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Aquarium Club

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On Calle Salvador Sastre 16b, near Plaza de Espanya, we happened to walk by the Sociedad Acuariófila, a great aquarium store which also serves a club and get-together locale for fans of peces.


If you have an aquarium, this store has all the products you could ever need, and knowledgeable employees there to help. It’s still worth poking your head in, even if you don’t own fish. In addition to the store, there’s a bar and a gallery of interesting fish presented by members of the club — big, colorful fish which you don’t see every day. The piranhas were watching Juergen and I with hungry eyes. Honestly, it was freaky.

When we lived in Berlin, I kept an aquarium and loathed it. The cool fish were the first to die, and I was left with a horde of guppies who spent their time procreating and eating each other. Eventually, the sheer number of unwanted young prompted the tragic Guppicide of 2004. Nearly all of the babies & females met their maker at the bottom of my toilet. But this would have dire consequences on life in the tank. The horde of violent males attacked the young and constantly molested the remaining female, reducing my aquarium to a terrifying psycho-sexual horror show. I quietly prayed for their deaths while feeding my guppies, and tried my best to avoid watching them.

Anyway, don’t let my experience keep you away from the Sociedad Acuariófila. Although I’ll probably never own another aquarium, this is a neat place to spend a little time.

Sociedad Acuariófila Valenciana
Calle Salvador Sastre 16b
46007 Valencia
Phone: 96 341 34 62
Web: Sovac Pretty flashy!

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Real big fish in Valencia

December 17, 2009 at 5:15 pm Comment (1)

Valencia’s Oceanografic: Europe’s Biggest Aquarium

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We already covered Valencia’s incredible zoo, the Bioparc and thought it was time to pay a visit to our aquatic friends in Europe’s biggest aquarium, the Oceanografic. Found at the harbor end of the City of Arts & Sciences complex, this aquarium features marine ecosystems from throughout the world. The admission price of €23,95 seems steep, but is money well invested. The Oceanographic is huge, and can easily consume an entire day. Over 45,000 individual animals of 500 different species populate the premises.

Highlights abound. Take a walk through the shark tunnel, and try not to shiver as a gigantic Great White swims four feet over your head. We spent too much time watching the seals play, and almost missed the wonderful, high-flying dolphin show. Something unique we’d never seen was a walk-in submarine aquarium — we sat on a bench, in a little bubble and almost felt like a part of the scenery, as Mediterranean fish swam around us.

The greatest attraction, though, was the Beluga whale born in captivity in the Oceanografic. Graceful, beautiful, playful and unbelievably cute. I wanted so badly to give that thing a hug.

The best time to visit is during the off-season (October through May), in the morning hours before the school buses full of pushy, screaming children arrive. Make sure to stop by the information stand first, to find out about special events and check the times for the dolphin shows.

And please remember not to use your flash when taking pictures through aquarium glass: (a) they won’t turn out, because the flash reflects against the glass, and (b) you’ll annoy everyone around you. We were going nuts watching amatuer photographers look in puzzlement at their digital cameras, then take another flash picture. Then stare befuddled at the blown-out photo. Then take another flash picture. Befuddlement, flash, confusion, flash, frustration, flash.

If you have some time to kill and enjoy soothing music and sea life, check out our (overly-long) video of the Oceanografic:

Here’s a version, starring just the Beluga:

Visit the Oceanografic website for more information, current promotions and opening hours.
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More Oceanografic pictures:



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November 23, 2009 at 9:35 am Comments (7)