Thursday, 27 March 2014

Scoping Out the Fishes

I finally made it down to Ripleys Aquarium of Canada.  I can't believe it took me four months to get down there.  The aquarium is in a great location at the foot of the CN tower, next to the Rogers Centre (I totally wrote Skydome on my first try) and the Steamwhistle brewery, so it's not like getting there is a chore and I LOVE aquariums. So really it was only the fear of my own disappointment that was holding be back and what kind of stupid excuse is that?  Especially because the aquarium is actually really awesome. 

The aquarium takes about two hours to navigate and is best seen on a weekday when it's less crowded.  They're open until nine so there's lots of time to go after work.  Is it wrong that we had seafood for dinner first?

The aquarium starts you off in our native waters with a few swimmers you may have encountered up at the cottage.  Schooling fish, giant lobsters and the rhythmic sway of the kelp garden suspend our attention until someone remembers that there are sharks up ahead.  

You'll pass through the bright colours of the reef before heading into dangerous waters.  A moving sidewalk takes you through the tunnel as sharks, rays and turtles swim 180 degrees around you.   I initially doubted the value of the moving sidewalk, but after giving it a whirl I think it's one of the best ideas ever for this kind of attraction. It means that you get a close up view of the tank without having to look over clumps of people who have gathered and are refusing to keep moving through the exhibit.   

Seahorses.  Ever given them much thought? I don't think the aquarium thought they'd be as popular as they are.  People were flocking to them and it's a tight squeeze to pass through, but then things open up again for the jelly fish.  I've never met a jelly I was particularly fond of in all of my beach and snorkeling experiences.  In fact, I think they creep me out a little.  What do you mean they don't have brains?!?!?!  But behind glass, they're actually pretty fun to watch. 

And if you're looking for a little interaction, be sure to pet the stingrays, those things feel awesome. Just be careful on the way out, you'll have to go through the gift shop.