Summer travel idea: the public aquarium in Lisbon to see the Takashi Amano show

Here’s a summer-to-fall travel idea: go to the Oceanário de Lisboa to see a “temporary exhibit” of planted aquaria by the world’s greatest-ever artist in this medium: Takashi Amano (1954-2015). Inspiration: my photos from September 2017.

The permanent exhibit is more conventional, a huge tank representing “one ocean” with additional habitats represented by smaller tanks. What’s remarkable about this aquarium, at least at the time of my weekday afternoon visit, was the peace and quiet. Instead of a continuous roar of screaming kids, the environment is hushed and conducive the contemplation.

Lisbon itself is a fantastic place to enjoy life. Here are some folks dancing after 10 pm on a weekday at the Time Out Market (not to be confused with the “Times Up Market” of sexual harassment litigation!).

[Portugal is a great place to spend money, since the weather is beautiful, the people are friendly, and prices are much lower than in the UK, France, or Scandinavia. Unfortunately for locals, Portugal is not a great place to earn money. See “Why is Portugal’s economy so sluggish?“]


4 thoughts on “Summer travel idea: the public aquarium in Lisbon to see the Takashi Amano show

  1. If you end up on going to Lisbon, try the black tempura cuttlefish (“choco” in Portuguese) at the Sea Me – Peixaria Moderna, at that TimeOut Market.

    I missed the sluggishness of the economy post back then. Unfortunately, you’re right, salaries are extremely low for the cost of living, and the country, despite years in the EU, is now being overtaken by relative newcomers, like the baltic states.

    Overall, I’d point out the following aspects:
    – we’re still paying for 40 years of dictatorship that, though not extremely violent, imposed control by keeping the vast majority of the people ignorant and poor;

    – we’re bad at managing, both at the private and public sectors. Examples are the EU funding: the much needed infrastructure (in the 80s it took about 6 hours to drive between the two main cities of Lisbon and Porto, which is about 170 miles) was built with those funds. But after, instead of directing it to productive investment, it was easier for politicians, lawyers and the big construction companies to just keep building unnecessary infrastructure. Now, those 170 miles are connected by 2.5 parallel highways. Portuguese people are extremely hardworking, but top management is typically uneducated, both technically and morally.

    – a human trait: jealousy. Unlike the Americans, we tend to see the other’s success as a negative thing. There’s a joke that goes like this: an American doorman, at a luxury hotel, would see the guest coming in a Ferrari and think “one day, through my hard work, I too will drive a Ferrari”; the Portuguese doorman would think “one day, you son of a bitch will loose your money and ride a bike everyday like I do!”.

  2. By the way, the Gulbenkian foundation is a great example of Portuguese philanthropy. It’s Portugal’s richest and most generous foundation, with a 2.5 billion endowment and has undoubtedly had an impact in the country’s arts and sciences, being fundamental after the dictatorship in the late XX century.

    Yet, it’s origins are hardly Portuguese, and it’s by shear luck that we, Portuguese, inherited this money. It’s an endowment of a foreign Armenian oil magnate, who happened to end his life in Portugal exiling himself from France and Britain after world war 2, and due to low taxation.

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