Date : 23 Aug 2008
Hubs thinks it's a good idea for us to visit the London Aquarium on Saturday as Sunday (today) is when Central London will be packed to the brim because of the Olympic Party happening at The Mall. And tomorrow (Monday), there is the Notting Hill Festivals, another traffic-stopping event.
We parked at hub's office and make the short walk to London Eye, passing by Shell Centre. We saw the queue to go up the London Eye - a 30mins 2km long snakey queue! We didn't know where to get the tickets so I asked a Marshall if I could get it at the "Fast Track" queue, he said yes. Little did I know that in order to get my "Oyster 2 for 1" ticket, I had to queue up at the London Aquarium entrance. So I spent about 20mins queueing for nothing! We then had to join the right queue and that too, was for about 15-20mins (it was about 1km long).
(Lunch at "The Fire Station" on the way to the aquarium)
Upon getting our tickets and entering, Shean Wenn was totally fascinated by the display of fish and marine wildlife.
(Totally fascinated by the fishes)
We allow her to look at the fishes and wildlife up close (at the tanks) and she kept pointing at them saying "Fish/Bish/Ish/Wish" (depending on her pronunciation).
BELOW : Moray Eel, I believe
We arrived at the Aquarium at about 2pm (by the time we queue up and entered, that is) and we saw on the board that there was to be a Shark Feeding at Zone 9 at 2.30pm. Which means we had to cover 8 zones to reach there. It was nearly impossible (we didn't want to backtrack) so we just took our time looking at the displays and tanks before reaching Zone 9 - The Pacific Ocean (where the Sharks are).
ZONE 10 - CORAL REEF
Shean Wenn is so absorbed looking at the Tangs (the big yellow fish below) @ the Coral Reef section. Zone 12 is my favourite bit - looking at the Piranhas. I remember at about 4 or 5 years old, I went with my cousins to their church which was showing the movie "Piranhas" and was so scared for many nights after that because everytime I closed my eyes, the images of the man-eating piranhas eating their preys kept replaying in my head!! Haha. I am glad to say I did not get scarred for life though (same goes for the movie "Jaws"), phew!
TERRAPINS : Here is where I got "excited" debating and correcting the hubs when he pointed to one Terrapin and told SW "This is a turtle". I have always thought that turtles, tortoises and terrapins are quite distinct. Can you tell the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?
Turtle : Lives in the ocean and spends most of their time in the water, has webbed feet (for swimming)
Tortoise : Lives on land, does not have webbed feet but instead have round and stumpy feet with claws for walking.
Anyway, after searching around the internet, it seems that "In a biological respect, a tortoise is a kind of a turtle, but not all turtles are tortoises." (Source : Wisegeek)
And apparently, "turtles and tortoises are common names usually refer to differences in where the species live and how they use their habitat. But the names are also used differently in other parts of the world." (Source : Sandiegozoo)
So perhaps the hubs isn't that far wrong! (I should go tell him that later)
Zone 14 - The Rainforest!
Ahh, something familiar to end our tour in the Aquarium. I spotted this Arowana (from Amazon) - it was a huge one of about 2 feet long! Must be worth alot if sold to the Asian businessmen. (Many asian businessmen believe that keeping an Arowana will help them prosper in their business. I would know because I know many petrol station dealers keeping one in their offices!) Ok, so perhaps this one isn't the expensive species that people pay hundreds of thousands for.. . but still. (Family portrait)
Overall, I really enjoyed the trip there. Barring the queuing, it was quite a smooth trip, and educational one for me too! But if you plan to go there, bear in mind that although they say this is "Not weather dependant", it is too - you need to anticipate the queuing (mostly outdoors), unless you can get there early when they open their doors.
The hubs's verdict : Not as fun as the Seaworld in Brisbane ( he cited there there wasn't any dolphins!). Well, it can't be as fun as Seawolrd because this is an indoor AQUARIUM and not a SEAWORLD, dear hubby.