09 October 2011

Stuttgart and the Wilhelma

A long overdue blog post—aren't they all? I guess we will muse about the extended German summer of 2011 for many years to come. Ending about two days ago was a stretch of ten days of pure sunshine-bliss. This post is about our October first visit to Stuttgart and the Wilhelma Zoological-Botanical Garden, which one of my husband's colleagues was kind enough to show us during this golden period.

But before we got there we took a walk up Königstraße and through the Schloßgarten, both well worth a visit. We then arrived at the Wilhelma, and now that I've Wiki-ed it I realise that the buildings are interesting because they are old.

More importantly though, this place doesn't make you want to put yourself or the animals out of their misery (cf. Tobe zoo). I understand that all animals can't actually have trees inside their enclosures, but at Wilhelma greenery abounds and the concrete-prison effect is avoided. My favourite part was how the zoological and botanical parts are also integrated in places, for example where birds, monkeys, and creepy crawlies from humid climes are enclosed with nets and glass in the same greenhouse as the plants. Another nice feature was bird or butterfly enclosures where you can walk among them freely. So two thumbs up for Wilhelma! I'm sure we'll visit again to see more of the botanical parts that we couldn't get around to this time.

Here are some links of fun creatures I couldn't get good pictures of. I've labeled them with their Latin names so you can get the full effect of seeing them before knowing what to expect!

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