Highlanders in Hamburg 3 - Creatures Great & Small
After spending a day in Miniatur Wunderland and another one mainly focusing on the harbour area surrounded by big ships and submarines and cranes it was time on our last full day in Hamburg to switch our attention to living creatures!
The Tierpark Hagenbeck has a long history and excellent reputation worldwide - and even better in addition to the zoo there is a Tropical Aquarium too so of course we had to go there!
As we only had a weekend left we aimed for an early start and got a combined ticket for both the zoo and aquarium, starting with the latter. It was a fantastic indoor experience - we could have spent all day just looking at the deep sea creatures crocodiles and spiders - all displayed in an interesting and quirky way. But at least for this blog post lets not dwell on the indoors again but move on the the 'Tierpark' zoo.
One of the first nice touches we noticed that there was a stall selling local fruit and veg to feed to some of the animals where it was permitted. We did not get any but promptly regretted it when seeing the crowds feeding the elephants in a nearby enclosure. You could get right up to them and it was a unique experience for lots of kids. A nice bystander donated an apple to Corwin so he could also have a go.
Despite being a Sunday it wasn't too crowded and we continued our stroll along the various parts of the zoo - and what we had seen in the Aquarium continued - really nice enclosures and happy animals and all very accessible whilst being safe.
After tigers and lions and bears we had kept the latest addition to the zoo for last as we expected it to be one of the highlights - the Eismeer (or polar landscape). The Tierpark Hagenbeck has a long tradition of accommodating animals from the polar region but opened the new area in 2012 after an extensive rebuild. The Eismeer takes up a total area of 8.000m2 and leads visitors via a 750m long walkway through the whole area.
We nearly never made it inside the attraction as we got stuck at the walrus pool at the entrance. They very big AND cute and we didn't realise until we actually entered the indoor section which leads you deeper and deeper until you reach the bottom level of the pool that we could see them swimming underwater. Which was a truly amazing experience.
For me personally this was only beaten by seeing a polar bear swim underwater - just a few centimetres on the other side of the glass. The power and size were awe inspiring. Arctic birds and penguins followed and we spent well over an hour there being totally awestruck.
If you ever get a chance to visit Hamburg's zoo - don't miss it!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Monika (an Austrian in Scotland), Stewart (a true Highlander) and Corwin (8), plus 2 dogs and 5 cats. We live on a woodland croft in the parish of Assynt, in the far North West Highlands of Scotland.
Favourite place in the world:
Home - we are lucky to have mountains and beaches on our doorstep and Scotland generally; but we also love the mountains in my native Austria and have a soft spot for California, where we spent our honeymoon.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Explovering (our personal term for exploring and discovering) mountains, lochs and beaches, camping, foraging, star gazing, Geocaching, developing our already wonderful woodlands into a magic place to share with family, friends and neighbours and fishing.