A Cornish Adventure Pt4 - Eden Project

Trip Start May 15, 2010
Trip End Dec 15, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 11, 2010

It was a short drive through the Cornish countryside to get to the Eden project, the funny thing about sat nav is that it bases the 'fastest route' calculation on the speed of the road, therefore travelling on the single lane (for both cars) countryside roads where the speed limit is technically 60 (didn't get much past 20 on most of it nor did i want to), is the 'fastest route'. 

Arriving at the Eden project i was directed to a parking spot, i then had the choice to get on the park and ride bus, or walk down to the entrance, the parking attendant told me it was a 5 min walk, which i decided was preferable to a guided bus tour of the car parks.

After paying my entrance fee i stepped out onto the platform and took in the view, for those reading this that don't know the Eden Project it is a disused quarry in which two giant biodomes have been build to house exotic plants. The first dome is a rainforest habitat so you can imaging the temperature in there. The second dome is Mediterranean so slightly hotter than the average UK summers day (a good one that is) but a consistent temperature all year round. To get to the dome in the base of the quarry there are a number of pathways making there way down the insides of the quarry, each pathway planted with Cornish coastal and UK plants as well as a well placed sculpture or two (Execept of course the high bridge). Three new structures have also been built since i last visited, what was the temporary building which was showing the 'how Eden was built' video is now a permanent 'Eden Theatre', in the centre of the quarry a covered stage has built to allow for the staging of summer events. And a building called 'The Core' which is a conservation with a large stone seed at its centre or in its 'core'. With a bridge which took you back to the entrance (and walk through the gift shop 'surprise' to get out).

I decided to take the 'cornish walk' route down round the inside of the quarry, the paths were well planted, on the left hand side of the quarry as it were as you walked down were a number of 'hidden sculptures' and small buildings and seating made with materials of the landscape. At the bottom of the pathway down was a traditional vegetable garden complete with scarecrows and a garden shed. Walking round to the entrance of the bio-domes was a number of sculptures such as a metal frame man fishing, a giant bee or wasp i couldn't quite tell and two metal cows on the roof of the connecting section.

Before entering the biodomes i decided that lunch would be in order, as they say when in Rome,so it was Cornish pastie for lunch, after enjoying a pastie and wedge cut chips it was into the bio-domes.  
The first dome for me was the rainforest dome, advice on entry is to either take a bottle of water or use the fountains provided, at 35 degrees id say it was good advice, on entering it is a single one way trail that take you up through the dome and back around to the start. The centre of the dome has a waterfall running through it and the path takes you across it at different levels. There were a number of lagoon type displays and various examples of rainforest living in the form of hut of varying sizes. Of course there was also a selection of rainforest flowers planted into the landscape. On reaching the top i was exhausted so i stopped to enjoy the view before making the journey back down the path to the entrance. Again not very descriptive but the photo attached to this blog will help with that.

Moving across to the other dome was the Mediterranean environment, this was a temperature slightly warmer than the weather outside the dome, but at a constant. This was a slighly smaller dome with plants more akin to a European climate. After making my way around this dome i made my way outside again. 

New to the project since my last visit was an exhibition centre called the core. This was an exhibition hall which contained a variety of enviromental displays. And a giant concrete seed at its core. It also housed a glass elevator taking visitors back to the top, after looking at the displays i took the glass elevator and bridge back to the visitor centre/entrance. 

At this point i had walked all the paths except for the zig-zag path which is the direct-ish route down to the domes. So i decided to take the land train (carriages pulled by a bio-diesel fuelled tractor) back to the bottom so that i could walk back up the path. 

Making it back to the visitor centre, i then had the obligatory walk through the gift stop to the exit. A short park and ride bendy bus trip back to the car park (after i remembered which car park, there are 7 all named after different fruits) and then the short journey home.



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