H: Our next stop in Galintburg was the Ripley’s Aquarium and it didn’t disappoint, though, it was fairly crowded. You walk into a brightly lit building that slowly gets darker and darker as you walk past tanks of piranhas and other fish and walk through rooms that are lit only by beautiful blue display tanks filled with Jellyfish, Moray Eels, Lionfish and gigantic crabs. I think we could have stayed mesmerized in front of the jellyfish for ages if there hadn’t been so many people.
J: I was really impressed by how well displayed most of the animals were. What I should point out is that the Ripley’s name gave me some misconceptions about the place. Having just come from the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum I had already begun mentally associating the name “Ripley’s” with things that were just bizarre or crazy. I had incorrectly started to expect really, really strange fish that I’d never seen before but instead the museum had at least half its inhabitants that were fish that are fairly standard aquarium items. Don’t let that deter you, this place was awesome. The jellyfish display was amazing but the underwater tunnel alone was worth the price of admission.
H: While many other aquariums have underwater tunnels, this was our first experience going through one. This particular one features a conveyor belt, which is fairly nice and helps keep the traffic flowing. The water in the tank seemed kind of cloudy, so we couldn’t see through it very far, but there were plenty of sharks willing to swim up fairly close and a wide variety of fish to watch. The main draw was the sharks, however, and the Sawfish.
J: The conveyor belt was the perfect touch to really keep things flowing so you don’t end up with a congestion of people in the best spots for viewing and have to fight your way to the front or wait it out and hope it’s still interesting when you make it up there. There are plenty of other tanks where I wish that were the case. It’s an aquarium so gawkers happen, but the conveyor forces you to be courteous to other people trying to see, whether you like it or not.
H: Once we were out of the tunnel, we actually looped around and went through it again before looking at more random fish and stopping at the sting ray tank so that Josh could try and touch one (alas they didn’t want him to) and then it was time to check out the penguins because who doesn’t love penguins?
J: Penguins! We must have caught them at a good time because most of the time penguins don’t seem to stand still for us. The enclosure glass was actually clean enough to get some decent shots and they had a few crawl spaces for kids to get in right next to them. I think I was too big to go in there so I didn’t try. But I wanted to.
H: I don’t know that the kids would have let him in if he tried. :p We did get one penguin in particular who was more than happy to pose for us, though. Then it was time to hit the gift shop and off to do random exploring!
J: And off to the best beer I have ever tasted: The Rocky Mountain Brewery. Random plug there, but seriously, even the beers I didn’t like were awesome. They have 3 locations in Tennessee and I highly recommend stopping there.
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