Sirwin
Sirwin

Sea Life Centre, PoolTogether And The Birmingham's Canals


Once upon a time I visited Birmingham to visit the National Sea Life Centre. I had a good day out, hated the tangled roads and one-way systems, and had a lovely meal at the Slug & Lettuce! 

Birmingham is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom, and the largest UK metropolitan area outside of London. The city is considered to be the social, cultural, financial and commercial centre of the Midlands.

It was historically a market town in Warwickshire in the medieval period, but it grew during the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution. It was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world", with thousands of small workshops practicing a wide variety of specialized and highly skilled trades.

Do you know that the Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham? Do you know that the name comes from Beormingahām, meaning the home of the Beormingas? 

The city is home of two of the country's oldest professional football teams: Aston Villa F.C. (founded in 1874) and Birmingham City F.C. (founded in 1875). My visit was not football related and more of a leisure activity. I went to visit the National Sea Life Centre, an aquarium with over 60 displays of freshwater and marine life in Brindleyplace.

Birmingham have more canals than Venice. In fact, did you know that Birmingham is known as the ‘Venice of the North‘? The extensive network of waterways allowed the city to become the world’s first manufacturing city, and helped it rise to such prominence as a city. These days, the canals are a much more peaceful place where you can stroll around or enjoying an after-work pint at a waterside pubs.

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Visiting places and taking days off from crypto is important for my mental health, as most of the days I dive into toxic productivity and over-work on all kinds of silly tasks.

The Sea Life Birmingham ocean tank was a capacity of 1,000,000 liters of water and houses giant green sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks and tropical reef fish, with the only fully transparent 360-degree underwater tunnel in the United Kingdom. The building was designed by Sir Norman Foster

Sea Life Centre Birmingham is one of the West Midlands' most popular tourist attractions and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The centre has been featured in a number of documentaries, and Sir David Attenborough visited the centre in 2010 while filming his BBC2 series First Animals.

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The centre describes itself as a place that 'transports visitors into an underwater world of discovery', housing over 2,000 creatures from around the world. There are several conservation projects undertaken by aquarium staff, including an extensive seahorse breeding program.

There are many species of newly reared seahorses in tanks viewable by visitors, but the most rare sighting is the colorful pooler! Some visitors said that this mythical creature was lurking in the shadows, shouting WAGMI and other strange words like DYOR or LFG! 

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The Birmingham centre was less busy than the London Sea Life, and with some animals not so common in the UK. You can watch tropical displays, a giant Pacific octopus, horseshoe crabs, green sea turtles, lobsters, sharks, sting rays, and sea otters.

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The Sensorama 4-D Cinema was open in 2009, a place where the audience can be subjected to sensations such as wind, salt spray, and the smell the seaweed, or other sensations depending on the film.

In 2014 the centre opened a £2,000,000 'Penguin Ice Adventure' habitat that became home to a colony of gentoo penguins. I always liked penguins and it's always brain-chill to watch them dive and walk around. 

The centre became home to a pair of northern sea otters in 2020. Ozzy and Ola were the first and only sea otters to be displayed at any zoological collection in the UK. The couple was rescued in Alaska, and found a cozy home in Birmingham.

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Brindleyplace and The Mailbox host a plethora of restaurants, specializing in tapas, Brazilian food, steak, Italian cuisine, and much more. Something for everyone, from the most traditional English pub to the most sophisticated cocktail bar.

Bill Clinton enjoyed a pint at a canalside pub when he visited Birmingham in 1998! I wanted to be like Bill and enjoyed a pint at the Slug & Lettuce! The drink was matched with Monica.... sorry... with a sharer platter of fried chicken and other healthy things.

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My better half choose a fancy Katsu Chicken Curry with pomegranate. Her meal was posh but she couldn't stop nibbling from my platter, and stealing all those tasty bites! Are you planning to visit any aquarium or sea life center?

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Staycations - Exploring the United Kingdom
Staycations - Exploring the United Kingdom

There’ll always be an England, while there’s a country lane. Wherever there’s a cottage small, beside a field of grain… There’ll always be an England… England shall be free if England means as much to you as England means to me. – Vera Lynn

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