The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK
The Eden Project was designated as one of the landmark Millennium projects for the UK. Despite there being no soil to absorb the rain, which caused the site to flood, the Eden Project opened to the public on 17th March 2001 and after just three months the millionth visitor had passed through the gates. The Eden Project is still popular, but once away from the entrance, the visitor is never aware of the crowds. The main reason to visit is the two massive biomes or conservatories that are made of galvanized steel tubing bolted together. The hexagonal bubbles in between are made of inflated transparent ‘plastic’ windows with a life-span of more than 25 years. The entrance to both biomes is via a central covered space that contains a café that’s normally full of chattering patrons, excited by their discoveries of the day.
Turn left to go to The Rainforest biome and head right for the Mediterranean biome. The Rainforest conservatory is the largest in the world and with the mature trees, waterfalls, and rushing streams you forget you are inside on occasions. It’s also incredibly humid in there, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees centigrade, so it’s best to try and take advantage of the water fountains on offer. This biome is 240 metres long, 110 metres wide and 50 metres high; it contains over 1,000 plant species including palms, bananas, rubber trees, and pineapples.
The Mediterranean biome is more temperate with a pleasant breeze throughout. The villa Rufolo has majolica tiles, large pots, and bougainvillea draped on the walls. Plants from California, Greece, and the Cape area of South Africa are represented – apparently the Cape contains 6400 plants that aren’t found anywhere else in the world, making it the most diverse region for vegetation on the face of the earth. In this biome the air is kept between 15° and 25°C in the summer and a minimum of 10°C in the winter. Plants in this biome include tobaccos, grape vines, cotton, and olives.
Here is another recent article about the Eden Project
Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734