“New born residents”, said my handy little tourist guide to Warsaw. “a llama”, it continued. I gasped a gasp of “oooh, a new born llama”. The tourist guide had apparently run out of things to say, because it didn’t respond any further. That, and it was made of paper.
So Warsaw Zoo has a new baby llama. I could hardly resist going to check that out now, could I? No – I tried and I couldn’t. So I did.
The zoo is on the opposite side of Old Town and across the river – which gave me plenty of time to go and do some last minute sightseeing on my way, though as my last day in Warsaw, I did want to take it easy and relax as well. It’s not like I’ve been doing very much of that, of course.
There are large areas of sandy banks on the River Wisla at the Warsaw end, which I hadn’t quite expected. Sunbathers and fishermen were all out in force, enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather. I really have been extremely lucky to enjoy bright and beautiful sunshine throughout my entire trip. Well, except for that day and a half of thunderstorms and rain. But that was ages ago now 🙂 Regardless, it must have stayed at a constant 20-25 degrees or so, which is how I’m managing to pull of this incredibly healthy looking tan. Off-white, they call it.
As if being a zoo, and rather green isn’t enough, it is situated like so many of Poland’s greatest assets, within the middle of a park. The park also boasts at least one very large metal giraffe structure. I didn’t stumble across any other exciting metallic animals. But maybe they’re there hiding in the bushes.
As far as Zoo’s go, Warsaw’s really quite nice. Rough Guides describes the place as “run-down, yet attractive” , but it wasn’t really in evidence today. Maybe a lot has changed since the publication date of July 2005. Or maybe I have very different standards. Regardless, a large proportion of the animals are thankfully not confined to the traditional “cages”, but in the more modern-zoo style of Oklahoma and Whipsnade, opting for pits filled with spikes and electric fencing to keep the animals where they should be. If you’ve been to a few like it, you probably know what I mean – but it’s essentially the idea of not using a 40cm thick iron cage encased in concrete and buried in sand to keep the bunny rabbit where it should be. Speaking of, I didn’t see any rabbits! I’ve spoken of the zoo in Cyprus, and amazement anyone would want to see the cute widdle bunny wabbits at the zoo when there are lions and tigers. And I didn’t see any in Warsaw. Maybe they don’t have them!
So, I’ll stick briefly to the highlights. Briefly. Yeah. Because I go to Zoo’s every chance I get, and you’re probably all very very sick of hearing about them. Many animals were sponsored by local and international companies. The Puma’s for example, sponsored by … Puma. There’s a sign. I took photos.
The Panther cubs (though not quite cubs any more, I suspect) were extremely entertaining as they played around in the water, chasing and attacking each other. Spring is in the air so many animals were … erm … ahem … having fun. Which was highly entertaining to watch as the group of school kids screamed and laughed I at the elephants, while the teachers turned their heads in shame 🙂
There were pygmy marmosets! Enough said, I think. If you don’t what I’m talking about – you’re probably not aware of my trip to London Zoo earlier this month. So I’ll continue to leave you in the dark. And a baby giraffe. But s/he didn’t really come out to play, which was a shame.
As of last night, I also have the first guests in a room at a hostel. A family from South Korea have joined – and only the father speaks English – but they are stopping for two nights, before heading to Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Split and Dubrovnik.
So I’m just, like, Mr Knowledge King on four of those. I am not so sure this rumour about young people staying in hostels is true though. I think they’re all at the hotels, because they’re certainly not here.
The hostel meanwhile has been very helpful in its so-called bookcrossing. If you’re not familiar with the concept, you drop off a book – you take a book – everyone walks away happy. The Elephant on the Moon had the same thing and whist I didn’t like the look of any of the books – I dropped one off because they’re just too cool.
In Nathan’s Villa Hostel it works a little differently. “Tired of paying for overpriced English books?” announces the poster. It’s like it was reading my mind. “Only 20 zloty”. About 4 quid. So I’ve finished very book I brought with me – I go take a look. And they’re all second-hand, which is fine – and really poor condition. Like you’d pay 20p for in a charity shop for. Nothing interesting, either. So I went to a shop and paid for an overpriced English book. Tired of it. Yes. But not THAT tired.
So, there’s my Poland experience. I doubt there willl be another entry, unless I do one from the airport and something interesting happens between now and then.
If you’ve made it this far, then you really should have been working – not screwing around reading this garbage 😉