Saturday, February 27, 2016



The Fat Bald White Guy and his Faithful Hiking Companion found ourselves in Atlanta and took a few hours to visit one of the city's most popular attractions, the Georgia Aquarium.

Located in downtown Atlanta near Georgia Institute of Technology, the aquarium is the second largest aquarium in the world.  In over 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water, there is displayed over ten thousand species of marine life.  From the ordinary to the exotic, the aquarium allows its visitors to view some of the most incredible species in the world.
From the large atrium in the center of the facility, the visitor can choose many habitats from the deep sea to the river banks of the world.  On a Saturday in February there were a couple of thousand of visitors milling about.  If you don't like people or children, you will not enjoy your visit on a busy day and should plan to visit on a weekday.  We had a blast interacting with folks.

There is no order to this blog as we went from exhibit to exhibit taking pictures and marveling at the complexity of marine life.  This creature looks like a swimming mushroom!

And this creature looks like something you may see in a petri dish viewed by the lens of a microscope.
Everywhere you look are many well designed exhibits of marine life creating a natural habitat for the many species.  Love this zebra striped eel!

There are also many opportunities for interaction with the creatures in their habitat.  In the Aqualab, this kids got to touch star fish.  There also many large tanks with clear acrylic walls from which you can see a broad expanse of a habitat up close!

There is a great exhibit of Penguins...they waddled around and swam to the entertainment of the visitors. 

On the far end is a children's exhibit in which kids can climb through a tunnel beneath the water where the Penguins swim....and being a big kid, the FBWG had to feed his inner child!  Even a Penguin dipped his head beneath the water to check out the FBWG as he posed for a picture.

Not sure the Penguins ever figured out the FBWG....but I am sure my visit struck up a conversation among them! 

We also found a couple of albino alligators.

The Beluga Whale is a majestic creature who despite its size easily glides beneath the water.

Nearby was a giant Japanese Crab.  Along with delicate Sea Dragons.

My favorite creatures were the Sea Otters. Their energetic play was fun to watch. 

Still it was the underwater view of the giant Manta Rays and the Whales that were amazing!

The Giant Manta Ray is over 20 feet wide and looked like an exotic underwater bird as it glided about our heads as we rode a people mover through a tunnel beneath the largest tank in the Aquarium
From this view we got to experience what it must be like to be a fish...looking from the bottom of the ocean and seeing the community of marine creatures displayed in a most majestic way.  My thoughts were how interesting it must have been for our Creator to have designed such uniquely beautiful creatures.

I have never seen a sword fish...what a wonderfully exotic fish it is!
The reflection of the sunlight as it filters through the sun roof of the aquarium provided a colorful backdrop for this bottle nosed fish.

The color of the many different species of fish provided a natural rainbow beneath the surface of the water and because of the way the exhibits were laid out we got to enjoy it up close! 

I love the way the reflection caught my fellow visitors in full enjoyment of the moment!  It is as if the photograph capture the feeling of the moment.  Though it is an illusion to think that we belong in this habitat, it was however, for the moment a reality!  Perhaps Sebastian was right: "Ariel, listen to me: The human world is a mess. Life under the sea is better than anything they've got up there."

There were many unusual creates such as this fellow whose appearance easily blends in with a coral sand reef.  But the other fellow has a face of a man....don't know the name of the fish but I think calling him "Donald" might be appropriate!

These fish look like delicate fabric floating beneath the water. Pinstriped Catfish is what I would name them!
A visit to this magnificent place must be on everyone's bucket list.  The marine species on display offer a once in a lifetime experience.  There are many informative and interactive displays for children of all ages to learn about the habitat of each creature.  You must plan to spend a couple of hours in the aquarium. 

While this is not a hike, I feel like I need to rate it anyway....Access is a 8...downtown Atlanta is not an easy place to navigate during the week....parking is in an adjacent deck or in nearby vendor lots... The path within the Aquarium could be more organized especially with a large crowd, some limiting of the number of people in an exhibit would enhance the enjoyment of all....8...the scenery is beyond breathtaking....10.... effort to view....admission is pricey at $40 per adult but it is worth every penny!  Overall a 9 rated experience...

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