21 August 2010

Denmark day 7

We’re going to the zoo, zoo zoo
How about you, you, you?
You can come too, too, too
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.

Daddy did indeed take us to the zoo – Aalborg Zoo, to be precise. It’s on the outskirts of the city, so about 40 minutes away from where we’re staying. We thought it would be good for a couple of hours, but in fact, we did 'stay all day'.

The zoo is fairly traditional – most animals are in large caged areas, or at least have a moat between you and them - as opposed to a safari park. The monkeys/baboons/chimpanzees looked happiest with this arrangement – they had huge enclosures to swing about in. The big cats (lions, tigers) didn’t have quite so much space, while the zebras/giraffes/elephants had enormous paddocks to play around in.

The polar bears were fantastic to see up close - I'd never really got a sense of their size before, despite seeing the animatronic Bjorn the Polar Bear at the Sage at Christmas. Their enclosure included an enormous pool with glass sides, which enabled you to see them underwater. One of them was ‘playing’ with a huge car tyre, and the chunks taken out of it with his teeth and claws were very impressive.

The African Village section of the zoo was excellent - it gave you some really good background on the savannah animals, and it was nicely done with reproductions of village buildings. I can imagine that this gets used a lot for school visits. We loved the elephants nearby - who looked to be enjoying themselves kicking water around in the mudholes, and spraying the people watching.

We all had different favourites among the animals – I thought the polar bears were amazing, Orb liked the giraffes, and M loved the goats. What can I say. We take her halfway across Europe, show her all sorts of exotica, and she goes for the goats. In her defence, you could at least get close up to the goats and stroke them, which you’re never going to be able to do with an elephant.

We ate at the zoo at lunchtime, having run out of ideas for picnics. The self-service restaurant was very quiet - I think most Danish families are the picnic type. M picked a Danish hot dog (called a Fransk hotdog), I had the salad of the day (broccoli, raisins, pine nuts and red onion), Orb had a massive cheeseburger, and we all shared some chips - for 145 DKK. Can't imagine London Zoo being that reasonable. The food was all freshly made, and tasted great.

The other good thing about the zoo is the marvellous children's playground - with a huge, spidery rope climbing frame. M spent ages there, and was very proud of climbing up to the second level of ropes and bouncing around. There's also little things for tinies - slide/seesaw etc.

All in all, it was an excellent day out. The entrance fee is 120 DKK for adults (about £13), and 65 DKK for kids, so it's probably not a place to go just for a morning - but there's certainly enough to keep you occupied for longer.

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