Friday, June 8, 2012

The Eden Project.....

Off we went on our first day of touring with Sylvia.  Sylvia is a hoot!  Originally a Londoner, she is easygoing, adventurous and courteous.  We really liked her her a lot.

After cruising through even more beautiful countryside, our first stop was the Eden Project which is near the other Cornish coast.

Sylvia explained that the area had once been mined for China clay that was exported to France.  It left huge craters in the area and created man made hills.

In one of these areas was created the Eden Project.  The Eden project is a series of bio domes which are self sustaining and are built to replicate a rain forest and the Mediterranean area.

We boarded a tractor driven train and were taken down to the bio domes.  Our first stop was the rain forest and it felt like home!  Hot, humid, sticky.....and of course we weren't dressed for it.

It contains an assortment of unique plants as well as common ones that many of us have never seen.

For example, I have yet to visit Southeast Asia so have never seen a rice paddy.

There were Coffee, Cocoa and Cola plants.....

Banana, Vanilla and Cashew plants........

And some very large and unusual plants as well.  Here is a bottle palm found only in Madagascar....

A huge ginger plant.....

And this gigantic plant (forgot the name) that has a powerful stench that attracts insects!

It is humid as the devil in here so they have this....a cool room!

There is a second bio dome dedicated to the Mediterranean which had many plants familiar to us at home including citrus, bougainvillea and jasmine.

Most poignant to me were these grape leaves.  They reminded me of my grandmother who grew them in her yard. She would pick them, clean them and stuff them with ground beef, rice and spices, roll them into little cigars and cook them gently on the stove.

Made me very sentimental.

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