Michigan is closed, we thought this might be a good substitute for Carter to see some kitschy animatronic beasts. And it was. At first, Carter thought that seeing the animals was a good idea. But, confronted by the large, furry, moving, growling creatures, he reconsidered.
The exhibition had various activities for children: coloring, old-style movies, and an oversized jigsaw puzzle. The puzzle was a hit, as Carter liked finishing the picture of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. But when we started to look at the creatures, he was terrified. The animals were all furry - even the pleisiasaur (we have to check on the accuracy of that depiction with cousin George or our family's amateur cryptozoologist Uncle Brett) - and most of them made some kind of noise and moved their heads, necks, and mouths. After beating a hasty retreat from the monsters, we had lunch at a Milk Bar. We had been advised to go to one of these in Krakow - they are little cafes with a fixed menu. Whatever they have for the day they serve until it is gone. We had some nice soup, savory pancakes, and chicken. After lunch, we had a quick romp on the Taras Shevchenko monument until nap time.