European Escapades

Oceanopolis – Brest

24

Mar

2010

I'm sure this was the fish that attacked me in the Belize I’m sure this was the fish that attacked me in the Belize

Well we finally made it to Brest and another campsite after a long drive from Plemy. I was a little disappointed with the campsite. The usual I guess, all facilities closed and no working wifi, not this week anyway. But the feel of the site was not to my liking and I was happy to only stay for one night. So we booked in at reception and decided to organise our trip to Oceanopolis for first thing in the morning, and then head off to another campsite on the south coast of Brittany.

Oceanopolis opened in 1990 and was completely revamped in 2000. Its mission is one of education and is an exhibition dedicated exclusively to the sea, its economy, and its ecology. Housed within the site are three distinct areas. These are polar, temperate and tropical marine.

The site contains tanks from to 50 to 1 million litres. The best of these sub areas is by far the tropical, which holds the largest tank. However the temperate and especially the smaller tanks showing the difficult to display shoreline area were of great interest to me. Watching the fish in the shoreline tank was fascinating, as a 100 Litres of water was poured in every minute or so to recreate the wave action crashing on the rocks. It also meant that the tank was slowly filling up mimicking the high and low tide for the plants living on the rock faces. We managed to spot a Picasso fish in the tropical aquarium, which is Frances favourite fish and reminds her I guess of our time in the Maldives. Seeing nurse sharks and a large grouper reminded me of my time in Belize. When minding my own business feeding the nurse sharks, I was attacked by one of these large ugly fish. It was wonderful to be able to see the penguins and seals both in and out of the water as you went from the underwater view to top side. It is amazing how streamlined and elegant the penguins are underwater as opposed to their waddling on the ice. Frances noted that the penguins seemed very content with their surroundings, as we watched one shoot out of the water and onto the ice. In my opinion the idea of education is a good one and one that Oceanopolis places in the forefront of the exhibit. However whilst the attraction is great for a child or person speaking French, they could have done better for the many other tourists visiting the attraction. They had a wealth of interactive multimedia stations dotted around the site, and this should be perfect for the adoption of bi-lingual displays and exhibits to allow everyone to participate. Unfortunately the flexibility of these assets was not being used. The only bi-lingual displays that we felt were useful, were in the temperate zone. However bi-lingual is not multilingual.

A worthwhile visit whilst in Breast, but they need to brush up on their educational offerings to the foreign tourist.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 5:20 pm and is filed under Travel Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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