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A visit to The Baltimore Aquarium

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At the beginning of May, I went with my sister, BiL, the girls and Grandma (BiL’s mother) to visit The Baltimore Aquarium in Maryland.  I guess it’s actually now called The National Aquarium in Baltimore (okay, I know it’s called that), but not by me or anyone else I know.  I haven’t been there since I was in high school (so quite some time ago), and I was really looking forward to this visit.  I didn’t really remember anything about the aquarium, except it’s big and there are a LOT of fish there.

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According to the website, there are over 16,000 animals to be seen: fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and birds.  The building itself is something to behold, with interesting architectural elements, beautiful photographs, attractive informational displays and a peaceful atmosphere.  It’s well laid out to guide you through the exhibits in such a way that you don’t miss anything.  Even so, it’s not a cattle walk; there is plenty of room to move about as you wish, and I never felt too overwhelmed or claustrophobic.  Of course, we went on a Thursday in May.  I would not recommend visiting on a Saturday in July, if you have a choice.

One of the most impressive exhibits is Open Ocean.  It starts on the bottom level with the shark walk, a 225,000-gallon, ring-shaped shark exhibit.  From there, you walk up through the center of this cylindrical display into the Atlantic Coral Reef.  This astounding exhibit holds 335,000 gallons and is 13 feet deep.  More than 500 exotic fish live in this “authentic fabricated reef”, and surrounded as you are, you do feel like you’re walking in the ocean.

For an awesome virtual tour, click HERE, where you’ll get an amazing 360 degree view of the aquarium. Click on View Map for a floor plan and quick access to other sections of the aquarium. Otherwise, just follow the arrows to “walk” through the various exhibit areas, just like I did in real life. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me.

Interacting with the virtual tour makes me want to go back again.  There’s just so very much to observe there!  I worried a bit that I was spending too much time attempting to get a good photograph, and not enough time enjoying what there was to be seen.  And getting a decent photograph at an aquarium is not so easy.  Low light wreaks its havoc, and those darn fish just won’t pose for you at all!  I have a lot of pictures of blurry fish.  Had I been alone, I’m sure I would have taken at least three or four times longer to do the tour, to photograph, take video and just watch.  I’d also like to take time to read the informational wall displays and sit down to watch the videos.  Maybe I’ll go back again in the fall.

Meanwhile, here is a little video I made:

Items of Interest:

National Aquarium in Baltimore