13.07.2013 - 13.07.2013 21 °C
Our time in Olomouc has been a little quirky. We haven't done much of the traditional stuff, like museums or churches or castles. We've been rafting, mini-golfing, and today, we visited the zoo, our trusty Olomouc cards in hand. So far, the thirty dollars spent on them has funded five attractions. Here's hoping all the money we've saved here will balance out our three days in Prague.
We all connected with our inner child today. My favourite animals to visit are usually the monkeys, and it seems like most people there were thinking along the same lines. There was never a capuchin or a tamarind that not being stared at or cooed over. They really are the most fun to watch. There's just something about their antics that calls for affection, especially if one of them does something particularly human.
One of the highlights of the day for me was getting to hold an owl. A real live horned owl. He was attached to a special glove, and I felt his talons clench for purchase around my fingers as soon as I slipped it on. I had to steady myself as he settled his weight onto my arm. I got to stroke his feathers and admire his glossy head and amber eyes for a full minute. When I eventually detached myself, I found that he had left a small welt on my hand with one of his talons. Dad had a go too, but I like to think that I bonded with that owl more than he ever did.
One of the enclosures was open for visitors to walk through. Emus, wallabies, and prairie dogs greeted us nonchalantly as we strode along the path, and then lowered their heads to snooze in the shade again. There was one very eager toddler that marched through the gates ahead of her mother and promptly stepped off the path in order to "pet the doggies" underneath the tree. She was caught before then, luckily.
We saw lions, tigers, bears (oh my!), zebras, giraffes, wolves, lemurs, reindeer, camels, pygmy hippos, and more. Today was a small celebration of diversity, with the tourists coming from as many different places as the animals. And just before I wind up this blog post, I have to mention one thing, because I hardly ever get to write about my dad's soft spots. He has a special place in his heart for the adorable Malayan sun bear, of which we saw two. Watching him smile over them was another of today's high points.
Tomorrow we're off to Prague, which, according to Lonely Planet, is the new Prague.