On the second day of our visit to Valencia, the weather was grey and overcast, so we decided that an indoor adventure would be in order. We walked along to the City of Arts and Sciences, close to our hotel and headed for the Oceanographic or Aquarium. After wandering around the gardens and aviary we descended into the watery underworld and gazed at countless shoals of fish, sharks and rays drifting past us in the huge tanks.
We passed through the glass underwater tunnel and gazed at the beluga whale who was studiously ignoring the diver vacuuming the floor of his enclosure – even aquariums have their household chores. The place was packed with excited school-children on their summer outing. My children made friends with the residents of the aquarium, giving them nicknames like Mike the Shark, Ray the stinger, Lipsy (a little fish with big lips) and a pair of penguins called Nipper and Napper.
The best bit of the morning we spent there was the dolphin show which takes place three times during the day. If you visit in high season or at weekends, I’d get in early to make sure you get a seat as it was very popular.
This was the big highlight of the day and even of the trip for my children – they loved every moment, especially the burger bar at the entrance to the show where we stocked up on chips and slush puppies. This is the real Spain, I thought, as I got more and more chilly.
The dolphins leaped, wagged their tales and flippers and played with the guys and girls in wetsuits, taking them for rides or pushing them out of the water.
The only drawback was the high price – €23 for adults and €17, so it was the big treat of the trip, and a bit of a payback for the children for humouring me with the more boring (according to them )sightseeing bits.
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