Thursday, January 17, 2008

Zootopia

One of the things I’ve missed about home lately is the wonderful aquarium Andy and I used to have. Back in the Bay Area, I loved having fish and taking care of them in a little underwater world. For those of you who never saw it, here’s a picture of our old aquarium:


Our friend Doug was nice enough to take our aquarium when we moved last summer, as transporting it to London was not an option. So at least we know it’s in good hands. However, this still doesn’t satisfy my longing to see tropical fish swimming happily around a tank, playing in a sunken mini-treasure chest, and occasionally falling asleep (yes, fish do sleep!).

When we first arrived in London, we explored the idea of setting up an aquarium in our flat, but there were two major problems: water quality and transportation. The water here is full of minerals - treating it would take a lot of work and quite a few chemicals, and we both feel that generally the more chemicals you add to your aquarium, the worse off your fish will be. The second problem was our lack of car. Transporting aquarium supplies, especially the tank, is a huge hassle - everything is very heavy - and trying to hail a taxi and lug everything up to our third floor flat just didn’t seem feasible. If you have your own car it’s tough; if you don’t, it’s a near impossibility.

So recently I got excited about finding a place to visit some fish, since we can’t have any of our own. Our first thought was to go to the London Aquarium; however, its first floor is closed for renovation so we opted out - we didn’t want to miss out on half the exhibits. However, it turns out that the London Zoo has a small aquarium exhibit, so last weekend we took the underground over to Regents Park, walked through the park and over to the zoo.

It was a pretty cold day, with temperatures in the low forties, but we had a great time visiting all the exhibits. The aquarium had tanks with Tangs, Clown Fish, and lots of beautiful corals:

Whizzing Fish

Tangs

Creepy Piranhas

Although a good number of the animals in the zoo were on vacation because it was so cold, we still got to see some awesome birds, including owls, pelicans, pink flamingos, and toucans:

Andy and Pelicans

Colorful Toucan

Hawk Owl

There were also giraffes, which were Andy’s favorites, and llamas too:


There were supposed to be meerkats but I think they’d gone somewhere warmer for the season, as had the zebras and lions. But we still had a wonderful time, and seeing the fish was extra special.

3 comments:

cabby said...

Jovie the dog can't wait until you're back in the bay area, and can visit her. Though she acknowledges that it's not a proper zoo she lives in, she tries to make it feel like one! She likes to think of it as a petting zoo... or a feeding zoo, yeah that, so she gets more food in the deal.

Hildy von B said...

Viva el Tim!
btw... cool album that I think that you guys might like.
Grizzly Bear, Yellow House:
http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-House-Grizzly-Bear/dp/B000FS9LKW

Then again, Andy may have already heard of it through one of his snazzy magazines.

hildy von v said...

well, that link didn't work too well. Oh well... it is totally searchable!