Esmée looks a bit bored, but she thinks she is pretty cool to sit behind the wheel. She has thought that we should sit in the back while she is driving. We think it's fine, but we don't arrive anywhere. Then grandpa has to drive again, on the way to the Allwetterzoo in Münster. It is less than an hour's drive, but when we arrive the clouds have given way to the sun and we are taking off our coats. It feels very different from the 11 degrees predicted for today!
That is why we went to this zoo: even with bad weather there is plenty to see and do here. There is a kilometer-long indoor walking route that connects the inner areas. But with this weather we first walk around outside, past the many animals that have nice and fairly large outdoor areas. The park itself is also beautifully laid out.
In the elephant house we can walk through an aviary and Esmée gets a bowl with nectar that she can feed to the lories, small mulicolored parrots. One is sitting on Teije's hand while Esmée holds the bowl in front of its nose.
In the tropical house we find many more species of birds and when we sit down quietly on a bench they quickly flutter or walk past us. There are also white-tailed monkeys and Indian flying dogs. When we walk outside we first pass through the free-flight aviary for the macaws and when they pass us in that small space with their big wings, we get scared. Esmée takes me to the outer door: she is not afraid, but says it is safer to stand there.
There is also a dolphinarium where a few times a day performances are given and at 2 o'clock we are ready. Esmée loves the acrobatic dances of the sea lions and the dolphins, she is sitting there all the time with a big smile on her face and occasionally claps her hands. The show lasts half an hour and it looks more like a break for the animals than real work.
Then it's time for a long break in one of the many playgrounds that are scattered around the park. We quickly realize that it is mainly Dutch people who are walking around with their children. In Holland the spring holidays have started.
When we walk on again, we are just in time to see the feeding of the lions. They are first lured in, a lioness with 4 cubs and father lion in a separate loft. It takes a while before Dad wants to go inside and the lioness gets very restless. We are not a meter from the bars and an angry lioness is quite an impressive sight. When the lion is finally inside, they all get a big rabbit. It takes a while befor Esmée notices that they are bunnies, but then she says: "It does not matter, because they are not live bunnies, yet". We can hear the bones crack.
The penguins do not really want to come to us at first, which makes Esmée to exclaim disappointedly: "Of the penguins nobody likes me best". But soon afterwards a small penguin dares to go to the window to get acquainted. But Esmée would prefer to just sit between them.At the end of the afternoon it starts to get a bit colder and at 6 o'clock we go back home. We have not seen everything, we have not even been to the petting zoo or the horse museum! But it is also an unforgettable day. In the car we have a big argument with Esmée when she wants to take them off. I even have to stop on the highway, well next to it, and warn that the police will come to fine us
When Teije brings her to bed at night, they get another fight over something and Teije tries to explain that he only gets angry when it comes to something important. "But what I say is also important, you know", I hear her say indignantly and Teije, who can not withhold his laughter, agrees with her. She's way too smart, that little girl. But we are happy that she is with us and she is allowed to go on holiday more often, then we see things in a different way, more from her perspective.