I finally got a room to myself, even though it was only for two nights it was a blessed relief. I’ve been moved to one of our “lofts” which is actually a really cool set up and I don’t have to buzz in now, which is good!
Yesterday was my day off and because they are pretty few and far between I made the decision that every day off I’m going to go somewhere or do something. And mission accomplished. By 11 am I was in the oceanarium. Guys. If you ever head to Lisbon (and once again, if you do, hit me up) go to this place. It blew my mind.
On the way you pass this row of flags. Every single country and the collective flags are represented, it’s pretty cool. I tried to take a photograph of the Portuguese flag and didn’t realise until I got in that I actually got the UK one too! So fitting. I wandered around this bit for a while. I could have done it all day, there was so much to see. There were weird statues and paintings from people all over the world, and they were all so unique and interesting!
I did get a bit lost with all my wandering and photo-taking I won’t lie. But a lady in a cafe pointed me in the right direction. I got lost again but thankfully the oceanarium is pretty well signposted and I am just an idiot…
To get into the oceanarium is about 16 EUR for an adult or 15 if you are a student. It seems a little steep but there was so much in there do to that I thought it was definitely worth it.
First of all you go through the turtle arena, This is a temporary exhibition but I think it’s on until the summer. So much fun. There are lots of walkways which are glass which kind freaked me out, and little tunnels and cubby holes that have glass roofs so you can sit and watch turtles and sting rays and all sorts go over you. I couldn’t really get many good pictures in there as there were a couple of girls huddling around the good animals with their DSLRs but I tried. (which, by the way, is the motto of my time abroad…) This section was actually really good. There was a huge focus on conservation and recycling etc. It was mainly focussed on children but I thought that the idea was really good in itself. There were videos on how to reduce your carbon footprint and water/food wastage. It was pretty interesting.
There are also a lot of different climate zones. Not just in the world, obviously but within this vast enclosure. There were penguins and otters and all sorts of critters. One of my favourite animals are frogs, so I was pleased to see that there was an amphibian section. However, I definitely couldn’t see any because they were so small and cute… Probably…
I got to the otter tank at feeding time. Otters are hilarious. Look at his face and his little hand and his little prawn tail. I also didn’t realise that they couldn’t drink salt water, maybe that seems stupid. but they have a wee box of ice cubes that they had to fish cubes out of. They’re so clever!
For real there were so many animals there that I could go on about it all day. But I’ll move on.
Where I’m from there is a famous bridge that I usually walk over with my friend whenever I visit home. However. This bridge near the oceanarium is in a very different league. It’s called the Vasco da Gama, and it is the 8th longest bridge in the world. It’s 17.2 km (10.7 miles) long. When it first opened in 1998 the people of Lisbon put on a huge feast lining up tables all along the bridge. It did really remind me of the bridge back home. I had a small homesick moment, though as a rule I don’t really get homesick. It really reminds me of a picture I took back home (click through). So that was my homesick moment. It passed pretty quick when I walked around a little bit more and found these hilarious statues. I took the shot from behind to save their dignity. I really can’t wait to bring people here in the summer because although it looks pretty mundane it is honestly so out of place it’s hilarious. There’s only naked ladies, no men. Thought I’d mention that as it’s International Woman’s Day.
I was only kidding about saving their dignity. It’s too funny.
Later on I went to the cinema with Kevin to see Oz. Portuguese films are subtitled, not like in Spain where they are dubbed (often badly at that.) But yes, go see that too. I’d give it 4 stars.
I’ll leave you with a picture and a lovely short poem I saw in the oceanarium which I feel is applicable to me. They aren’t appropriate together but I felt as though they didn’t really fit in anywhere else in this enormous ramble…
“Quando eu morrer voltarei para buscar
Os instantes que não vivi junto do mar.”
“When I die I will come back to relive
All the moments I didn’t live by the sea”
-Sophia de Mello Breyer Andresen.