Monday, May 10, 2004

Started our journey 4 hrs late. We had planned to start at 5 am. Due to the predictable delays of married men (my teammate), we started at 9.30 am. Journey was non-descript except for the number of tolls that we had to pass through. We spent $25 for the toll. We passed thorugh Delaware Memorial Bridge which was bigger than anything that I have seen in India. But nothing captivating. We reached Baltimore Downtown at 1 pm.

Our immediate necessity was carbs.. we needed fuel for the rest of the day.We settled for supreme-sized french fries and chomped down the packed chappatis that we had brought from home. The eatery was on the harbour place.We caught a first glimpse of a typical American city. Being in Matawan/Red Banks, we assumed that all places in USA would be silent towns. We were in for a pleasant surprise. The harbour place was teeming with teenagers. Families too were a substantial percentage of the population. These girls look so gigantic. A girl who is in the eight grade looks like she is doin her college here. I have to admit that anatomically, they do look more like they are in college.

We proceeded to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. It was huge. It had 5 levels. It had almost 500 different species of the Water World under one roof. The ones worth a mention were the sharks, corals, octopus, anemones, etc. There are lots of information about each species and about the environments put up around the aquarium. The eye-catcher was their master stroke - the different kinds of forests, water bodies were closely simulated for the respective species... the tropical rain forests, marshes, aquatic, pacfic and springs were simulated to the last detail. The Poison Dart Frog, Cowfish, Sting Ray, Zebra Shark were the crowd pullers though.

We proceeded to the Dolphin Show that has been the flavour of the year here. The show started at 3.30 pm. There were 5 trainers in aqua-suits. The dolphins performed all the stunts in the trainer's manual... the tail wag, dives, etc. There was a bag hung from the ceiling, 15 ft above the water. The dolphins managed to nose that after a few mis-fires. Everyone was enjoying. The gallery was packed to its capacity (around 1500). The show lasted for an hour. But the trainers gave an impression that they were just going through the motions. There was no energy...

We proceeded to the Harbour Place Gallery. There were lots of retails shops, water taxis and other attractions along the harbour.The harbour place also houses the World Trade Center, Baltimore.

We proceeded to the I-Max theatre at the Maryland Science Center. This was just a block away from the harbour place.The I-Max theatre is supposed to be a break-through in motion picure projection technology.The screen was 5-storey high. The theatre is supposed to have the state-of-the-art 3D effects too.We paid $7.5 for the 45 min movie called Sacred Planet. The movie was about the conservation of the environment. It was impressive, but not breath-taking. It flattered to deceive.

We proceeded to a place called Fell's Point. It was embellished with a few casinos and and cabarets.This point is supposed to be the heart of the 'Water' world. It was teeming with pubs and restaurants.

The return journey was tiring. We missed the route too. We reached Matawan, NJ after a 3-hour arduous journey. It was 1 am....


Blogger Redi said...

Dae sai nai,
saw all your photos, look great. The ones to mention are in the MIT, Harvard, Niagara and the caverns. Seems u had a great time with friends admiring the kudis and the places. keep me updated about ur trip back to India. Otha, Mail pannu da.

Sun Aug 15, 06:24:00 PM 2004  

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