The last two weekends, as you read in the title of this post, I visited two lively and full of nature places: the National Aquarium and the National Botanical Garden, both in my city, Santo Domingo.
I remember visiting these places when I was a little kid, and as I am now -somewhat- a grown up, I thought it would be nice to revisit them to help me, in a more sensorial way, relive the memories from my childhood.
I went to the aquarium hoping to find interesting species to see, but I was rather left dissapointed, and I even felt sad for the animals living there in such poor conditions. It really broke my heart to see two beautiful manaties with the dirtiest fish tank I could ever imagine.
In case you don’t know what a manati is, basically they’re big and round water mammals commonly found in the Caribbean, Amazonian and African waters. It’s like the water version of a cow. When I was little there were many consciousness campaigns about saving manaties because they were being endagereded by human hunting to eat their meat. The only predators that manaties have to protect themselves from are humans. Here is a photo from Wikipedia:
The cost of entry was around 1.5 US dollars. The aquarium is very small, though its architecture is interesting from an spatial point of view; spaces feel open and airy. They also are well connected to the garden and the sea shore, which was the most pleasant landscape to see, enjoy and walk through. The ultramarine waters under a bright blue sky and the faded city skyline at the botton formed a picturesque image of the Caribbean Sea and Santo Domingo.
The sea shore is the kind of place where you can be perpetually hyponotized by the sound of the shocking waves against the rocks and the feel of the powerful wind on your skin. It’s an incredibly beautiful and relaxing place to be at.
The next week after my visit to the aquarium I went to the National Botanical Garden. The entry tickets for this place are a little bit higher (2 dollars), including also a train tour. I went on a sunday so, some things were closed like the garden center and the orchid garden, but it was worth it. The botanical garden is huge and you get to feel this ”lost in the woods” feeling from all the surrounding calmness and greenery.
It’s a fantastic natural park and botanical conservatory. Many people come here to shoot wedding photos, sweet 16 photos or simply relax and have a picnic in the Japanese garden.
The crackling sound of bamboo trunks gives the ambient a mysterious yet relaxing mood.
Japanese gardens are harmoniously designed. The atmosphere changes as soon as you step in. You can stay there for hours reading, meditating, contemplating the beauty of nature or just spending time with your loved ones. It was by far the most beautiful and relaxing garden of all the park.
These were two trips I quite enjoyed, especially the botanical garden one. Natural environments, parks, mountais, rivers, etc. feel like home to me.
Would you write in a comment what is you favorite natural space: river, beach, mountain or other and why? Would you kindly mention or upload a photo of an specific place that you like? Hoping to hear from you!