Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Three Jewels of London, Ontario
The bicycle is a wonderful contraption. Leaving no carbon footprint whatsoever, you are free to meander where your heart and impulses carry you. Here are three gems I discovered while cycling hither and thither in London.
- The Museum of Archaeology, located in the northwestern suburbs, is London’s best-kept secret. I was lured because it is the only active archaeological dig inside a major city in Canada. Wandering through a 500-year old Iroquois village complete with stockade, longhouse, sweatlodge and, of course, some diggings, I had fantasies of Indiana Jones, raiding war parties and mysterious old relics.
- I dismounted next at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, located in Fanshawe Conservation Area, a delightful large parkland surrounding Fanshawe reservoir that offers camping, fishing, hiking and more. But for me, the highlight was the Pioneer Village. I love history and wandering amongst the old hotel, school, sawmills, general store and many other historic buildings carried me back to the early 1800s. I can’t wait to return when they hold the War of 1812 re-enactment.
- Weary and saddle sore I arrived next at Banting House National Historic Site, the humble two-story house where Dr. Frederick Banting practiced family medicine downstairs while living upstairs. I gazed at the bed where he awoke one night with the idea that led to insulin as a means of treating diabetes. Another room displayed the Military Cross that he won in the Second World War. Colourful landscapes, which Banting painted under the mentorship of A.Y. Jackson, adorned a wall. I cycled away, profoundly moved by this gifted Canadian.
- If You Go
-London Information: www.londontourism.ca
-Archaeology Museum: www.uwo.ca/museum
-Pioneer Village: www.fanshawepioneervillage.ca
-Banting House: www.diabetes.ca/about-us/who/banting-house/