Posted by: musinganorak | August 16, 2010

Back On The Elephant Parade

Holiday Musings – Day 11

Today saw us undertake the long trek from Berlin to Amsterdam, a drive of several hours. Luckily I had located the ideal place to break the journey, Emmen, a small town on the German/Dutch border. And the reason for stopping here? Elephants. The zoo in the town is celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary, and as part of the celebrations they are holding an Elephant Parade, exactly like the London Elephant Parade. The Emmen version has 75 elephants, with 38 of them being housed in the zoo and the remainder around the town.

The zoo itself is very small and is situated in the centre of town. The 38 elephants displayed in the zoo were in numerical order and following them meant that you saw the whole zoo. It may be small but it has some of the best exhibits I have ever seen in any zoo. In particular I enjoyed the way that they displayed their African savannah animals in one large mixed enclosure as opposed to separate accomodation. Seeing zebras wandering amongst the giraffes is exactly how it happens in the wild. The Kodiak Bear enclosure was also very well done. Watching the bear foraging in the heavy rain we experienced was no different than any footage I have previously watched on television.

After seeing everything the zoo had to offer we moved on to the town centre to look at the elephants there. Unfortunately, though, we only found 34 of the 37. Given the size of the area in which they were displayed it is unlikely we overlooked them, and I have since read on-line that they have had to take some elephants away for repairs following vandalism. It was disappointing not to see them all but given the time available I more than happy with a score of 72/75.

Leaving Emmen we continued on to Amsterdam and because we had taken longer on our stop over than expected we were quite late arriving at our hotel. After we had checked in and got ourselves organised there wasn’t much of the evening left and so we contented ourselves with visiting 2 of our favourite bars in the city. Firstly we went to In de Wildeman and made small inroads in to some of their 17 draught beers. From here we continued on to ‘t Arendsnest, a bar that only stocks Dutch beer and has 23 draught beers available. Whilst here we discovered that they have now opened a sister bar elsewhere in the city that specialises in American craft beers, but that will have to wait for our next, longer, visit.

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