portugal: oceanáriotravel

September 22, 2009

--Not sure why such a Trek/Star Wars kick in my video backlog...

Photoblog of the Moment
So the day started off kind of oddly - we thought we had ordered tickets for me for a quick hop over to Madrid, but the airline didn't get the message, so after some fumbling with getting around the airpot I took a bus over to the Oriente area. Near the Metro stop I saw this brilliant tacky old-Mini Cooper...

With a matching limo. Sweet!

Man with Orange Tie (hi Amber!) Actually, Johnny pointed out that photos with people are more interesting than just architectural type photos.

Err, despite that, here's a boring old architectural photo, but I like the kind of Mediterranean colors.

I dunno, I just thought it interesting that "Real Indiana" would not make a good name for an Indian restaurant in the USA.

So I decided to spend the day at the Oceanário, the world's second biggest aquarium and Europe's largest. Also, in the back here is a Gondola ride I later took.

Heh, unlike Japan I haven't taken many photos of manhole covers...

Sea Monster art there.

There central aquarium is so big and beautiful. The theme is "One Ocean, One World" emphasizing the interconnectedness, and they say the tanks recreating all these different environments of the world are actually still connected, echoing the theme.

Even with sharks, this bruiser (Ocean sunfish aka Mahi-Mahi Mola-Mola thanks Leonard!) was probably the main attraction. It was amazing seeing him swim by.

Alcids! (Puffins are a type of those but these are a different type.)

So much dignity.

No wait, is that a Puffin after all?


...and another view of the bruiser.

Everyone loves Penguins. The signs said they're very proud of having a successful and breeding colony.

Johnny, who is on the verge of finishing up her thesis to become a vet, spent a year at the Oceanário - working with penguins and alcids! She says she was the first the penguins trusted enough to take food from her.

They mention for kids they have a "sleeping with sharks" program, where kids set up sleeping bags etc and drift off with these guys there. Sweet dreams kids!

A face only an ichthyologist could love.

The famous "dude vacuuming fish poo" fish.

It's also fun to watch the humans watching the fish.

Hard to duplicate the great sense of depth the central tank offered.

Actually, Monday is one of the feeding days, so I kind of lucked out.

Cool little shrimpy dude.

All done! There were some interesting tile patterns outside.

Interesting restroom symbol. Johnny thinks it might mean telling about co-ed kind of stalls... (maybe where parents can go in with children?)

The Oceanário is near the Expo '98 grounds, and there's some neat stuff, a lot of large scale exhiibits playing with water, music, and other enchanting and somewhat educational things.


They had these stepping stone paths.

One of the toys, filled with a slow moving viscous liquid you could see pour itself around the bits inside.

On the Gondola...

...view of the area.

Oddly sexy fountain...

And an interesting take on mermaids.

I was wondered if it was really ok to park a smart car sideways... guess so!

Interesting take on a hot dog, with pickled carrots, bacon, mayo and crispy bits. Texture- and flavor-wise it reminded me of that "kind of soba sandwich/taco on that styrofoam-like pink stuff you sometimes see at chinese restaurants" Osaka, Japan...

Took the metro back to Johnny's flat, and then we decided to head for a walk on the beach at Caparica... got my feet wet (kind of a ritual requirement for me when I'm oceanside even when the water is bracingly cold, like here) on this side of the Atlantic for the first time.

Johnny and her dog Papoila. She lives with 2 cats (one with only 3 legs after a 6 story fall) and this beauty, and I've never seen a more smoothly running pet-ish household.

Dunno why I like these trees so much, and the public art.

Old Aqueduct.

We ended with a nice meal. I got meat on a skewer. Damn but I love things grilled on skewers. She got fish eggs still in the ... like, wherever fish keep their eggs. But they're tiny tiny, not like caviar, just enough to make an interesting, faintly crumbly texture. Tasted good though especially with a bit of olive oil and lemon.

Finally we ended up going to an arts and crafts kind of minfair, maybe more of a bazaar...

Heh, had to love the "knickers as dreamcatchers" setup they used to display their wares...

Traditional Portuguese bags for groceries etc.

Finally tasty traditional Farturas (technically Porras), the traditional way for thees folks to get their necessary allotment of fairground fat-and-dough. I had mine filled with doce de leite...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8201997.stm - hunting for fun/goofy leading economic indicators.