Vortsetzung von: RE: Zoobericht mit Fotos von Frans 10-11.1.2010 Teil 1 (DE + EN)
Begegnungen von Bärischen Art.
"Jetzt haben wir genug geschmusst ..."
Aber Knut denkt von nicht ...
Zeit für ein erfrischende Tauch!
Und mit dieses letztes, wunderschönes Bild verabschiede ich mir vor heute Abend.
Englische Übersetzung | English translation
On January, 10-11, I paid a short visit to Berlin, while at the start of the new year I pledged the good intention to see our Berliner bears in their natural environment; in other words: in the snow! And well, weather-wise, I could not have choosen a better time!
My trip to Berlin was very worthwhile. Loaded with pictures and videos I returned home. Working on the pictures on the PC not only kept me busy - the pictures had me enchanted. Probably I should not say that about my own photo's, but the zest for life and the pure joy and love which radiates from these pictures, is SO beautiful to see ... But please, don't take my word for it. Take a look and judge for yourself.
I didn't expect my train journey to Berlin to be so easy under these weather conditions. Only around the city of Stendal we experienced a short slow-down; otherwise the journey went according to the book (and the time table). I had a delay of about 20 minutes, which is really nothing when you realise that the entire journey takes over five hours.
Real problems only started when I arrived at railway station Spandau, a suburb of Berlin. Real chaos there, as far as local public traffic was concerned! Everything was at sixes and sevens. As I soon realised, it was going to take a very long time to reach the Zoo by train, I decided to take a taxi. While I had no idea of an address of the Berlin Zoo, I took my chances and simply asked the lady taxi-driver to take me "as soon as possible to polar bear Knut". Without even moving a muscle, she replied: "At what time did you have your appointment?" She thought it was completely normal, to travel from Holland to have a meeting with a polar bear in Berlin. Nice people, those Berliner!
Of course we had an ample discussion in the taxi about Knut and Gianna (what other subject could we have raised?), and the lady taxi-driver confessed, she was a real fan of our polar bear pair too.
At the Löwentör, the Lion's Gate entrance, Zoo personnel wondered about that strange character coming to the zoo in a taxi. You understand, I had to get off at the Lion's Gate, while unfortunately it's not allowed to simply drive on directly to Knut's resort.
A number of Knut friends were already there. After exchanging friendly greetings and New Year-wishes with Natty, Marion (from the Spree Forest) and Petra, my attention focussed of course on Knut and Gianna. It was simply wonderful to see them playing and cuddling their hearts out. Knut seems to want to do nothing else these days than cuddle with his girlfriend - 24/7, if possible! He is always asking for Gianna's attention. Gianna, though, is a strong-willed polar bear girl, and only does what she wants to. She really is an independent woman!
Well ... what else can I say about the couple? The pictures really tell everything, and much better than I can put it in words.
On monday I was of course punctually at nine at Knut's resort, where the bears were already immersed in their play with the bullets. Every now and then Knut interrupted the game; he'd much rather cuddle. Gianna actually did not, but gave in - after all, it was Knut who asked, and she really does have a soft spot for him.
At ten thirty it was brunchtime for the three grown polar bear ladies, who today were living in a landscape with a real arctic feel. The ladies were very pleased - no, not about my arrival, but about the fact that for the first time after their winter sleep they became large pieces of meat. From time to time the number of crows and herons grew to such proportions, that one could hardly see the bears - it was almost like in Hitchkocks film "The Birds".
Of course I also visited the other animals which braved the cold weather. Dear old BaoBao looked friendly at me with his big round dark eyes. For a few moments, we sat facing each other, with only the glass and some ten centimeters between us. BaoBao seemed not very comfortable in his outside resort - there were no goodies to concern himself with, and my impression was, that he'd rather retreat to his warm resort inside the building.
The wolves were having a quiet time, laying lazily in the snow. Brown bear Siddy (at least I think it was Siddy) wanted to go inside; he knocked politely, yet with urgency, on his door, alas to no avail.
At the pinguins, it was war. Animals were screeching and fighting. Why, nobody seemed to know. I ask a keeper, who answered the skirmishes were fully normal. What he really meant to say, was of course that he did not know. But then, in the field of zoology, it's not customary to simply say so.
A beautiful view were the sparrows, which flew around in large numbers, looking for food. The sound of their wings in full flight was impressive.
One hour after Knut's lunch it was alas time for me to return home. I thought that it would still be a problem to get to the central railway station by local train, but to my suprise one rolled in at the platform I was standing, within a minute of me entering the station. So I had to wait for an hour at the central station before my connecting train to Holland took off. Looking around in the large spacious station, I thought that it really could use some big posters of Knut. It is the Bärliner central station, isn't it!? Early this morning, I was walking along the Kant Street and saw, in the lobby of a hotel, four large portraits of our favourite bear. At least some Berlin companies understand!
The return journey went by quickly. I was reading a nice book and was quickly immersed in the suspense of the story. A small delay went therefore unnoticed and hopla, Depression "Daisy" (as the Germans named it) or no Depression "Daisy", with only sixteen minutes delay I was back home.