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Under the sea…the Baltic one. Sea Museum and Dolphinarium’s journey

If You decide to go to Klaipeda, You also must take a chance and visit Sea museum, so according to this advice I set out hastily on the pier determined to not miss the ferry that will take me to a fantastic guided tour discovering the Baltic Sea depths’ secrets.

While waiting for the arrival of the boat, around me I observed dozens of fishermen waiting patiently for some fishes’ bite. Here it was, by the horizon appears a small blue barge that in occasion of each dolphins’ show provide a specific direct stop in front of the main entrance of the whole structure.

Once there, the courteous public relations appointed of the museum complex accompanies me around. Before the beginning of the show we give a walk inside the museum itself that I could visit in spite of the actual closure to the public, which will last about two years in order to complete some renovation works.

The building that houses the Sea museum is actually an ancient defence fort of the Prussian era, the only remaining example of its kind. Thus, the structure itself is of great historical and artistic value. To get inside the open yard you have to pass through a small bridge over a canal which houses of a happy little pelicans’ family.

Inside the museum the atmosphere is quite decadent. The tanks were almost entirely empty. My personal guide explains me that most of the fishes’ species that were taking refuge in those aquariums have been released into the Baltic waters, from where they originally came from and where they find their natural habitat. Whilst, other fishes mainly tropical and Mediterranean ones have been putted into quarantine. For this particular occasion the biologists have prepared two different pools one with hot and the other with cold water which respectively contain all the species. Cute penguins and enormous sea lions are the only to remain there as permanent basis.

The works that are currently involving this structure are a part of a very ambitious project. It will consist not only in a renewal of the rooms and the aquariums through the introduction of sustainable and zero environmental impact systems but it is also a real conceptual rethinking that will allow considerable accessibility to visitors.

All this great talk was making us lose the track of time. Hence, hurried ours step to reach the pool my efficient companion tells me that this dolphinarium, officially opened in 1994, is the result of the joint work of the architect P. Lape and the constructor T. Tubis.

With a capacity of 1800 m³ and a depth of 5.5 m the main pool hosts 9 dolphins while the main hall counts 1000 seats for the audience. Suddenly the lights starts to switching off and between squeals of excited children the show begins. It last more or less half an hours of dolphins and their trainers’ acrobatics. After that, like all the others child, I did the queue to touch one of them and to have my picture. I felt so happy when the staff gave me as a present the portrait that the dolphin made itself and that generally they sell it to gain money to finance their projects. In fact, also the dolphinarium is under work. The personnel was moved while explaining me the new project for a pool in with ill children can play with dolphin as a therapy.

This complex, unique in is kind for the entire Baltic region, welcome every year to about 400,000 tourists mainly national but also from the neighbours’ states.

On my way back to the ferry I stopped also in the others interesting parts of the Museum. Firstly I visited the rebuilding of an ancient fishermen’s village with inside an ethnographic reconstruction of the daily life of those population. Moreover, for the most passionate for the history of commercial marine there are now three old soviet vessels in exposition that can be visited even inside.

Then, I warmly suggest a visit that I’m sure no one will regret!

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