Rainy days, so we looked for fish
“The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain”, as much as I love this when Eliza sings it, it’s not that nice, when you have plans to explore other parts of the island. Of course we had not the full rain gear with us. I was going to Spain after all. Silly of me, I know…
But I guess it was my son, who wished for rain. For days he wanted to visit the huge seawater aquarium, which stood big and inviting just a short distance from the hotel. Well, I love watching fish, so there was no question, that we would visit. But not until the last day, as long the weather stays nice.
So as the the rain in Spain came down, we went first to visit a garden centre, as my daughter wanted to take a palm tree home. They were quite big, though. I can just imagine the airport personells face, while she carries one of those palmtrees into the plane.
Those varieties are availlable at home also. Not for outdoors, but as a indoor plant.
We settled for some seeds, though. She can give it a try to see if they germinate.
We then went into the Aquarium. Finnuala claimed to be 12, luckily she is small and dainty and can easily pass as much younger than her 14 years. Saved me the full price. Still I thought €50 entrance fee for one adult and two children a hefty sum.
But then, the exhibits are great and well worth those fees.
We took our time, reading the multilingual signs, which were touchscreens, offering explanations in Spanish, English and German. We then tried to find the matching fish in the tanks, which wasn’t always that easy. There are some great camouflage experts in the water. They need to be, it’s either eating or being eaten.
This octopus was sitting for ages in his hiding place, but suddely he decided to give me a demontration of the strange way he’s moving. It was more of a gliding and pulling himself with one arm at the time.
Lobster and Slipper Lobster, not a true lobster
From all the great camouflages this was my favourite. He would look like polished silver from his sides, a metall reflection is breaking his silhoutte and making him invisible for his predators.
Took me awhile to get a picture at all….
After following the trail along a multitude of smaller tanks with a huge variety of fish, we arrived in the outdoor part of the exhibit. Pitty that the rain came down hard, it was tricky to take a picture. But noone about except us, though…
Out in the garden we were on our own. Well, it was pretty heavy raining.
Finnuala teasing the koi.
She was amazed they came so close, she could literally touch them.
But I told her not to, it isn’t healthy for them to have human germs at their skins, they might develope a fungi desease.
In a bassin, where hammerhead sharks should have been, we saw a strange string of bubbles rising from the black depth. Must be some sort of ventilation I thought, I know those from the pet shop, they offer them for the sweet water tanks.
After watching a while and at the same time trying to spot some sharks, a strange contraption rose from the black depth. A scuba diver. He was srubbing the walls of the basin, presumably to clear the algae off.
We had a great laugh about that, cause he really wasn’t visible from the little bridge leading over the bassin. From there only blackness could be seen. No hammerhead shark, either…
Scary creatures, divers, aren’t they? He was cleaning the tank
After getting pretty wet at the outdoor part, we started on a jungle tour. That part of the exibit clearly could do with some more sweet water fish. Only a few piranhas were in a mangrove decorated tank. A gecko and some Achatinidae, tropical land snails were on display also.
At least today those plants couldn’t complain, there was water in abundance, but they might have been longing for some warmth…
The artificial fogg wasn’t really necessary today.
Pitty there was nothing of the huge variety of Amazon or Orinoco area fish.
I keep those in a tank at home and I would have loved to see some Angelfish (Pterophyllum) or Discus (Symphysodon). Those are to big for my 500l tank. I rather keep some of the smaller varieties, which would also be nice to see on display here. Especially as they had the djungle, their habitat as a theme here.
We then came to the main attraction, the huge sea water aquarium.
The Big Blue they call it, and claim to have Europe’s deepest aquarium here. A marine habitat stocked with over 200 different species and two different sharks.
The transparent acrylic tunnel that crosses through the chamber gave us the opportunity to enjoy the incredible sight of different animals at just a few centimetres’ distance. The chilling jaws of a sand tiger shark are much more dangerous in appearance than they are really.
Or so they say.
Finnuala in the Big Blue
Great to watch sharks passing by only centimeters from your face.
We were lucky, just as we arrived at the big blue, a diver could be seen, carrying three different barrels.
He was about to feed the sharks, rays and smaller fish. Pitty though, that the sharks didn’t seem to be hungry, they came only reluctantly closer to the diver.
The rays were a different story though, they crowded around the diver like dogs or cats begging for food. Really funny. Especially as one of the bolder ones constantly went into the face of the diver and swam over his head, touching one of the valves of the scuba gear and opening the air valve. A trickle of tiny bubbles streamed upwards after that. But certainly nothing to worry about for the diver, he wasn’t staying under water long enough to run out of oxygene…
Diver in, here comes the food.
Feeding of the 200 different varieties in the huge tank
Rays are just like cats, waiting to be fed.
Those jaws look quite fearsome. But they aren’t that dangerous, their teeth grow constantly throughout their life…
We spend ages in the exhibit and as we left it was still raining. What a day…
Ah well, you need some time to write postcards to those left at home. Which we did in the evening.