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I found out, purely by accident, that there is a zoo in Madrid. We headed out pretty early in the morning. Admission was ridiculously expensive (more than 60 euros for all of us), and it really was not a great zoo. Pretty much every other zoo I’ve ever been to was better. But we had fun. We visited only a few of the exhibits and really tried to take it at the childrens’ pace. We visited an open air monkey enclosure, then the elephants. After that we walked past the bears on the way to the aquarium.
The bears were very circusy in their behavior, sitting close the edge of their enclosure and doing tricks to people would throw them peanuts. I didn’t like it at all — this experience was a good example of the zoo as a whole. It was much more old-time-zoo gawking at the animals, rather than modern zoos which focus on education and preservation.
We walked through the little aquarium, which was less enjoyable than it could have been since everyone else was ignoring the “no flash, no running, no yelling” signs. It was a little crazy. But there was a sea turtle and some other interesting fish. After that we visited the dolphins, which was really great. It was no SeaWorld, but it was fun to watch the dolphins swimming around playing. It was much cooler by their big pool, too, which was very nice!
After a long nap and some down time at the hostal, we went out in search of La Farfalla. I had been toying with the idea of finding Mexican food somewhere in Madrid, but it never panned out :(. We showed up a bit early (La Farfalla opens at 9 pm), so we went down a couple blocks and had a beer at Los Conspiradores. At 9 we went back to La Farfalla. I love that place! We had a nice house wine, a crisp little salad, and two lovely pizzas (a margherita and a quartos quesos). The children were getting a little restless so Lauren and Chris took turns taking them for walks in the street. It was very nice of Chris and Lauren to let me sit and enjoy one of my favorite restaurants in Spain. It’s not that it’s in a picturesque location, or that is serves really great Spanish food (it’s actually mostly Italian). I think I like La Farfalla so much because it’s the kind of place I would go to a lot if I lived in Madrid. And I like to ponder what it would be like to live in the places I visit.
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:28 pm)
The elephant is reaching as far as it’s little trunk can, trying to get the peanuts people are throwing at it. People threw peanuts at all of the animals, even though there were lots of signs saying not to.
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:30 pm)
I didn’t actually get a picture of the bears waving or doing their other tricks for the peanut-throwers. But it made me really sad. First of all because it was freakin’ hot out, probably too hot for the bears. And because they were performing for peanuts! Classic old-timey-zoo stereotype! Throwing peanuts at animals… sheesh. It felt very degrading. I can see why people would say “I don’t like zoos” if this is the only kind of zoo they’ve been to.
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:45 pm)
I really enjoyed watching the sea turtle. I wonder what it is about their eyes and face that make them seem intelligent to humans. They have an air of wisdom. Maybe it’s because they are wrinkly and move slowly. Like old wise people.
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:49 pm)
I really like this one.
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:54 pm)
It’s a good one of the dolphin, but not of C!
Too bad the sign is sort of glared out by the bright sky. It’s a cute little metal butterfly (farfalla is Italian, butterfly). This is one of the only pictures of me from this trip…
Katy(posted on Jun 30, 2006 at 1:56 pm)
It’s sad, but Katy is always the one with the camera… gotta give it up sometimes, Kate!
Chris(posted on Jul 3, 2006 at 10:55 am)