Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 13 - Zoo Berlin

It was a good thing we 'relaxed' yesterday as today would be a very busy walking day. The day started at 9 with breakfast in Gerhard's apartment. We then carried a box to the post office in Marzahn for me to mail back to my home in Michigan. With all the items that Gerhard and Uschi shared with me, it was more than I could pack in my suitcases so I packed what turned out to be a very heavy box and we mailed it back to the US.

Leaving the post office we went on to the train station and off to Berlin city proper. We stopped at Alexanderplatz and took a bus tour of the city for 1 hour and then it was on to the Berlin Zoo.

When Gerhard had asked me what sites I wanted to see in Berlin, I had immediately mentioned the Berlin Zoo. Why, I don't know because I am not a big fan of a zoo. I had visited the Detroit zoo on multiple occasions when I was a child and it never really stood out in my mind. But for some reason, I was fascinated with the web sites I had read on the Zoo Berlin and I wanted to see it. Believe me, I was not disappointed.

The Zoo Berlin is fantastic. It really would take more than 1 day to fully appreciate all the sites to behold. In all honesty, if I were to return to Berlin, I would want to see the Zoo again. But it appeared that I could not get away from reminders of my Urology work back home!

Here are some examples of the sites that we saw:

We did stop in a restaurant within the zoo and had some lunch. The bees were plentiful and Gerhard even was aggravated with them. What am I eating???? Why wiener schnitzel, of course!

The highlight of the Zoo Berlin was the chance to visit Knut. Knut is a polar bear, born in captivity at the Berlin Zoo, rejected by his mother at birth and raised by zookeepers. The story of Knut is moving and poignant in that the zookeeper that raised him had died just prior to my visit. Knut appeared to be mourning the only caregiver he knew and was not the roly poly little bear born 2 years previously. While all the other bears we visited were laid back and quiet, Knut paced back and forth in his enclosure continually making mournful sounds.

Following our time at the zoo, we continued back to Alexanderplatz and visited the Mariner Church as well as the Berlin Aquarium where we saw the most amazing displays of fish.

By the time we left the Aquarium, it was dark outside and beginning to rain. I did have an umbrella with me (courtesy of Gerhard) despite the fact that I had already broken one of his other umbrellas on an earlier rainy day. Good thing he had a supply of umbrellas for guests!

We took two trams back home and spent the rest of the evening watching a television program on the falling of the wall in 1989.

Back to my apartment at 9:30 and bed as these old legs were mighty tired!

Above photos - Copyright © 2008 by Cheryl Schulte

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