Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marineland in Palafolls, Spain

Going to Marineland in Palafolls, Spain was our birthday gift to our daughter. I just noticed that unconsciously we've been bringing SO to different parks for her birthday. Crocolandia in the Philippines, Walygator in France (click here for the post), Disneyland Paris (click here for the post), and now Marineland in Spain. Truthfully, MR and I enjoy the parks as much as our daughter does. And I was particularly excited for this one.

If there's one thing that I was worried about it was driving in a foreign country. Thanks to years of Spanish class in school, I was able to understand what the road signs said. We drove from Le Barcares, France to Palafolls, Spain and back safe and sound.

The 155-kilometers drive to Palafolls wasn't too bad except at the end where our GPS navigation system completely abandoned us. Advice: don't rely too much on your GPS navigation system. Always have a map with you and don't hesitate to ask around if you feel lost.

After several lost turns, we finally found ourselves at the park. Problem was, unlike what we wanted, we weren't on time anymore and there were lots of people in the park already. In fact, finding a parking space was a bit stressful and we were guided to the second parking (which we had to pay 4 Euros for!).

Speaking of ... I wanted to highlight a little something that kinda surprised me - the payments.
Back home, I decided to get our tickets online. I printed copies of the tickets, which bought us some time from lining up in the entrance. I highly recommend doing this. Plus, the tickets are cheaper. Not by much though - a Euro or two. We paid 62 Euros ( 2 adults tickets at 24 Euros + 1 child ticket at 14 Euros). Click here for the Marineland official website.

Now, here's what shocked me. Normally, when you pay an entrance fee, things in the park are free (except for the restaurants and souvenir shops). Unfortunately in Marineland you have to pay for the things. Parking : 4 Euros, Locker: 5 Euros (deposit of 5 Euros too), Sunbed : 3.50 Euros, Souvenir Photos : 20 Euros (for one person). Of course, you're not obligated to pay for these, but if you don't, you end up parked 1 kilometer away, carrying your bags wherever you go, sitting or lying down on the grass / ground, and with no official souvenir photo. :(

Marineland in Palafolls, Spain is associated with a small-sized Aqualand (with pools and slides), but we were mainly here for the animals. It was SO's first time to see dolphins and sea lions from up close and we wanted to make the most of it.

The first show we watched was the one of the Sea Lions. It was fun and entertaining. I loved to see the trust relationship between the trainers and the animals.

Then it was the turn of the dolphins. Again, the show was fun and entertaining, although a bit too short. The dolphins were very active and playful.

After the show, it was time to eat. We decided to eat in the restaurant. I don't know how it is that I don't have any photos. Perhaps because it really wasn't much and was a bit disappointing. MR and I had Paella, while SO had a Sausage and Fries. It was forgettable and expensive!

We digested our lunch by walking around the park and looking for animals.
We found some beautiful birds along the way.

There were a lot of people in the swimming pool, but even more in the slides!
We decided to go in the pool first, but not before we looked around for a spot for our stuff.

But then SO quickly had enough of the pool and wanted to go and try the slides.
The wait for some of the slides was never-ending.

SO wanted to go back and watch the afternoon show of the Sea Lions and Dolphins. We didn't mind as we thought this was the best part of our day in Marineland.

Hello, Pink Flamingos! :)

Our little day trip to Marineland in Palafolls, Spain was a fun discovery. Even though, we struggled a bit to find the place and some things surprised us (payments, way of handling the photo shoot with the animals, etc..), we have absolutely no regrets. We were staying just an hour and a half away, so this was the perfect opportunity. Would we go back? Probably not. We do want to check the French version, Marineland Antibes, but if we're in the area again, we might check out what else is around here.

We didn't pay for a locker or a sunbed, but we did go ahead and pay for the 2 photos above, 20 Euros each, (which have been cropped). I can't help, but think of our wonderful memories here, everytime I look at the pictures. Money can't buy happiness, but I hate to admit that sometimes it kinda helps.

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