Monday, 30 April 2012

27 April 2012 – Valencia Oceanografic

The U3A organised a coach trip to Valencia, with an option to visit the famous Oceanografic

This is our fourth coach trip this year with the U3A, and we were particularly looking forward to spending a day at the Oceanografic.   We have not been there before, but it was highly recommended by friends who have.
It only took 90 minutes on the coach, but Jan was ready for a coffee as soon as we arrived.  It also gave us time to study the visitor map and plan our visit

Our first visit was to the under water walks surrounded by fish above and on each side.   It’s very impressive, and the fish are so close you feel you can touch them.

We timed our visit quite well, as the tanks were being cleaned. There is a diver each side of the walkway each holding one end of a long strip of cloth which they pull along to clear the glass either side and above.

Our next visit was to the sea lions, who were quite relaxed having a check over and spruce up by the staff.

We then followed one of the long lines of young school children…

…making for the first performance in the dolphinarium

This was another first for Jan and I, and we enjoyed it just as much as the school kids

We had seen similar displays on TV, but it something else to see it live.  I had heard that dolphins are very intelligent, but I was not expecting them to perform so well.   And they seemed to enjoy it as much as the audience.

After lunch we visited the shark display

No cleaners in the water here, and it was quite an experience to have sharks swimming all around and above you within inches.   One little boy was quite frightened, until his dad pretended to scratch the shark’s tummy as it swam overhead.

By mid afternoon we were starting to wilt, so we went back for the second dolphin performance.

We enjoyed the second performance even more than the first one

We knew what to expect, and where to look, so we took the whole performance in much better.

There were also a group of high divers who performed in the background.  They were very good, but found it difficult to compete with the dolphins

It was a tired, but happy, group who gathered to wait for the coach at 6pm.  It had been a long day, but a very enjoyable experience.

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