First off, let me just say that I love zoos. Looooove zoos. When I was growing up, we went to the Milwaukee County Zoo on a fairly regular basis, and I think it’s quite a nice zoo. Many years ago, they had an awesome white tiger which I loved, and I always loved the white wolves because they reminded me of our Samoyed, Lady.
Since then, I’ve been able to visit a fair number of sweet zoos, including the San Diego Zoo (and Wild Animal Park), the Smithsonian Zoo, and the Prague Zoo. The Prague Zoo is built into this rocky area which makes it an interesting place to walk around. I recommend skipping the rainforest area though, because you leave through a cave with bats flapping around your head, which I was not a big fan of. College scarred me when it comes to bats.
My Sprachduo friend and I have been talking about going to the Nürnberg Tiergarten (aka, zoo), for quite some time, and finally on Friday we headed out that way. Friday dawned very gray but the rain managed to hold off and eventually it cleared up into a beautiful blue sky-ed day. The powers that be must have known that it was a Brückentag (Thursday was yet another holiday) and therefore rain would have been sehr uncool.
The zoo is a bit outside the city center, but in a pretty big forest. This was probably one of the greener zoos that I’ve visited. There were plenty of sunny meadows dotted in between animal exhibits, and you could spend quite a long day wandering through the trees. In usual German fashion, there weres some very cool-looking play areas for the kids, lots of ice cream stands, and a beer garden up at the top of the hill in the middle. Not to mention the other kiosks selling beer. We stopped for an ice cream, but no beer. Maybe another day. But on to animal pictures!
|Can you spot the baby?|
|Inside the Amazon complete with birds and hidden monkeys.|
|The sea lions were playing coy and not coming to the window.|
|Probably because it was feeding time.|
This was fun…. the cheetah just had five kittens back in March (I think), so we got to see the little guys. Unfortunately I couldn’t get all five in one shot as they kept moving around and looking for the primo places to lounge/jump on each other.
And now for my favorites…..
Penguins = awesome. That’s a fact.
The zoo had four polar bears. This one was separate from the other three, and I think he is the father of a couple of them. He was quite agitated, but the others were playing with toys and a zookeeper was throwing them food, so I think he was jealous. The crowd in front of the other three was too big to get a good picture, so I guess you have to trust me that they were cute and playing with tires and such.
|According to the sign, this is a sculpture.|
These monkeys run from the building to a wooded area, and go right over your heads. I guess they trust them not to run away, but they look pretty free. Just watch your head because a couple of them dropped fruit and nuts on the crossing.
I missed getting any decent pictures, but the zoo also has some dolphins. The area where the sea lions and dolphins are is fairly new, and is a point of pride for the zoo. I hear there is also a dolphin show, but we didn’t get to see it. I thought the show was coming up just based on the number of people hanging out to watch feeding time… but I guess a dolphin is a bit of a novelty in the middle of Germany.
After the zoo we took an unintentionally long walk through the forest trying to get to a biergarten. We got slightly lost, but made our way back to the city eventually. There are a lot of walking/bike paths through the forest around the zoo, but it is lacking signage and directionals. You have been warned. But it was a nice day for a walk through the woods, so it all evens out in the end.
In other news, tonight is the Champions League finals… in about 30 minutes, Bayern München will take on Chelsea. To add to the excitement, the finals are in Munich, which has only happened about four times in 60 years (or so I’ve been told). This means that Munich is a complete shitshow this weekend, and I’m very glad I’m not there. Instead I’ve got a couple of Paulaner beers from Munich chilling in the fridge, and I’ll be watching from the comfort of my couch. I’m not a big football (soccer) fan, but I’m sure I’ll hear about it this week so I should probably tune in. Plus, the Munich players have a reputation for being easy on the eyes, so that’s a good enough reason for me right there.
For more info on the zoo….