Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Vacation at the Georgia Aquarium





Christmas arrived in Tarpon about two weeks ago.  A fleet of boats festooned with lights came up Spring Bayou which had been decorated with luminarias all along the water's edge.  Santa Claus was an inflated figured tacked on top of the a boat until it arrived at the dock where the Epiphany Cross is jettisoned each January 6th.  Thousands of Tarpon Springs children where there to welcome Santa and a parade of elves.  This was the first I had seen this event as normally I was on the road to Tryon, NC where I have typically spent Christmas for many years.  This year I am thinking may be my last as I would like to spend Christmas and have a chance to decorate my almost refurbished home.  I hope my Tryon friends will join me next year in a Tarpon Springs Christmas.  

As the drive north is long and I have a dear friend in Atlanta this gives me and Limo and a break from the long drive plus better still, we get to visit another friend.  I recently became aware that Atlanta a city hundreds of miles from an ocean has the world's largest aquarium.  Always dubious of such monikers I thought it was time I went and checked it out.  Growing up in California I was fairly familiar with the Monterrey Aquarium which I considered tops with a smashing display of kelp beds that are more than three stories tall.  The trip to the Georgia Aquarium was to provide a dazzling experience.  Here in the land of Coke and in the old Olympic village a new structure has risen to awe and shock the world in a splendid way. Enjoy a few snaps and see what you think.






Entry into the aquarium is through a funnel type space where fishes like people are forced into a great central hall.

Once inside you pick your attraction:  Rivers, Ocean, Tropics, Amazon, quite amazing.  We went straight into the giant tank.  You enter the world of the ocean and its many exhibits through this Lucite tube where 15 foot manta rays and all manner of sharks glide all around you.



The giant tank is the size of a football field filled 35 deep with water.  In it the trophies:  four whale sharks, the largest was 25 feet when captured, graciously swim past while schools of every  manner of fish swim past you.  The 65 width is unimpeded with any structural breaks.  The Lucite 24 inches thick was fabricated in Japan (where else) and brought and fused together to create the wall of water.  I inquired to see what anyone knew of Kaiyukan Aquarium in Osaka that has a 150 foot whale shark supposedly in a larger tank.  Here, no one knew about it.


24 inch thick Lucite block sample 

The Menorah in the tank must have been for the  Gefilte Fish in the tank - sorry I could not resist!



Fabulous other display showed electric eels, phosphorescent creatures from deep and well, you name it!
When you thought you had seen everything another tank displayed a coral reef in a manner unique and never considered before.  This aquarium curved on top of you to create the effect  and allow the crashing of waves.  Marvelous!




Other parts of the aquariums displayed river habitats with aquariums on top and below you as you walked through a maze of wonders





A school of Piranhas is fed on schedule for an intimidating  effect.  Following the feeding cycle of the various aquariums is a great way to see the interactions.  Buying a yearly membership would be a great thing as there is so much to see.  Plus there appear to be special tours you can do behind the scenes or in the aquariums with snorkel or scuba tanks if you are certified.

marvelous display of beluga whales.

There were also sea monster although these where a foot long


The central hall has restaurants and the usual shops and all manner of other displays and even a giant dolphin show which as you can see I did not find too amusing (plus you can't photograph due to the possible harm that can be inflicted on the dancing dolphins).  All of this was dolled up for Christmas and it was truly magical.   What astonishes me is how this aquarium is replicating habitats in what was previously a taboo location far from any ocean.  Today, thanks to our progress and technology, I guess much more is possible.  

What a great place to have a private party.  I am sure that the Atlanta corporate world has been lining up to have special events here.  I can't wait to go back.  Not a bad way to start your Christmas Holidays,  Merry Christmas!

2 comments:

  1. Honestly, I haven't been to the Georgia aquarium and seeing that humongous tank is freaking awesome! I've never seen an aquarium that big and it's really overwhelming to see! I hope one day, I'll be able to visit the Georgia aquarium! What's the best attraction for you?

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  2. Cool! It was a great experience. Surely kids will love this kind of adventure, they can learned a lot there. Anyway, thanks for giving us an idea. I will try to have a Christmas vacation like that next time.




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