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  1. #1
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    A winter day out at The Eden Project

    These are pics from our family trip to The Eden Project near St. Austell, Cornwall on 27th December 2008.
    This is the site of the largest greenhouse in the world and houses lots of tropical plants and such like in an abandoned china clay pit. Its quite a famous tourist attraction but I had never been there before despite my parents living a short distance away. If I am not wrong it was in that stupid James Bond film with the invisible car.
    I think it was Marmite a while ago that told me I should go but actually what attracted us on this occasion is that in the winter they have an ice skating rink available for you to break your neck on.

    We had organised the visit with an old school friend of mine and his family. In the even his dad came along as well with some cousins but the more the merrier I sometimes say.

    As usual we were early and they were all late, so we spent 10 minutes or so at the entrance where they have this scene which depicts what would happen if there were no plants in the world. At one point the plastic dummies of the man and the woman get naked to show that clothes are derived from plants. Just out of interest, the man has fuzzy felt style pubes whereas the woman seems to have gone for a shaven haven. They also die through lack of oxygen which is a bit sad. Anyway the naked dummies provides some entertainment for the kids even if the educational part of the display seemed to be lost on most of those visiting on this day.



    So the rest of our companions finally showed up. They bought membership to the project so they can get in for free for a year. We didnt because we live in Singapore. Anyway the entrance fee was 30 pounds for 2 adults (the 2 kids go free in the winter) and we paid 5 pounds each for 45 mins ice skating.

    When you clear the entrance you are treated to a view of the biomes.



    And then you walk down for a closer look



    There are 2 biomes, one of which is tropical and the other is meditteranean.
    We went in the tropical one first. It was a bit weird going from 2 degrees C into around 30 degrees and you had to quickly remove your woolly hat, gloves and jacket. It really felt like being at home. My camera couldnt handle the change in temperature and it was a good 10 minutes before it stopped sweating so unfortunately I missed a few photo oppportunities.




    ^ mock up of a malay kampong.







    I think living in the tropics made this all a bit underwhelming. I can see big plants by taking a 10 minute walk from my flat to Macritchie reservoir. They had banana trees and coffee plantation etc but I suppose the most impressive thing is the biome itself which covers 1.559 hectares (3.9 acres) and measures 180 feet (55 m) high, 328 feet (100 m) wide and 656 feet (200 m) long (thanks wikipedia).
    I think a good idea to keep the tourists coming back would be to have some oompah-loompahs wandering around singing and stuff. Thats what i felt was missing anyway.

    At this point my mate Dave said he regretted buying the membership as he would have to keep 'coming back to see bloody plants'. And he doesn't live in the tropics - well not unless the climate in Poole has changed since last time I was there.

  2. #2
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    As we left the tropical biome ofcourse it was bloody freezing outside, so we quickly made our way to the cafeteria which surprisingly served fairly decent food at un-astronomical prices. I think most of us had jacket spuds apart from the kids who had little packed lunches which even included a packet of cress seeds for them to bring home and grow.

    Lunch over, we had a stroll outside while waiting for our 2pm slot at the ice skating.

    The weather was on our side as although it was chilly it was a beautiful day.







    ^This is a statue of a robot made from old electrical appliances. My eagle eyed son spotted a Samsung microwave that was the same as ours. I really must get a new one.

    When my mate's son started throwing stones at other visitors we decided it was time to go to the ice rink.

  3. #3
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    Apart from a couple of the kids in our group, this was the first time ice skating for most of us. What had seemed such a good idea back in Singapore suddenly seemed less so when it was actually there in front of you. Especially when I had checked earlier this morning and found that my travel insurance would not cover winter sports injuries. And isn't it amazing how everyone knows someone who has had a serious injury whilst ice skating.

    Anyway, as it turned out we all had a great time. Ofcourse the first circuit was done pretty much holding onto the rail but we all soon got into the swing of it. Once you realise that falling over on the ice is not really that bad then you can enjoy it more. I had a few aches and pains the next day though!

    My wife kindly volunteered to sit out the ice skating and took some photographs instead. There were loads of them with me in but they weren't very flattering so I have left most of them out.







    ^ Apparently she went down hard. Hehe. Anyway there were no serious casualties while we were there and there were 3 stewards skating around and helping anyone up who had fallen over. Once I fell over particularly spectacularly and the woman assisting me seemed to be pissing herself laughing which I thought was very unprofessional.





    All good things come to an end though, and before we knew it we were heading off the ice.



    The ice skating was without doubt the highlight of the day and my kids are still talking about it and pestering me to bring them ice skating here in Singapore.

  4. #4
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    After the ice skating we had some drinks - beers for the grown ups - there is a licensed bar next to the ice skating, and then it was off to the Mediterranean biome, which was set to a quite pleasant temperature and they had oranges growing there and all that good stuff.









    A bit of a show for the kids which ofcourse had an ecological message at the end of it. Ofcourse I have since forgotten exactly what that was.




  5. #5
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    Outside there is a big bee for some reason.



    Everyone was getting a bit tired by this stage but we had a quick look in The Core, a new indoor part of the Eden project which has some other attractions and bits and pieces about plants. It is more like a museum really I suppose.

    Anyway the most popular thing inside was this huge contraption of gears cogs and levers which transports metal balls about inside itself or something when you turn a wheel. I can't really remember.




    So that was our trip to the Eden project. A good day out was had by all and my mate Dave and I earned enough Brownie points to be able to spend the next afternoon drinking in various pubs in St. Austell. Result

  6. #6
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    While the photos are still downloading I thought I would post a 'great thread' comment.

    I hope I am not disappointed.

  7. #7
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    Nice thread slimboyfat and some really good pictures. The Eden project looks like a fun place to be and educational at the same time. As you rightly point out, more fun for folks that have never seen plants like that but it must have been nice to find food at a decent price, especialy with a large group of people. Thanks for sharing.

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    Did you not take the train from the entrance to the biomes?

    It's much more mature since I went there about 9 years ago. I'm not even sure if the Mediterranean biome had anything in it at the time. I do remember that there is supposed to be a big 'fek-off' tree in the main biome though.

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    holly sh!t nice work

    cheers for sharing I had heard of the place but never knew it was that impressive.

  10. #10
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    Good thread SBF, think I have got some pictures of it about 4 years ago. Will have a look and post them so you can see the differance.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cimboc
    holly sh!t nice work cheers for sharing I had heard of the place but never knew it was that impressive.
    likewise.

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    Thanks Fat Boy, very interesting.

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    Fabulous

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimboyfat
    The ice skating was without doubt the highlight of the day and my kids are still talking about it
    It is very stimulating for kiddies to be exposed to new experiences, especially when they can share them with their parents.

    Thanks, an interesting thread.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog View Post
    Did you not take the train from the entrance to the biomes?

    It's much more mature since I went there about 9 years ago. I'm not even sure if the Mediterranean biome had anything in it at the time. I do remember that there is supposed to be a big 'fek-off' tree in the main biome though.
    Didn't see a train, only a tractor pulling people about on a trailer. Rather fancied the walk anyway.....

    I don't remember a big 'fek-off' tree but then again I was too busy trying to get my camera free of condensation for most of the walk through the tropical biome.

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    Good stuff, although when I glanced at the headline, I thought the thread was about a winter's afternoon at the Eden club.

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    Nice photo's.I am originally from Cornwall and watched this place being built.It's an amazing place.Tim Smit the guy behind this project also restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan not far away(After the First World War, which led to the deaths of 16 out of the 22 gardeners, the gardens fell into a state of neglect until Tim Smit and a group of fellow enthusiasts decided to restore the garden to its former glory..Both interesting place to visit if you ever in that part of the world

  18. #18
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    Where are you from richie?

    I grew up in Sticker, a village nr St.Austell

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimboyfat View Post
    Where are you from richie?

    I grew up in Sticker, a village nr St.Austell

    From Newquay.Went back last year for the first time in about 10 years.Didn't recognize the the place.Most of the hotels gone and replaced with half finished apartments.I know Sticker.What is the name of the pub there?

  20. #20
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    Its called the Hewas Inn.

    Lived in Newquay for a couple of years when I was a kid and went to Fairpark infant school (at the end of Henver Road). The original school building is there I think but the playground is all houses now.

  21. #21
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    Here are some of the pics that I took at the Eden Project, these were taken in Late summer of 2001 about 6 months after they opened to the public.

    This first one was taken from what then was the top car park




    This just after going through the entrance. None of the top building had been built at the time.




    Four pictures from inside the tropical bione. You could see from one side to the other at the time, but when I went last year this was impossible with all the growth




    to the left of this picture is part of the side of the original pit which was built into the bione to supply the waterfall



    The building in the centre is the where the mock up of the Malay Kampoon is featured in SBF's photo






    I should have some photos of the sub tropical bione and if I come across them will post them. Sorry that the picture quality is poor but taken on an old camera, and no amount of tweaking has improved them much

  22. #22
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    Nice pictures Props and a great thread Slim!

    When comparing the 2 sets of pictures I know when I would prefer to visit!

    How did your kids handle the cold Slim? They looked like they were really enjoying themselves dispite the grim looking weather.

  23. #23
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    The weather wasn't that grim Loy Toy old bean!

    Yes it was cold but it was one of those bright sunny winters days as opposed to the wet and miserable ones that are most common in Cornwall.

    We had already been in the UK or Denmark for over 3 weeks by this stage so the the kids had no problem with the cold. They always seem to have preferred the colder weather of Europe to Singapore's heat, in fact I always want to go to the UK in the summer time but they like the winter more so I am out voted every time.

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