^ Yeah, thanks for letting me know about the one in Pittsburgh, was very good.
Wow, how time goes by. Yinz ready for the next installment?
Day 7: A Man, a Plan, a Library
No visit to Pittsburgh would be complete without a visit to the original Carnegie Library. Almost every town in America has one--in fact, Springfield calls theirs the Carnegie Branch Library--and it's all because of the profound philanthropic work of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
Today, the library is also a really great art museum and natural history museum, and is a really great all day destination. The natural history museum is in the wings of the main library building, while the art museum is (mostly) in an annex out back. I did the art museum first, and it's really great. There's a lot to see, from Renaissance to modern abstract and even film. They present it in a way that educates visitors about the importance of art. You're not just seeing a Monet, you're learning what made Monet great, and what he was saying to his world. The museum teaches you to think like an artist. Kudos to the curators for having that vision and executing on it so well.
The natural history museum is similarly spectacular, with several near-complete dinosaur skeletons, in-depth exhibits on Native American and Egyptian life, a huge display of rare gems, and one gigantic room full of columns, frescoes, and other architecture from the classical and Renaissance eras. The museum will take you all day, and it is very much worth it. Stop by next year when yinz come for Steel Curtain.
After the museum, I made my way to the top of Mt. Washington. I first drove to the top, and I got a real taste of Pittsburgh. I went up a winding switchback road, and around one curve I saw another Jeep at the top (Did I mention I have a Jeep and drove that to Pittsburgh? I don't think I did, probably because it wasn't relevant until now). He rolled down his window and folded his mirror in, so I did the same, and he waved me up. It was a tight fit, but we made it! I appreciate my Jeep now more than ever.
The view from the top of the mountain is incredible. It costs $2 to park up there, and there are several lookout platforms for good photos. You can also get a return ticket on the incline railway, so that's what I did. It was so much fun! Super steep, elevatorish more than it is trainish, except that it's very much on rails. The only incline railway I had been on previously was Silver Dollar City's, so this was really cool. It's just part of Pittsburgh's public transit system, and I can see why. If I lived up there, I wouldn't want to drive that either. I didn't want to drive back down frankly, but I had to. Glad I got to experience the real Pittsburgh though. This was way better than experiencing the real Philadelphia.
The last thing for the day was the Hofbrauhaus over by Hot Metal Bridge. They had a fantastic dunkel and some really great bierwurst. I love this place so much. Best of all, to my surprise, I discovered it's a chain, and they have one in Cleveland...where I will be driving through tomorrow....
That's it for Pittsburgh. Coming up next, the rest of Western PA, including Waldameer and Conneaut Lake Park!