Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Visit To Vienna Zoo.

Photograph  (sorry the date says 2008 - silly camera!) of the new Giant Panda which was born recently in Vienna Zoo.  It was heart wrenching to hear little children point out the Panda to their parents and say:

"Aw Mama, Papa."

I think they thought the Panda was a teddy bear.  It wouldn't pose for a photograph though for me.  It was more interested in tearing and eating Bamboo shoots.  Vienna zoo is the only zoo in Europe that successfully managed to breed Panda's in a zoo.  Some people think zoo's are cruel.   They are very successful in breeding and preserving endangered species that probably wouldn't survive in their natural habitat due to predators like humans.

Giraffes eating their breakfast.  I had a a Frankfurter and a small can of beer at 10.15 on a Saturday morning.  You wouldn't get a drink of beer in Britain or Ireland at that time of day or at a zoo.  Even our supermarket here in West Cork doesn't sell alcohol until 10.30 weekdays and 12.30 on a Sunday.  

Hippos eating a trailer load of grass.  There was no "mud glorious mud" to wallow in.  But they did have their very own swimming pool.  Notice their glistening backs from their recent morning dip.

Elephants.  Why do Elephants not ride bicycles?  Their thumbs are too big to ring the bell.  

Exotic birds.   Are they Pink Flamingoes?

Vienna zoo is the oldest zoo in the world.  It gets over 1 million visitors a year.  My son emailed me that very morning to ask him to bring him something back from Vienna zoo.  So I bought him a furry Meercat from the zoo shop.  I asked the shop keeper for a bag and he said:

"Ja.  Of course."

When I got back to Shannon airport (Ireland) on the Sunday.  I was met by my wife and two sons.  I told number 2 son to:

"Look in my bag there's some inside there for you.  I had an awful time getting it through quarantine."

He rather nervously searched my bag and found his Meerkat and smiling he said.

"I don't know with you.  It could have been real."

His face was a picture.  


  1. Looks like a good day, didn't know Vienna had the oldest zoo in the world, we visited Amsterdam zoo a couple of years ago and were told it was the oldest in Europe?

    Yes, some people argue that zoos are un-natural and cruel, but any animals I've seen there seem to be happy enough, they have as near as possible ideal conditions, get fed appropriate fodder at regular times and are free from the dangers of predators.

  2. Vienna zoo was founded in 1752 Cumbrian. It was a good an hour half spent visiting the zoo. We came out of the zoo at about 10.45 and already the multitudes were arriving by the coach load. It gets over a million visitors a year.

    Yes zoos and safari parks show people rare animals from over seas in a clean and safe environment and the animals don't need to search and kill for food.

  3. I stand corrected, at least whoever told me that stands corrected - according to their own web-site the Artis Royal Zoo was opened in 1838, so still well-established but 86 years late.

    It's quite big, worth a full day to look round, with some animals there I've neither seen before nor heard of.

    A 20-minute tram ride from Centraal Station, tram No 25 if I remember correctly.

  4. Amsterdam is on my to do list. Went to Warsaw zoo last year. We really liked the Siberian Tiger.

    A lot of European cities have trams don't they? Wish we had one from West Cork to Cork. Wish all the old branch line railways could be made into tramways. Sadly so many of them have been built over. Watched an Irish programme the other day called 'Tracks and Trails'. They had made a cycle and walking track on the old railway near Clew Bay. An historian said that the railways were built to bring commerce to the countryside. Ironically the rural dwellers made use of the railways to get away.
    Rural dwellers have always had terrible unemployment, lack of public transport and lots of rural isolation problems.

    Nice today here today. Finally tackled the weeds on the veg plot. Thanks!

  5. You'll like Amsterdam, the cultural capitol of The Netherlands, a real culture shock. We used to visit occasionally, there's the regular ferry from North Shields and one from Hull to Rotterdam.

    Yes, the railways, or a lot of rural track, was lifted about the 60s, we still have the West Coast Line from Carlisle to Barrow, cattle class, stops every 10 miles or so.

    What used to be the railway line from Workington to Keswick is now either overgrown or part of it was used as a road to form a dual carriageway at Bassenthwaite Lake.

    Workington had 2 stations, Central and Low, the central was dropped many years ago, now part of a car park.

  6. Yes I would like to visit Amsterdam, Cumbrian. I suppose it's flat geography makes it perfect for bicycles? I would like to visit it when some classic rock band is playing there. People don't seem to buy records/cds much these days because of the Internet. So this makes bands tour instead of living off their record sales. Would love to see some Canadian and American progressive rock bands before they retire. Alternatively it's a trip to North America or Canada. We can dream can't we?

    The demise of the railways is so very sad. The Cork and South Coast railway closed in the early sixties because it was making a loss of 56000 Punts a year. I think cycle tracks would create a lot of jobs for people in rural communities. The cities seem to get all the infrastructure and rural dwellers get very little in return.



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