Sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written…after I wrote last, there weren’t a lot of exciting things going on that I felt were worth writing about. Of course, as soon as exciting things started happening, I no longer had the time to write about them. How ironic!
So, as the title suggests, I took a trip to the Zoo! Berlin has two zoos, and while I went to the ‘Berlin Zoo’ last year, I went to Berlin’s ‘Tierpark’ this year. It was a little bit more difficult to get to than the Zoo had been last year, but I am officially so skilled at taking trains that it was no problem. Sebastien had classes all day, so I had to go alone – I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy that, but it was actually rather fun! I learned a little bit more of the German language; when I reached the owls cage, a bunch of kids started pointing and saying ‘oohoo! oohoo!’ so I now know that owls are Eule in German. I’m not sure how to properly spell ‘oohoo’ but apparently it’s the sound an owl makes in German – I asked Sebastien when I came home. For those of you that didn’t know, a rooster in German actually says ‘kikeriki’ as opposed to ‘cock-a-doodle-do’. You can’t really tell when you hear them, but apparently it’s different!
Anyways, I had a great day at the Zoo. There were very cute baby elephants, and a baby giraffe that was no taller than me!
The other thing I found interesting about the Zoo was the fact that there were animals there that are considered ‘foreign’ in Germany, but which I’ve seen a fair amount of times at home. They had one enclosure with a lot of various gulls in it – primarily seagulls. I didn’t really enjoy that, seeing as I just find seagulls noisy, and I see them everywhere in BC, but apparently they really don’t have them here. They also had a cougar enclosed right beside a jaguar…while a jaguar is something I consider extremely exotic, I happen to have a friend that hit a cougar with her car. Not that that’s a good thing by any means, but it shows that I am much more familiar with cougars than a lot of Berliners would be.
Here’s a few more photos from the Zoo…
The only problem with my trip to the Zoo was the heat…it felt absolutely glorious, and it was amazing to finally be getting some weather appropriate for summer, but I really should have worn shorts. The heat wore me out fairly early, so I only stayed at the Zoo for a few hours. I was silly enough to leave from a different entrance than the one I had entered from, which unfortunately led to my being unable to locate the train station…but I went back to the Zoo and asked for directions (in German!) and was soon on my way back home. I had a blonde moment on the way home though, and got on the wrong bus for getting back to Sebastien’s house. It wasn’t tooooo far off though – it just meant I had to walk for another half an hour in the insane heat! Sebastien was very impressed that I was able to find the house from where that wrong bus had dropped me off, but I’ve done the walk before.
Besides that, another interesting thing I did was go to an Anne Frank exhibit. It was basically two rooms – in one room, there were pictures lining one wall of Anne Frank growing up, and on the other wall, pictures of how World War II was progressing at that point in her life. In the other room, there were quotes by Anne Frank along with quotes from kids today at the same age she had been when she died, to compare their lifestyles. I didn’t really find the quotes by other kids that interesting, but I was amazed by a lot of the quotes by her.
One of the things that, unexpectedly, affected me the most about that exhibit was the countries involved. Up until this point in my life, whenever I’ve studied the World Wars, the various countries were all just random names to memorize. So-and-so invaded so-and-so, and this bombed that. But now that I have seen some of the countries, and met people from several of them, ‘Austria’ and ‘England’ and ‘France’ have taken on a new meaning for me. I won’t turn this into a big war-blog, but it is interesting to put the countries into perspective as being places where people live their lives, and one country ‘invading’ another is more than just a move on a chess board. All in all, I was very pleased that I made the trip to the Anne Frank exhibit!
Sebastien had his last big exam last week, which has meant a lot more time for us to go out and about together! We went to a Chinese restaurant near his parents’ house the other day, since we’ve driven by it several times but have never eaten there (and he’s driven by it many many times before I came here). It’s an absolutely amazing building, with three levels and a fountain inside, as well as statues and carvings everywhere.
That’s about all that I’ve done that’s remotely exciting within the past while though. But, the main reason Sebastien and I were by the Chinese restaurant in the first place was to pick up a car from his parents’ house…since we begin our roadtrip tomorrow!
Our travel plan has actually grown exponentially since we first made it a month ago. Originally it began with our meeting Sebastien’s parents in Denmark on Thursday, where we would stay until Sunday and then return to the house before leaving again. But now, we are leaving tomorrow to spend an evening with Sebastien’s grandparents in Lenzen, and then spending Wednesday in Lübeck and Mülln with a friend from University who also happens to be in Germany right now. After we return from Denmark, we will take off for Switzerland and Austria, to meet up with a few other friends. It’s all very exciting!
At this point, I have six weeks left in Europe – I find that slightly ironic, since that’s how long I had here in total last summer. It’s hard to believe that the summer is going by so fast, considering that after our return from Austria I only have a week left in Berlin. But I’ve been having an absolutely amazing summer, and there are still so many great things coming up!
I shall now end this blog, and try to update you soon with exciting stories 🙂