Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday 3rd August 11, Fifth day of holiday, visiting The Eden Project

Woo, one of the main reasons to come to Mevagissey was its proximity to The Eden Project, and today we got a family day rover ticket with Western Greyhound and got the 09.45 bus to St Austell.  We met a lovely Norwegian family on the bus, and a woman called Pamela Caswell from Crewkerne, who was doing a mammoth walk all around the SW peninsular, raising money for the air ambulance services of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.  She had got a sunburnt nose yesterday and was going to St Austell to get suncream... and to the Air Ambulance shop to give in her latest charity tin, which included a huge haul of coppers and small change donated, she said, 'from someone's ash tray'!

We changed buses at St Austell, and got another Greyhound bus which took us to the top of the quarry that The Eden Project has transformed from an open wound in the Earth's surface, to a veritable oasis of vegetation and wonderment.  We walked down into what seemed like a valley with winding paths all going towards the entrance building.  We showed our rail and bus tickets and this got us a discount on the adult tickets (£18 each) and because of our use of public transport, the children went free.  We walked out to the other side of the first building, and there, in front of us and in the huge crater of the old quarry, were the enormous bubble-like domes which contain the two 'biomes', one humid tropical, the other a dry Mediterranean environment.

We walked down into the base, where there were several large structures, a big top, dwarfed by a much bigger white tent, where No Fit State Circus were due to perform Labyrinth.  When I found this on the website yesterday, I was very excited... but then reality kicked in... it cost an extra £30 per adult, and £17.50 per child (our family would be £90), and secondly, it was from 8pm to 10.30pm, and the last bus for Mevagissey leaves St Austell at 10.50pm.  Gill suggested that I should get a ticket for the show, and they'd go back to Mevagissey and I could stay on to see No Fit State.  However, I couldn't see how I or we could get from the bottom of Eden to St Austell in 20 minutes, and if I got a taxi all the way from Eden to Meva, that would add £15 or £20 to my £30 Labyrinth ticket, so I put the idea out of my mind and just enjoyed what I got for the entrance price.

I spoke to one of the people in the big top, about the times for the circus workshops, and was told they'd be on at intervals throughout the day.  Then we headed for the first set of giant greenhouse-bubbles, the hot and humid tropical biome.  This was wonderful, a real reminder of some of the tropical vegetation I've been lucky enough to experience in Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, and parts of Zimbabwe. It was a sunny day so the massive greenhouse-like structure got very hot, and it's kept humid with sprays and waterfalls.  I loved this, could easily have spent much longer here.  I decided not to queue for 45 minutes to get up to the viewing platform at the top of the dome, and went to the lunch area to eat our sandwiches which we'd brought with us... although the food looked enticing and was served on thick wooden platters. 

Then we explored the 'Warm Temperate Biome', or Mediterranean, which had plants from Southern Europe and North Africa, California, Australia and a few other mainly dry warm areas.  This area had some good foodcrops on show, including tomatoes and chillies, oranges and sorghum, olives and nectarines.

From here we went to the 'educational' building called The Core, which I was looking forward to a lot, as it has at it's centre a sculpture called Seed, by my favourite sculptor, Peter Randall-Page.  I went straight to see Seed and was well pleased.

1 comment:

Compostwoman said...

Wonderful place! Shame about the circus stuff in the evening - you might think they would put on a matinee performance for visitors with yonger children...?