Eurotrip 2011: Berlin.2

We enjoyed spending time in Berlin during the tail end of a Eurotrip last September. But we went to lots of other cool places before that; better catch up (here)!

On Day 2 in Berlin, we decided to take an official break from touring and just do something casual yet entertaining by visiting the Berlin Zoo (or "Zoo Berlin"). Along with the fact that this German zoo is said to be one of the best in Europe, NS is an unashamed animal lover, and zoos bring back fond childhood memories for me, so both of us were looking forward to a day with the animal kingdom.

To start, here are some Berlin Zoo fun facts:
  • The zoo is located in the "Tiergarten" in West Berlin and is the larger of two Berlin zoos 
  • It was founded in 1844, and is one of the most visited zoos in the world
  • The exhibits, designed to recreate the animals' natural habitats, include over 1,500 species of animals across 84 pristine acres
  • Nearly all the displays are written in German, so I don't have any animal fun facts to share with you! (I'm not a big sign reader anyway. I'm too busy with the camera to bother with the kingdom-phylum-class-order-family-genus-species stuff. By the way: Dad, if you're reading, I wrote that last sentence from memory, thanks solely you. Best science teacher I ever had.)
And now: The Berlin Zoo and I present Show-And-Tell:

I really liked this house-turned-bird house near the zoo's entrance.
[FYI, I'm not barefoot; I'm wearing flip flops, which is probably no better.
At this point in the trip, any confining shoe was my arch nemesis.]

I'll start out with my favorites: Giraffes and elephants. Riding them always seems appealing to me.

Giraffes: Making clumsy look stately.

Just look at those eyes! As kind as a puppy dog!
I guess I'm just entertained by large animals. But what amounts of food it must take to keep them well-nourished!

NS, on the other hand, is wildly entertained by monkeys.

He's convinced himself that we need one. Personally, I'd rather own an elephant.

Okay, I'll admit that this baby orangutan is kind of cute.
The penguins also ranked high up on my list. They really are as endearing as Disney movies make them out to be. Honestly, if you have to waddle, be a penguin and look smart about it.

Other birds did not interest me as much, but the "natural habitat" they lived in was pretty. We found the majority of the animal enclosures to be clean, well-designed, and relatively "natural".

As we were walking across a bridge, we came across this long-legged, long-billed exotic bird. Don't ask me what it was; the German sign meant nothing to me. NS took the camera and wanted me to inch as close as possible, which was a completely unappealing idea to me.

I may be smiling now, but I'm seconds always from that bird snapping at me. I moved along.
Away from the birds, I was once again entertained by the large animals. This time, it was the lion habitat that kept my camera busy.

I like how this lioness just blends right into her sunny throne of rock.

What's funny about most animals is that they really do have no shame in going about their daily lives right out in the open. It doesn't matter if I'm standing there with a telephoto lens, snapping away; when the big guy needs some cuddle time, it's going down in front of a crowd.

To be fair, I think she gave him the cold shoulder. His approach was a bit too brazen.
There were a pair of hyenas, on the other hand, who were quite the exhibitionists. 

The photos have been withheld.
I'm not entirely sure what's going on in this next shot. I'll vote for "Group Spooning-Sunning Session".

Finally, we did catch a glimpse of a polar bear, but as you may know, it wasn't Berlin's famous Knut - the polar bear who was raised in captivity by zookeepers after being rejected by his mother - since he collapsed and died a year ago. 

And to wrap the day up, my animal-lover pal couldn't help himself but enter the petting zoo section, purchase some food pellets, and commit a few random acts of kindness.

He shamed me into participating as well, probably with the words, "You say you never get into any pictures. Now go feed the goats!"

On the left: Someone knows how to jump the line and go right to the source!

After spending the better part of our morning at the zoo, we decided to leave, get some lunch, and prepare for our final Eurotrip bike tour - an afternoon/evening bike trip around the famous Berlin landmarks. My last post will include photos from the tour, as well as a visit to the The Holocaust Memorial.

The end is in sight!


  1. Ah Jenn! These pictures are amazing!! And Your captions were so entertaining as usual :)

    1. Thanks Mel :) I'm having fun trying to remember my reactions from eight months ago!!

  2. Oh my gosh--I'm so with NS: the monkeys are the best. And I want one.

  3. Nate and David are a like when it comes to monkeys. He would love to have one at home.

  4. I don't want your Eurotrip posts to end!!! =)

    1. But before long, I'll be on another trip! Always looking for new blog content. )

  5. "making clumsy look stately" is my favorite!! so cute, and what a nice morning!

  6. "Arch nemesis?" - good one! :) You're so funny, I almost spit out my coffee when it came to the lions. Between reading Bonhoeffer and our friend who are moving to Germany this fall, I've got a Berlin 2013 trip in the works. Loved these two posts!!