Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Royal Artis Zoo

Unfortunately, Jeff had to go back to Doha - works beckons and I guess we need to do some of it to afford these fabulous vacations. I, however, being of sound mind, chose NOT to return to the desert until I absolutely have to. Therefore...I'm still in Amsterdam enjoying the sights. While Jeff flew threw the air, I headed for the zoo.

The first zoo ever established in the Netherlands was the Artis Royal Zoo, located in what was once the center of Amsterdam. It's a great place to spend time wandering around, of course I would think so anyway. There are quite a few waterfalls built into various exhibits with the mountain goats jumping up the steep mountain cliffs, and drinking at the bottom of the falls. The grounds are gorgeous with fabulous flowers and greenery (big on that after living in the desert). They boast that the zoo is in bloom throughout the year.

Monkeys from one of the island cultures are housed in buildings that match the kinds of buildings you would find in that culture. The architecture throughout is interesting and varied with modern streamlined terraces for eating next to the partial ruins of a brick building from the 1700's - artfully done, naturally. The signs are far more graphic than ours would be and they have multiple places where children can play and climb. There are even free carts that you can use to haul little kids around in! There's even a planetarium, aquarium, and a zoological museum. In the museum, they have sculptures of various animals with the braille name on it, allowing blind children to feel the animal to "see" it.
Had to check out one of my favorites - the elephants! They have a baby that looks to be 5 or 6 years old. She seemed to enjoy throwing sand on all the elephants! The butterfly house had some very cooperative butterflies - or else I was just very fast with the shutter - I managed to get some open wings this time!

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