Tropical Fish, Penguins and Beluga Whales

October 3, 2017 - Valencia, Spain

Another wonderful breakfast at the Caro Hotel. With only a small number of rooms breakfast is easy and a quiet affair and it is rather pleasant to sit near the remains of the old Gothic walls and the Gothic floor under our glass floor. Yesterday's Eggs Florentine (poached eggs on toast with spinach and hollandaise sauce) was so yummy I just had to go that way again. These weren't just poached eggs that popped and ran everywhere, they positively quivered when you waved a fork near them. Some people may have liked the whites a little firmer but for me … perfect. Today it was just as good but better for the anticipation. Margaret even thought she needed fortifying for today's walk and chose a cheese omelette instead of her normal toast and spreads.

This time we walked a little further. All the way to the Cuitat de les Ciéncies and then a bit further to the Oceanogràfic. We had been told to expect to spend a whole day and we expected crowds. In fact when we got home from dinner last night the Receptionist had bought the tickets online for us but she hadn't been sure how much time that would save. She still thought we would have to line up to be issued the real ticket to get through the gate. She was correct but it was a slightly shorter line and simple except that because the tickets were issued in Margaret's name she needed to prove who she was. The Spanish carry ID cards but not us, and certainly not much when out walking. Luckily the person on the ticket window was happy with a Visa Card issued in Margaret's name.

The entry area took us down to the Tropical environments. Small tanks with jellyfish and large tanks with many colourful fish, coral and anemones from Caribbean and Indo Pacific areas that then changed to Temperate environment tanks with many pelagic fish and some sharks and rays. It was then time to move down to the dolphin area for the 1.30pm show. Definitely this was worth the effort and interruption to our viewing. The dolphins obviously had a lot of trust in their trainers. There were five trainers and six dolphins. Two dolphins performed very high jumps with multiple backward somersaults. This is not something they would do naturally so it was a mark of the training effort.

After the performance we found a spot to sit with a cool lemon drink and look at flamingos, swans and Magpie Geese as well as ducks of different types before we went looking for somewhere a bit cooler.

Where could be better than the Antarctic exhibit. Here they had Gentoo Penguins as the major exhibit. It certainly looked colder in their enclosure than even where we were watching. We enjoyed the antics of the penguins. One seemed to swim along beside the glass and look at you from under and then over the water. Another kept coming down to the edge of the rocks, about to go in and then changing his mind and going back to the top, before coming back to the edge once more. He never did go in!

The Arctic area was next and we saw Walruses who did absolutely nothing. Except perhaps one who put his head up sometimes and grunted. We couldn't work out what he bellowed about. There were three and he was in the middle and all three were nose to tail. So did he just want to get out from in between or was he asking 'who farted'. There were also seals and Beluga whales who swam around and around but within a very big and deep tank with many rock pinnacles and passageways so they were often out of sight.

We went back to ground level again to see the crocodiles (West and Central African) and tortoises before going back underground again to see the sharks and rays in a large tank with two tunnel sections.

When we came back to ground level again we walked to the northernmost end to the bird aviary where there were fish, tortoises and iguana as well as Roseate Spoonbills, Scarlet Ibis, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis and Night Herons. Always a bit awkward in a walk-in aviary and Margaret paid the price. Lucky they say, but she would have to wash her hair again tonight!

By that time we were pretty well full of information and sights so we called it a day and began the long walk back to the hotel once more. Another 3km walk in the warmth of the afternoon. It was a good thing the western side gave a bit more shade.

Again we took the time to sit on the terrace with a beer and look longingly at the pool but we were too self-conscious to go in to what looks like an aquarium for people. For today we had already seen whales in tanks!

This evening we actually found the restaurant that had been recommended but it seemed a bit subdued considering the number of people at all the others. I'm sure it is good and it may have just opened for the night but we decided to go for the easy way and head back to 'El Petit Bistro Virgen' for the same fare as last night. Tonight we thought we should stick with a beer instead of a bottle of wine. Just as enjoyable and a satisfying meal without being too filling. Perfect


The Dolphin Show
The Dolphin Show
The Dolphin Show
Flamingos with lunch


October 6, 2017
I love aquariums, sounds like such fun x
October 7, 2017
Sounds like you guys are having a great time! I am also glad that the walrus that you saw was well behaved, the alternative is positively scaring.
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