Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bielefeld Zoo

In Germany, Sunday is a mandatory day of rest. That means all the stores and businesses are closed, and we've had to get into the habit of planning ahead for groceries, etc. on Saturday. We've been looking for something fun to do around Bielefeld on Sundays, so last week we went for a hike down a nordic walking trail that's right next to our temporary apartment. There are really nice trails all over the city...almost anywhere you need to go, you could take a trail instead of the road, and they weave through some nice scenery.
The trail we took led us up a pretty steep climb almost all the way up the hill range that circles the city. There's a nice view from up there. We came across a museum with a big windmill that was built in the 1600's. After we went a little further, we noticed an awful lot of people walking in the same direction, so we decided to follow them to see if something interesting was going on. The people led us to a FREE zoo in the middle of the woods! There are no gates to get in or out...you can walk around and see the animals 24/7. All of the animals were slightly different than ones we were used to, because they are all northern species...some were totally different than anything we had seen before (Billy's favorite was the marder hund- translates to "raccoon dog").
The zoo was really well designed. Every exhibit was set up so that you felt like you were really close to the animals, not always towering up above them and watching them down in a pit. Many of the animals were safe to touch, and for all of those animals there were feeding zones and bars to touch them through. We got to pet some reindeer and lots of goats. I think that because the zoo is free, people are a lot more willing to buy food to feed the animals, and because people are feeding them all the time, the animals are right up at the front of the cages all the time.
We had a great time at the zoo, and I look forward to going back there again (as many times as we want since it's free) and trying to take better pictures. In the meantime, enjoy these ones!

Tier Park

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.