Saturday, August 1, 2015

Day Nineteen Berlin Zoo

My last day in Europe.

            I cannot believe that this was our very last day abroad. I made sure to make the most out of it (after sleeping in) and went to the zoo with a close friend I had made throughout the trip. Once we had made it to one of the largest zoos in the world, we encountered a man dressed in overalls and traditional German clothing who winded a giant music box.  Every time someone came to tip him he would tip his hat in one exaggerated motion and shout “Danke!” (“thank you” in German) happily. His music made me even more excited for the zoo, and seeing how happy he was making other people cheerful only contributed to my glee. Next came the skeleton marionette, who I found to be just plain hilarious. As popular 60’s music played, a man made a puppet of a skeleton dance and sing with conviction, sometimes making it walk towards people in the line.
The first animal I saw was the alpaca, lounging about in the shade with the rest of the herd. Across from them was a machine that has the word “cheese” on it, so my friend and I both assumed it was a place for people to purchase cheese to feed to the animals. Makes sense, right? Of course, it was a photo booth, and my friend and I laughed about that for a long time. After seeing many animals that I have never even seen before, my friend and I managed to catch the orangutan feeding.All of the monkeys came to one side of the fenced enclosure and hung there, reaching their hands to the other side to beckon for food. After the orangutans we went to the nocturnal exhibit, encountering lions and leopards along the way.
The dark nocturnal animals area was underground and contained a vast expanse of desert foxes, moles, and, most notably, bats. Once we left the area and our eyes had adjusted, we ran into an enormous white bird that was just inches away from the gate separating it from the zoo visitors. It could easily jump the fence, but it used its three-foot-long beak instead to poke passersby. We spent the rest of the time at the zoo looking for the penguin exhibit which wasn’t easy to find. When we did find it, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the gleeful penguin enjoying the attention of its visitors. It was the only visible penguin in the exhibit, and people were able to touch it if the penguin got close enough. Whenever anyone did manage to pet it, the creature would tilt its head back and smile. It literally smiled. It was probably the cutest thing I had seen all day.
Once my friend and I felt as if we had seen enough animals (the zoo was so big that we couldn’t finish looking at everything) we headed to the Doc Martin store for her to look for a new pair of shoes. It was a really fun experience, and we went to the hostel for a break afterwards. After about two hours we both headed out to have dinner at the same burger place I had gone to the day before. Of course, I tried something new and enjoyed it in its entirety. The non-alcoholic Moskito and the Klassic burger were both divine. After dinner, it was time to get ready to leave at 3:30 the next morning. I went to bed for a few hours before waking up and heading on the bus to the Berlin Airport. I will never forget the experiences that I had here in Europe. I never thought that I’d grow so close with so many people in such a short amount of time, but I really am going to miss not only the marketing class, but everyone else, too. The trip abroad has helped me to grow as a person independently and academically, and I do not regret making the decision to take part in such a trip at all.