Visitors to the Netherlands

We have spent the week playing host to some visitors from Tokyo. Our little household went from Himself, I, and our three fur-kids; to seven humans and three fur-kids! It has been an amazing week in which we learnt lots of things about getting up early and resolving neighbour disputes. It was an interesting week!

Himself and I spent Sunday cleaning up the house and making it respectable and presentable to guests. Then off I went on the bus to Schiphol to meet everyone and bring them home. Say hello! They are pleased to meet you.

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natura ARTIS magistra

We went back to Artis on the weekend with a friend who we haven’t seen in months! It was a lovely way to catch up and spend the day together, running around like lunatics with cameras! If we continue going to Artis at this rate, we may as well just get annual passes!

There had been news reports earlier in the week that this is the second warmest Winter on record, and all the animals and plants were getting confused. I think this was illustrated really neatly within the walls of the zoo! There were blossoms blooming, and animals behaving like rabbits! (It was hard not to get photos of it really …) But I shall spare you all that, as the weekend we decided to end up at the zoo was determined to be the first real cold snap of Winter. Oh yeah. This meant layers and layers of clothing people! I may need to finally shop for actual winter clothes. Let’s hope I can still find some in the shops!

But on with the photos!

Many of the animals who were outside looked like this …

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… huddled for warmth.

All in thick, fluffly, winter coats.

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I’m including this shot of the otter because I’m in shock that he held still long enough for me to get a photo! It’s an otter after all!

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All the big cats looked like they needed big warm snugly beds to curl up in. My own cats have obviously trained me well!

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Being as cold as it was, we spent a fair amount of time in the “houses”. We started in the small animal house, which we had been shooed out of the last time we were at the zoo, when they found us still in there after the zoo had closed!

We then wended our way to the bird, reptile, and monkey house where you could walk around in amongst the vines and trees with the animals there with you! (So difficult to restrain yourself from reaching out and patting the tiny monkeys!)

This bird strongly reminded me of the dinos in Jurassic Park the way he looked out from behind the plants.

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So many of the birds were complete cam whores who posed beautifully for our cameras!

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But it was outside in the cold where I found my holy grail! We had missed them the last time we were in the zoo compound, but I got to see my flamingos!

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The poor blighters looked FREEZING! They were all squished together and reduced to football shaped! I took so many photos! I’m hoping these will be inspiring for my painting later this week!

The meekats came out briefly when they heard us.

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But disappeared just as quickly when they discovered how chill it was out of their house!

And though there was lots of “animals thinking it was spring” going on, this blog is child friendly, so I’ll just put here this photos of the stags fighting it out for dominance!

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It was a wonderful day out, and though we have now been to Artis twice, we still have yet to see everything is has to offer! We shall just have to resign ourselves to going back again. Oh the hardships of our life! 😉

Tigers

I can’t tell you how much being this close to a tiger at the zoo, even a stuffed one one behind glass …

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reminded me of this trip a year ago.

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It was an amazing experience, and I’m incredibly fortunate! I’ll never forget the feel and smell of taking a live tiger for its morning walkies! *grins*

Can you believe that was a year ago?!?

Artis

Natura Artis Magistra – the Artis Royal Zoo, located in Amsterdam. That was where we decided to spend the last Sunday in August. In the intermittent rain.

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I had wanted to go to Artis almost since we first arrived in Amsterdam. Having lived nearby and at one point taking the cats to the Vet opposite, it had been tormenting me ever since.

When we woke up on Sunday and there was yet more rain forecast, I looked at Himself and declared that I’d be willing to dress for the weather just to get there finally! Thank goodness that he is as open to adventure as I am! Off we went with umbrella and raincoat stowed safely in the backpack.

It didn’t take long for the first of several downpours. This one happened as we were nearby the Reptile House, and in we went.

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We were reminded that we will need to look up the laws on snake ownership in the Nederlands for our next pet adoption.

Another happened as we were encountering the Lemurs in Lemur Land. You can actually get close and interact with them! Although, at one point all anyone wanted was to be under the umbrella, out of the rain! We all crammed in there together.

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Zebras are not wet weather animals. They told me.

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With another downpour we were at the Aquarium which is housed within the same park. How cool is that?!? This wee froggy stole my heart! He was about the size of the nail on my little finger.

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I guess it makes complete sense that if you have a big cat enclosure, then you’d have a resident taxidermist as well. I wouldn’t want to say good bye either.

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I swear these sea urchins wanted to try out to be soot sprites from Studio Ghibli.

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The Koi pond will always hold a special attraction for me.

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I saw my first ever racoon! And Oh My Goodness! Can you stand the cuteness?!?

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My first ever sloth! I like sloths. Always have. Don’t know why.

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There seemed to be baby animals all over the zoo. Baby gorillas, baby sharks, a baby giraffe, this baby elephant …

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But of course, the best was saved ‘til last. As we were being kicked out of the premises as they had closed a half hour before …

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the baby lion.

You can bet you britches that we’ll be going back to see all of the park we missed (and we were there for five hours), very shortly!

Hope you had a good weekend one and all!