Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monkey´s in a Barrel

Day 156
I had some real issues getting myself out of bed in the morning. I hadn´t gotten back last night until almost 4am and I was exhausted. When I did get it together I decided that it was time for another long walk.

I walked past Potsdammer Platz and checked out a Holocaust Memorial. Six years ago this was just an empty space. Now it is full of square stones of different heights. It was really ugly. Beneath the memorial is Joseph Goebbels, Hitler´s propaganda minister, bomb shelter. It is still intact. I think that might make a better site than an bunch of stones.

Not much further down the street is the Brandenburg Gate. Last time I was here it was under restoration and covered by a big sheet. It was fabulous to be able to see it in its full glory this time.

The Reichstag, Germany´s main government building, was just a stone´s throw away. I had wanted to walk up to the top, but the line was really long and I decided against it.

Next on my list was a walk through the Tiergarten. I walked the entire length of it. It was really nice and calm compared to the speed and noise of Berlin.

In the far corner was my next stop, the Berlin Zoo. I had heard really fabulous things about it and decided to check it out myself. It was really fabulous. The animals, for the most part, were not in cages. Instead they were on islands with deep ditches around them. It made me feel like I could reach out and touch them, or that they could go and check out the other animals if they wanted.

The elephants were huge and fun to watch. I can´t wait until I get to Africa and get to see them in the wild! Peaceful giraffes lounged near some animal that looked like a goat but wasn´t. As always, the monkeys were my favorite. I think one of them would make a great travel partner. Some rather large ones were jumping around while wearing sheets over their heads, they were like ghosts monkeys. My favorite ones were squeezing themselves into a barrel.

The zoo did seem on the rather bird heavy side. I had a lot more fun in the petting zoo then I did looking at feathers. I spent some time checking out the polar bears, but didn´t see the baby Knut. For some reason a few bears were play fighting with each other. They were really cute.

At this point it was near 6 and the animals needed some sleep and I needed some dinner. I headed back to the hostel to take care of that. I had wanted to grab a drink after dinner to celebrate the Euro falling, but I was tired. Instead I went back to my room and read for a bit before falling asleep.

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