Over the next few days we explored the local coastal towns of Tintagel; with its castle and Boscastle; of flood fame, climbed Caradon Hill on Bodmin Moor and saw standing stones and also drove further south to visit some of my family. However the biggest attraction was #3 on our Bucket list: The Eden Project. The famous conservation project is listed by many as a 'must see' and who would I be to argue when, despite numerous trips to Cornwall, I had never been?
We walked a circulatory route from the car parks where gradually the bubble-like domes grow ever larger seated in an old clay pit. We had wanted to zip-wire into the grounds but due to the windy weather that day it was closed; however if we got the chance again it would be amazing!
The project is not limited to the domes, or biomes as they call them, but the surrounding gardens are beautiful with many native plants but also crops we come across everyday yet do not see. Tea for example, we are all familier with the drink but would you recognise the plant?
My favourite part would still have to be the tropical biome even if that is unoriginal to say. Take away the million or so vacantly wondering tourists and the tarmac pathways and I could imagine myself back in Costa Rica.... the intense humidity, the huge overflowing greenery and running water. I went to Costa Rica in my gap year after school as part of a Team Challenge expedition; it seems a million years ago now but some memories are still so very vivid. As travel goes it was very authentic because we lived and worked alongside local people, sometimes it was demanding but definitely worth it in terms of experiencing a totally foreign culture.
However I digress, at Eden we saw many different plants from a selection of countries worldwide but I will defy those who call it a world wonder. The natural world provides wonder at each an every turn and you will not truly experience anything in a plastic bubble metaphorically or literally. I agree that the the plants are stunning but you need to have been soaked by sweat, tired legs caked in sticky red soil with mosquito bites after a night listening to tree frogs to really experience a rainforest. At Eden you can try a Baobab smoothie in a plastic cup, which is great and tasty but nowhere near as refreshing as coconut water cut from a tree by a thrown machete!
I would never say do not go to Eden, I enjoyed it, but remember it is a tiny glimpse into what the world has to offer, like through a TV screen; you can't truly experience life that way, you need to get out there and see, smell, hear, feel, taste and do the real thing!
Til next time! xx