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Zoo Antwerpen and Fiesta Europa for my birthday #antwerp - Random thoughts [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Zoo Antwerpen and Fiesta Europa for my birthday #antwerp [Aug. 4th, 2016|09:41 pm]
Hilde
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[music |ADAMS "Fly through the sky"]

butterfly garden

So for my birthday on Sunday, July 24th Bert and I had decided to make good use of the free Antwerp Zoo tickets his brother had given us (they have an annual pass and every year they get some free tickets to give away).
Bert and I have never been tremendously keen on the Zoo, because we feel they spend more efford on visitor comfort than on animal comfort (things have gotten a little better over the year, but a lot still needs to happen).
But you know, free tickets are free tickets, and I quite wanted to see the butterfly garden, because I love photographing bugs.



So we took the train out and went to the butterfly garden first.

butterfly garden

butterfly garden

butterfly garden

Yes those are all live butterflies, just chilling in a cool and darker grotto section of their garden :)

From there on we wandered past a sleepy koala and tree kangarou in sad cages to this really weird prehistoric cave system thing, which was huge and had a huge restaurant looking out on them. Only to end up in front of the SADDEST and SMALLEST giraffe pen I've ever seen, and the kind of buffalo opposite them wasn't much better off either :(
It's really shameful and disgusting that they'd rather construct utterly useless things than build nicer cages. Sure, there's a lot of construction going on and they claim some of the animals are getting a better cage, but they should have been the PRIORITY! Not an after thought.

Zoo Antwerpen

They did have this cool random truck standing around.

We decided to have a look at freezeland (where the penguins live) and the aquarium.

Zoo Antwerpen

Zoo Antwerpen

Zoo Antwerpen

I'm pretty sure this species was the model for Fishy from Max Steele.

We bumped into Bert's work friend Wim and his wife Leen and their daughter Rien, who had just come out of the reptile house. Which was what Bert and I were visiting next :)

Zoo Antwerpen

Zoo Antwerpen

Zoo Antwerpen

My fave, the frill neck lizard :)

komodo dragon

Komodo dragon.

From there on we went to Noctuarium, where the night creatures live. They REALLY need to station some staff there because the amount of retards using flash photography at nocturnal animals was simply staggering.
You'd think that "nocturnal" would be the clue that flashing bright light at them wasn't the way forward, but no, obviously not.
I didn't take a single photo in there because you know: no flash!

Zoo Antwerpen

I didn't take photos inside the bird building either, but I did take one of the building. For, much like most of the other architecture of the Zoo, it is a very pretty building.

I also didn't take photos of the birds of prey, because the cages were simply far too depressing. I did briefly play tug of war with one of the big birds because we ALWAYS play tug of war with a stick. And even though I only go there every few years, he always remembers. Very strange, but I love that bird regardless :)

Zoo Antwerpen

Pink flamingos.

Zoo AntwerpenZoo Antwerpen

Some more architecture.

My outfit, photo by Bert

Outfit: 24.7.2016

Hat: ebay seller
Brooch on hat: handmade
Glasses: Theo
Top: made it myself
Skirt: made it myself
Bag: Zatchels
Backpack: Fjällräven Kanken
Socks: Insua
Jelly sandals: asos
Accessories: handmade, Roxy, Lisbeth Dahl

Photo of the day: 25.7.2016 (day 207)

And to stay in the animal theme, I got a daytime lion on Walk with Me that day, lions don't happen often :)



We had seen the extortionate prices of the café/restaurants, and not even the explorer/colonial dieselpunk theme could convince us to spend that kind of outrageous price on drinks. Especially not whilst we had 2 for 1 coupons for Starbucks around the corner from the Zoo. So before we went to Groenplaats, we quickly popped back into Central Station for drinks :)

drink!

KBC tower

KBC tower, aka boerentoren (farmer's tower). At some point, long ago, this was the tallest building in the world. LONG ago, clearly.

Fiesta Europa is my favourite summer market. It travels, so sometimes I'm lucky and manage to catch it a few times, but I make a point out of it to go to every Antwerp edition. It's basically a market with stands from all over Europe. The tradition is to go to one of the French stands and buy a giant onion. This year they had two kinds of giant onions, so I got one of each, and a really fancy Japanese black garlic. A very small one, because they are a whopping € 225 per kilo (obviously I paid less than € 3 for my small one, but still).
I have no idea what we'll be doing with them, but I'm sure we'll figure it out, we've still got time :)

Bert at Fiesta Europa

Bert enjoying brätwurst and Paljas, a Belgian beer.

We decided to go for the 5 for € 10 offer at one of the sausage stands, so we could invited Bert's parents to come eat cheese and sausages after our London trip (they came over yesterday). We got sausage with olives, duck, spicy peppers, herbs and figs :).

Traffic in Antwerp

This is what traffic in Antwerp on a Sunday afternoon looks like :D

On the way back to the station we went to look at the chocolate statues. The high end chocolatier often changes them, and they're always fun to go look at.
This time he had a Japanese theme going on.

Japan in Belgian chocolate

And that was basically my birthday :)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: countlibras
2016-08-07 02:33 pm (UTC)
Happy belated birthday!

The butterflies are lovely, but I agree that some zoos are downright depressing. The one in Boston also needs more space and better cages, but it's unlikely to ever happen. My city just doesn't have the space, and it was never known for it's zoo to begin with. :(

Fiesta Europa sounds like fun. And which chocolatier did you go to?
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[User Picture]From: kittensandsteam
2016-08-07 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Thankfully we have a couple of zoos that do a much better job. Pairi Daiza is well on it's way to making the top 15 of conservation zoos worldwide.
I really want to go there.

This is just a chocolate place in the royal palace on the Meir, I'm not sure what it's called. I never get chocolate there as it's massively expensive. I go to Dille & Kamille shops or the flagship store in Brussels and buy Café Tasse if I can help it. That brand is DIVINE. I especially love their milk chocolate with nougat and their white chocolate with matcha :)

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