If green has a smell this is it. It hits you first; rich natural freshness doing the Tango inside your nose. Seconds later, the lush foliage comes into view and envelops you.
One small step into a rainforest that’s all it takes. No need for tiresome hours of aerial travel lugging your backside and luggage.
Just one small step and you stop and stare. No, gawp. It really is spectacular. The world’s largest rainforest in captivity, boasting more than 1,000 plants spread across nearly four acres more than 50 metres tall.
The temperatures inside the rainforest biodome range from 18 to 35 degrees; a distinct improvement to the January gloom and angry downpour outside, so off come our coats, hats and scarves.
Welcome to inside Eden.
Staying with friends for the New Year weekend, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Eden Project only ten miles from their Cornish home.
This place is far more than a giant greenhouse. It’s about showing the relationship between us and plants.
I loved the way indigenous cultures such as the Malaysian hut and Shamanic wall paintings are woven into the forest to help you experience world’s different rainforest environments.
I could have stayed there all day – and you can go back in at your leisure – but time was chasing me into the neighbouring Mediterranean biodome. This is the rainforest’s smaller and quieter younger brother offering sights and smells from South Africa and California.
I loved the vineyard Bacchanalian sculptures and sat and listened to an excellent traditional storyteller about dragons – but this diodome does pale against its big brother. Anti-climax is too strong a word. I think you’d be better placed to investigate it first and then move to the rainforest.
Restaurant facilities are OK – do the job so no complaints. The two shops offer all manner of stylish recycled and natural goodies at fairly decent prices. I of course couldn’t resist.
And it was a real shame the God of Rain was having a torrential strop, because I would’ve loved to check out the outdoor gardens and grounds. And the Core centre.
Next time. Seasons dictate the colours of tone of this place, and your experience of it. So I will be back (in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice). Defo.