Friday, January 06, 2006

Task #29: The Heidelberg Zoo

Find this place (Marhs included a picture of a building with a string of elephants on it) and take a picture of yourself there, (go ahead and take a tour of the place while you're there too), then after the tour, wander the nearby streets and see if you can find other symbols that refer to the type of thing you just learned about.

I don't know why, but I'm not entirely sure that the zoo is the solution to this because is the zoo a "type of thing" you learn about? Was I supposed to do some sort of museum study of the zoo and analyze the psychological impact of viewing animals through bars versus glass? (By the way, if an animal must be displayed inside a building, I think glass should be mandatory. Listening to taunting kids and adults the entire day is its own form of torture.)

Well, instead I looked at the animals in their very tiny cages and revisited that uncomfortable feeling I always got from going to zoos even though I grew up with, like, the 3rd awesomest zoo ever: The Cincinnati Zoo (behind San Diego and Berlin, I believe).

What didn't suck:
  • Lots of cats, big and small
  • The tiger had cubs (and while I didn't get to pet them, their small cage enabled me to view them roughly 20 ft. away)
  • Great opportunity to try out the new camera
What sucked:
  • The small cages for the obvious reasons and because an animal is in such close quarters with other animals, they mark their territory like crazy. Holy stink.
  • I generally don't like monkeys. I arrived at the monkey house in time for feeding causing the chimpanzees to go chimpshit. Scary.
So while I'm not the biggest fan of zoos, it was fascinating enough that it maintained a significant amount of conversation at dinner. I'd rather watch something like the BBC's award-winning series, The Life of Birds, which we have and which I strongly recommend, as nerdy as that is. The BBC's documentaries are amazing.

Pictures of my zoo trip (without me...I haven't mustered the confidence to hand a complete stranger the new camera) can be found on my flickr page, along with a bunch of other photos I recently uploaded.

Otherwise, other "symbols" that referred to the zoo in the neighborhood were, uh, the bus stop sign, and uh, parking lot. Well and there's the huge Tiergarten Schwimmbad. This is one of two public outdoor pools and the Tiergarten Schwimmbad is insanely huge and popular complete with an open air movie program in the summer. This is a must for people with kids and for those who don't mind crowds.


  1. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Boy, did you go scavenger hunting lately! :) I forget that I sent that stuff to you and then I log on and there you are visiting some place I read about. :)
    Fun Kell!

  2. Lots of German holidays help accomplish those things...