Montreal - Biosphere

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 05/25/2005 - 09:57

I'm kind of stunned because I just learned I have to leave tomorrow morning instead of Friday.  Fortunately I did most of the things I wanted to do today, but still it's a bummer.

This morning I biked up Mont-Royal for the view.  The mountain is taller than all the buildings in the city below, and it took me 20 minutes just to coast back down!  It's a popular spot.

From there I biked to the Biosphere, which is not to be confused with Biosphere 2 in Arizona; it has more in common with Spaceship Earth at Epcot.  It's the world's largest geodesic dome, built as the American pavilion for the Expo '67.  Buckminster Fuller designed it to be disassembled, but Canadian safety specs required it to be welded, so it was left in place.  In 1976 its acrylic outer covering caught fire, but the geodesic skeleton remained standing until 1995, when it was reopened as a "museum of water."  The exhibits are a little vague, but the tribute to "Bucky" Fuller's life and works is nice, and the main attraction is the sphere itself.

As farsighted a futurist as Bucky was, he didn't foresee that one day people would try to use cell phones inside his geodesic domes... the steel framework effectively blocks the signal!

I was planning to see the Biodôme -- which is more like Biosphere 2 -- tomorrow, but it'll have to wait for another time.