Sunday by the Soggy Seaside

Sunday by the Soggy Seaside.

Sunday, April 6, 2014.

BournemouthDear mummy, the weather is awful! So what possessed you and daddy to take me to the South Coast today is beyond me! We could have picked a better day surely!?! I better pack an umbrella…..

It’s soggy and damp and the rain is a horizontal mist. We load the car up ready for my nap and I sleep on the 50 mile journey. It’s not until later that I realise why we are going to the beach on this miserable day in Bournemouth.

Fish and ChipsMummy has booked tickets online (much cheaper than on the door) to take us to The Bournemouth Oceanarium, Bournemouth’s answer to Brighton’s SeaLife Centre.

The tickets are £7.50 online and £9.50 on the door for adults and free for children under 3. We arrive after the doors open at 10:30am and park across the road at the pay and display car park which costs us £4.50 for 4 hours. A short walk through the underpass and we are on the beach.

It’s very cold and windy! We are blown into Harry Ramsdens fish & chip shop where we are warmed up with a nice cup of tea (well for mummy) and a huge portion of cod and chips for the whole family. Yummy. It’s my second attempt at eating fish and I’m not doing too bad at it. I love vinegar and suck it off all the soggy chips. I peel the batter off the cod to eat and then discard the fish on the floor to mummy’s dismay! I do manage to get some of it into my mouth though!

OceanaruimWe meet up with other family members (by coincidence) and after lunch head into the Oceanarium.

It’s hot and sticky and very busy, much smaller than Brighton Sealife centre. The buggy park is right at the front door and pushchairs are rammed to the brim. We must have picked feeding time at the aquarium as queues of people shuffle up into the entrance and onto the first attraction which is The Amazon.

Freshwater Sting RayThe Amazon circle tank (Backwater Steam) house some pretty looking Ocellated River Sting Rays and shiny Hatchet Fish. It is one of the highlights of the whole tour around the aquarium. It is overlooked by the visitors and you can see why, as it’s at the base of the stairs leading upto the main attractions and people ignore it to get upstairs. It’s brilliant for a small baby like me.

I can stand and lean against the huge tank and watch in awe at all the freshwater fishys.

PiranhaWe head upstairs and continue on our Amazon Adventure, past the Iguana and into the Piranhas lair. Ooooo mummy, this place gives me the creeps. It’s dark and these fishys are just floating around aimlessly waiting to attack a small creature like me. Mummy informs me that they can’t eat me as they are behind very thick glass.

The guidebooks says that ‘Piranha’s teeth are so sharp they can leave a mark in steel but are not a serious threat to humans…” Yeah right.

Tunnel We walk past the busy area of the River Otters and struggle to get a good look as loads of people are congregating in this area. Large adults stand in children’s way, which mummy gets annoyed about so we quickly exit into Turtle Bay which is nice and bright and open. We lean over the side to see the giant green turtles swim past. Underneath the reef a large tunnel can be seen were visitors can walk through and see the sharks glide above them.

When we get downstairs and it’s our time to walk throughout the underwater tunnel, I grab hold of daddy tightly as I gasp at fish and the sharks swim over my head. I reach out to touch them and crank my head back. Daddy’s worried my head might fall off!

Next we are plunged into darkness as we enter The Abyss. However I get scared and walk alongside Daddy gripping his hand tightly, it’s very busy in here as people push and shove. It’s far too hectic for a small person like me so we make a swift exit. It’s ok daddy…I didn’t want to see the creepy spider crabs anyway. Even mummy felt claustrophobic.

We visit the Dragon eels on the way out where it is a bit quieter and see some more Stingrays. I enjoying walking on the decking around the tanks, at last, space to move around. It’s such a shame we didn’t see more fishys but the aquarium was too packed, maybe next time we will come during the week when it’s a bit calmer and we can see and reach the tanks.

Bella x


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