Wednesday 27 November 2013

Portugal: Oceanario

I was very excited when I heard there was an aquarium in Lisbon. It's right down on the riverside and appears to be built in the water, so you get a sense that perhaps the tanks are bottomless and the fish can just come and go as they please. Of course this isn't the case, but it's a nice fantasy.

The aquarium is part of a complex built for the World Expo in 1998. There are wide, tree lined boulevards, coffee shops, and about 17 million school children.

There are lots of separate habitats within the Oceanario, including the penguin habitat, where I spent a while photographing penguins being cute...

...and the otter habitat - otters being cute...

(At this point Tutty might have said, "I never thought of you as one for animals")

But they're so adorable!

The biggest and best part, though, is the main tank, which holds some 5 million litres of water. I spent as long as possible observing this one, particularly the rays. Of course, pictures are never going to do it justice, but I did my best. Blue is supposed to be a stress-relieving colour so let it wash over you.

Between this and Cabo da Boca, Lisbon has got to be a pretty calming place, all things considered.

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