Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lisbon's Oceanarium...

Located near our hotel was Lisbon's fabulous Oceanarium.  It's an outstanding facility and as I am a fan of aquariums, I figured we should take the time to visit.  I'm so glad we did.  I learned a lot from the few hours we spent there, along with a couple of school groups.  There's a permanent exhibit there as well as a temporary sea turtle exhibit.  To see both, which I highly recommend, you pay 16 euros.  To just see the permanent exhibit, it's 13 euros.    


The Oceanarium on the horizon...

We visited the turtle exhibit first, since it was on the way to the permanent exhibit.  Having spent three years in South Carolina, I had heard a lot about loggerhead turtles and how they are becoming somewhat endangered due to man's encroachment on the turtles' habitat.  The oceanarium had a few loggerhead exhibits.  They also had sea turtles, which they were rehabilitating and planned to release back into the wild.  These turtles were mostly caught by accident and injured in the process.






This explains more about how the turtles came to the exhibit.  As you can see, quite a few have already been released.


The exhibit had a plexiglass floor that we had to walk over.  One elderly Portuguese woman seemed afraid she would fall through the glass.


Growing up near the water in Virginia, I have seen plenty of these...


A turtle swims with the fishes!



Ready for a close up!


It was fun to observe the turtles.

We moved on to the permanent exhibit, which was surprisingly large and took a lot of time to fully appreciate.


The big central tank.


You could watch this for hours and not see the same thing twice.



A ray swims among schools of fish...




Puffin exhibit.



A puffin gives me a great action shot...




These three penguins seemed to be posing!


The next exhibit was the sea otters.  There were two of them; they were both female and delightfully cute.  I could tell they were a popular attraction, though they didn't seem especially interested in putting on a show.




Information about the sea otters.



Penguins!  I had no idea how fast they can move!






The rest of these photos are from the many exhibits throughout the oceanarium.  There were great displays featuring everything from frogs, newts, and other amphibians, to sharks, barracudas, and eels.  There were also interactive displays and a kids' area which offered hands on exhibits for little ones.





























As you can see, there's a lot to look at.  Fortunately, photography is allowed, though you're not supposed to use your flash.  I didn't, but still came away with some amazing pictures.  The oceanarium offers a film about what goes on there and they types of research they're doing.  There are subtitles and I highly recommend watching the film, since it's not very long and is very interesting.  They show how sea animals are cared for at the facility and even explain how surgeons can sew up injuries when the creatures are hurt.  If you ever get to Lisbon and like aquariums, I highly recommend the Oceanarium.  It's reasonably priced and you will learn a lot from a three hour visit.

As we left the facility, we had to walk through the gift shop.  There is also a cafe.  I bought a few things at the shop and we were stopped by a young guy doing a survey for the Oceanarium.  We answered his questions, then moved on to our next fun activity, the funicular.  It's located very close to the Oceanarium and is very reasonably priced.  A round trip ticket for both of us was twelve euros.


I got a kick out of the rules...



Up, up, and away!



Bill enjoys the view...


I think "no smokers" has a very different meaning than "no smoking" does.


A shot of the Oceanarium as we passed.


The huge bridge leading out of Lisbon.


Oriente skyline...



The Portuguese flag…

After our funicular ride, we had lunch at an Irish pub, where we enjoyed Irish beers.  The meal was decent, but unremarkable… except for the Irish whiskey chocolate mousse at the end…  I did like the signs, though.






Stay tuned for our trip to old town Lisbon and the Museum of Beer.

Part 6

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