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I was homeward bound on Saturday, 11th September, but could not let pass the opportunity to visit on the way this world-renowned project. I had a booking for 11.00. My satnav the evening before told me that I would need 90 minutes to get there, which surprised me somewhat, but I allowed two hours. As I left my BnB at 9.00 it was saying I would need 65 minutes – the difference between Friday evening and Saturday morning traffic I suppose. But thank goodness I had all that leeway. There were huge hold-ups on the A30, due I think to road closures elsewhere, with traffic being funnelled on to this road. In the event I arrived just 10 minutes before my ticket’s time.

It was quite a walk between my car park down to the entrance – but not so far that I qualified for the shuttle bus. Just one more car park up and …

I find I have 108 photos, and have found it incredibly difficult to make a selection. I have only managed to cut them down to 58 – sorry – and they give only a glimpse into what was to be seen.

Here’s the plan from my pre-ordered guide. I should like to have been able to sit down and study it in greater depth before going round, but things were well-labelled.

Basically, I wandered around the Outdoor Gardens and then the Crops, which I think is how it is intended you should, then visited first the Rainforest Biome, followed by the Mediterranean one (only about a third the area, but with a few more species), then went along the Avenue to the Core. I seem to have missed the Zigzag through Time, and I don’t think I did justice to the Invisible Worlds.

My photos are largely without commentary.

I think this next picture is my very favourite of the day.

This queue (note one person peeling off left)…

… was for this. Good fun!

There was a link corridor, with shops and café, to the …

About 15 minutes into the Rainforest Biome, there was a notice warning people who were finding it too hot to turn back, as it was another 30 minutes to the exit. (A one-way system was in operation with little byways roped off, presumably because of Covid.) The Mediterranean Biome was also hot, in a lovely dry Mediterranean way, but I was very pleased to find this almost unpatronised drinks bar near its exit. Time for a chilled elderflower cordial.

Frim time to time there was a swooshing sound from above. I had just days ago watched Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin on television on a zipline, and thought, ‘How I would love to do that!’. And here would have been my opportunity! If I had known in advance about the possibility here, I would definitely have looked into it. As it was, I picked up a leaflet when I left.

‘Infinity Blue’ and, to a lesser extent, ‘Seed’ were the two main attractions in the Core.

Perfect smoke (or rather vapour) rings every time. They represent Oxygen.
‘Seed’ was about twice my height.

‘Infinity Blue’ from an upper floor. In about a decade it may be lowered into the sea as a reef habitat for marine life. (It’s not crooked, my camera was.)

Up a lift, across a bridge, and it was back to the entrance/visitor centre/exit…

… for a coffee before setting off on the rest of my journey home. I was amused to see this old coffee making machine on display, sadly not in use.

How to reflect on eight such days? I was absolutely shattered for a while after my return, but so happy to have spent my time so fully. Cornwall is a such a beautiful place, with so much to explore and experience. I tried, and I think I succeeded, not to let an underlying fear of Covid spoil my enjoyment, though it was unnerving to see so many people, freed of legal obligation, appearing to believe that if they did not wear masks indoors the risk was only to themselves, not to others. But it was heartening also to see how many did wear masks, especially those serving, in whatever setting.

I have to go back. I have to make that helicopter trip. I have to use more those various guides to archology, geology, walks, built places to visit. My Eden Project ticket is valid for a year! (I could – perhaps – go on that zipline…) I’m already thinking that I may take another holiday in the county next June, perhaps based at Hayle this time.