Day trips are a fantastic way to explore what's just around the metaphorical (sometimes actual) 'riverbend' without all the baggage (literally). Last weekend, the dark clutches of winter backed off and we had sunshine and fifty degree weather for a blessed few days. In order to take advantage of such a rarity in these winter months, my friends and I went on a stroll to the neighboring town of Bebenhausen to convene with nature. What that means is that we walked down a mountain and through the medieval walls of a monastery to have a picnic and wander around the grounds. Sounds magical, right? Well, it was.
On the hike down to Bebenhausen:
I'm pretty spoiled with zoos, considering Saint Louis has one of the best in the US. But after having been exposed to the tragedy that is the Beijing Zoo (shock! horror! disgust!) my expectations have been lowered. I'm happy to report that most of the animals at the Stuttgart zoo appeared to be quite content, especially the monkeys. I could have watched them playing all day. And let me just tell you, baby monkeys? Adorable.
The only animal that was actually enjoying the weather, though, was the polar bear. He looked as if he might just go for a swim, mocking us in our winter coats and unwanted snow in our eyelashes. Needless to say, we spent the majority of our time in the houses, checking out the aquariums and big cats. When we finally emerged from the tropical rainforest house, though, we were ready for some cool, dry air!
Hey, fishy fishy fishy:
Christoph looking at the polar bear: