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Sat, 13 May 2017
a visit to the zoo in schoenbrunn (0 comments)
nina and i have been to the zoo at schoenbrunn once more. again it has been quite a while since the last time we were here. but today we were here for a special occasion, namely the opening of the new giraffe[001-006,058-068] house. after over two years of construction time, the new enclosure has been opened. it is much bigger and spacious, then the old one, and all new and shiny.
but besides the opening i had a special surprise for nina, which i had kept a secret for almost over a year now. and as it happens, nina wanted to take a short break to change her camera lens. she put her bag right on a bench right in front of where my surprise was - so exactly where i wanted her to be; awesome. as i had donated a little sum of money to support the funding of the giraffe enclosure, i was offered to have a name printed on a glass window of the newly giraffe house. i initially asked them to print "ninsti & nostromo", but they said it can only be names, no "&", "+", or "und"; this was a bit frustrating. so, after a little negotiation with the staff in charge for the window printing at zoo vienna, i convinced them that "ninsti and nostromo" is actually one name, consisting of first-, middle-, and last-name, and "and." is the abbreviated form of nina's fictional nickname "andrea". either they believed my outrageous story, or they just did not want to argue any more, i do not know; but i think the latter, because they even omitted the "." after the middle-name; so in the end, i got the text approved and printed - how marvellous.
it took nina a while to realise that this was indeed a text by me for us. she was confused, and amazed at first, but then she was impressed, all happy, and pretty surprised - totally worth the effort. i was happy she liked it. after having revealed my surprise to her, we continued our tour through the zoo. we started at the bird house with fish[007], a sloth[008-009], turtles[010] and monkeys[011-012] right in front of it, and the scarlet ibis[013] right next to it.
the southern sea lions[015-030,031-034] were enjoying the warm weather and sun, while dozing off. the massive male sea lion was showing off, but the females did not seem very impressed, so he soon stopped and also rested.
the lions[035-036] and cheetahs[037-038] were also taking a nap, enjoying the sun - a cat does, what a cat has to do.
at least the giant panda[039-043] was - surprisingly - more active, which means it was feeding on bamboo. but at least we did not get the usual rear view of the panda, but this time we even got to see it in profile. a rare sight for us.
in the east africa house we spotted the southern ground hornbill[044-046] and a southern dwarf mongoose[047-057] gang, with one of the little guys doing the sentry duty. then we visited the giraffe house once more, as the giraffes[058-068] were out again grabbing some hay.
next we went to the aquarium and terrarium house. there we were watching some reptiles, like the mexican crocodiles[069-072], or the black-chested spiny-tailed iguana[072-074], which was more colourful than i had anticipated a reptile to be.
then we came to one of nina's favourites, the jellyfish[075-086]. they have a vast amount of different jellyfish species, with all of them having one thing in common; they are extremely difficult to capture with the camera, as the light conditions are really horrible in the tanks, when it comes to taking pictures in the aquarium section.
but they are really beautiful when they float around in their water tanks, almost like they are not affected by gravity at all. also i always wonder how they manage to not entangle or knot their tentacles[084].
through a window in the aquarium and terrarium house one can look outside through a window, right into the flamingos[0889-096] area of the zoo. as they get special food here in the zoo, they are extremely colourful, and have that typical flamingo colour; really beautiful.
then we headed for the butterflies[097-102], another one of nina's favourites. but they are also hard to catch with the camera, because they almost never rest. and once they finally do, they have their wings folded most of the time. but i caught some while feeding or hatching out of their cocoon.
then there were also two aldabra giant tortoises[103-105] in the terrarium house - really big animals. they were also resting, and just lying there and enjoying their break from feeding.
to sum it up, the new giraffe house is way better than the old one, and also it has our names in it. we should come here more often again; nina and i agreed on that one.

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