Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Oceanario

We headed out to visit the Lisbon Oceanario one day and it was a fun little trip.  As usual it started with a subway ride, and I did like the artwork at the stop where we got off (no dirty thoughts, we just got off the subway).

Artwork On The Walls

I like aquariums, although I have grown a bit weary of the one at Coney Island.  It has a bit of that shabby, run-down look to it and is not nearly as well maintained as the Lisbon Oceanario which was built for the World's Fair that was held here (Lisbon) in 1998.

The Lisbon Oceanario

It is the world's second largest aquarium, the largest being in Osaka, Japan.  That information is from the TimeOut guidebook, so it may or may not be entirely accurate.  Another guidebook simply said it was the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

There is a large central tank and then four smaller ones that represent the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.  Each of the four smaller tanks are topped by a room that represents the coastal area of the respective ocean.  Very nicely done.

I liked the large sculpture, made out of crushed cans, that loomed over the entry.

Soda Nice

Ready For My Close-Up

We got the headsets so we could get information on the stuff we were looking at.  I learned that the Arctic Ocean is the only one that is surrounded entirely by other bodies of water, no land.  Interesting, I thought.

Oh, and I learned that sea otters have a little pouch under their front arms, or legs, where they can store things.

Mr. Otter, Just Chilling Out

I am not sure what was going on here, but it looked like a naked twister party I was at once back in the sixties, or was it the seventies?  All I remember is the smell of baby lotion.  Ah, those were the days.

Whose Turn Is It Now?

The Mysterious Chinese Woman seemed to be bonding with whatever kind of fish this was.

Pucker Up

I always like looking at the penquins.

Cute Little Things

I don't remember what these were, but they were extremely loud.

Loud Birds

And, of course, there were little things for the kids as well.

Look Ma, I Can Swim

I mentioned how clean this place was.  They have divers go in every day to clean out the tanks, and it really shows.

The whole area around the Oceanario is very nice with shops and apartment buildings or condos or something that look like they would be spectacular.

What A View

And all along the river, or ocean (I never could quite keep them straight) were little parks and more sculptures that, I think, were also left over from the World Fair.

Lions And Tigers And Giraffes, Oh My!!

I am not sure who this guy was.

Maybe The World Fair Mascot

There were a number of these fountains that were supposed to be water volcanoes.  If you weren't careful you could get a bit of a soaking when they "erupted."

Lying Dormant, For The Moment

There was a marina not too far away with a bunch of outdoor restaurants that were just perfect for a light lunch and a beer.  I asked a woman sitting at one which one she recommended.  She pointed us to this one and it was a good call.

Reminded Me Of Brighton Beach

I am not sure why I didn't take more pictures of the food.  I do recall it was quite good.  Of course I did manage to get the requisite picture of me with a beer, though.

To Be Expected

There was this sky-ride going off to somewhere, but I couldn't seem to drum up any interest in taking it.

Who Knows What We Missed

That is a pretty spectacular bridge in the background.

On the way back to the subway we passed another little park that was built like a marshland.

Another Little Park

It looked like there was quite a bit of new construction that had just been finished and was waiting for tenants.  A whole row of places with what looked like commercial space on the first floor and residences up above.  They were all empty, though.

This was a nice day-trip and, if you are ever in Lisbon, should not be missed.  Fun for all ages.  And, if you plan on going to Europe, I highly recommend Lisbon.  I put it right up there with Paris and well ahead of Rome.  Just my opinion, of course.

I will sort through my photos and see if I have enough for one more post about Lisbon, kind of an odds and ends sort of post.  We shall see.

Heading out to Staten Island this evening to see my beloved Cyclones play the hated Staten Island Yankees.  The Cyclones are tearing up the league this year and definitely play-off bound.  Unfortunately, I will be in Germany and the Czech Republic when play-offs are going on.  I am trying to work up the courage to wear my Brett Favre Jets jersey tonight.  Maybe not. 


Mel150 said...

Pretty sure the loud birds are oyster-catchers.

VanMan said...

I was at the Osaka aquarium in June and it does bill itself as the world's largest.