The only place you can swim with dolphins in Europe proper is in
Portugal at the Zoomarine aquatic park in the Algarve near Albufeira.
Ever since we observed a similar program at Sea World in San Diego, when she was a baby, we have wanted Mozart to have this experience because it's such a optimal one for an animal loving, eco-educated kids.
We made a special trip to Portugal in our RV just to do this and I wrote about that European road trip,
but I've never gotten around to getting the photos up and telling the
full story. Blogging while traveling always adds challenge and I have
only about one percent of our stories up about our 7 years of non-stop RTW travel.
Of course, the most exciting part was the swim with dolphins and we lucked out with Mozart being the only one wanting to do it that day, since we were there in the off season.
One forgets just how huge these animals are, but our little princess was a lot braver than I would be. It looked like so much fun, but I was actually quite frightened when I did it in Florida, even as much as I love dolphins, as they are so huge in person.
I felt quite vulnerable with them in the water, but Mozart was fearless.
Since she was so tiny they had her ride on their belly and she loved that.
She did so well, they decided to let her grab the tails of two big ones and ride that way. That was thrilling, but lots of water splash in your face for one so tiny.
She liked the close up opportunities and was amazed at how soft their skin was.
Dolphins are such magical, mystical and magnificent animals that we adore, so it was fantastic to learn more about them as well as all sea creatures and how to take better care of our planet and them. This kind of first hand close encounter leaves an impression that lasts a lifetime.
We also really enjoyed the dolphin show and 3-D educational and entertaining movie as you can see in this rather odd angled shot. Someone who has this kind of special, well done, educational experience will cherish dolphins forever!