Friday, 12 December 2008

Istanbul Dolphinarium

I heard about the new dolphinarium being opened via the BBC News website - after much asking about I found out where it is - in a purpose built new building on the Golden Horn - taking the water they need for the dolphins and filtering it. We went today (Thursday) I was impressed by the set-up, OK it's brand new, so it should work - but it is finished and tidy, not a construction zone. It's a joint venture between the City Council and 'The Russians' - well done to all. It was a great performance, the 3 dolphins and 2 walruses were perfectly trained. Dolphin freak T2 was dumbstruck with glee - he couldn't believe his eyes, and was grinning so hard his chops must ache. I didn't tell T1 & T2 we were going there, insurance in case my sense of direction failed me and we ended up in Greece or Albania....

Being Turkey and out of the EU regulation machine and lack of nanny state there was a red ribbon separating the public from the animals - no glass, or barriers, nothing. Petting the dolphins was reserved for 8 kids picked at random by catching a ball tossed by the dolphins - swimming with the dolphins 1:1 is also available - for a hefty fee.

It was well worth the effort and I am sure we'll go again - it is warmer than the zoo at this time of year. Just 3 more days until school...

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