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Thylo's Trip to the Land of Tea Drinkers

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ThylacineAlive, 18 Aug 2016.

  1. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Sat nav, not GPS. ASDA, not Walmart. Mars bars, not Milkyway. Milkyway, not Three Musketeers. Chips, not fries. Crisps, not chips. Blackcurrant, not grape. Motorway, not highway. Petrol, not gas. Queues, not lines. T.K.Maxx, not T.J.Maxx.

    What is this strange land I walked into?

    (It's Britain)

    For those of you who don't already know, I visited the island famous for rain that was somehow less rainy than I later found it was in my home town in the last three weeks.

    This thread will serve as my trip outline and home to my thoughts on the places and zoos I visited.

    To start, here is the basic outline of my day-to-day activities:
    July 26: Flight In
    July 27: ZSL London Zoo
    July 28: Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park/Rodbaston Animal Zone/Gentleshaw Wildlife Center
    July 29: Chester Zoo
    July 30: Living Coasts/Shaldon Wildlife Trust/Paignton Zoo
    July 31: Paradise Park/Newquay Zoo/Newquay Blue Reef Aquarium
    August 1: Exmoor Zoological Park/Tropiquaria Zoo
    August 2: Bristol Zoo/Noah's Ark Zoo Farm/WWT Slimbridge Wetland Center
    August 3: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
    August 4: Crocodiles of the World/Cotswold Wildlife Park/Cotswold Falconry Center
    August 5: Linton Zoo/Hamerton Zoo
    August 6: Wingham Wildlife Park/Howletts Wild Animal Park/Hemsley Conservation Center
    August 7: Reaseheath College Zoo/Twycross Zoo
    August 8: Relax/Birding Day
    August 9: Scottish Owl Center
    August 10: Highland Wildlife Park
    August 11: Edinburgh Zoo
    August 12: "Relax" Day
    August 13: Colchester Zoo
    August 14: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park/Wildwood Discovery Park
    August 15: ZSL London Zoo/Day in London
    August 16: Flight Out

    Now I know that doesn't look like the most practical route but trust me, it all will make sense in time:p

    Hope you all enjoy!

    P.S. Sorry we dropped your tea in the harbor.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Fixed your spelling; even if you spell the word "center" in your day-to-day life you have to admit the actual names of the collections in question are spelled "centre" :p call this small payback for the dig about our tea and harbours ;)
     
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough:p

    Reminds of a quote from our resident ex-mod at Highland, "Harbour Seals? Harbour Seals? Remember what country you're in now."

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  4. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great trip. Someday I'll make it to that side of the Pond.
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'm already looking forward to approximately 35 zoo reviews. Bring it on! :)
     
  6. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I think we have forgiven you for that ;)

    Alan
     
  7. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    Glad you took our suggestion from the chatroom;)

    Very excited to hear a different stand point on some top notch (and lower tiered) zoos!
     
  8. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    I think most people will by now have realised that you spent a large amount of your time, over in the UK with a total nutter, who rushes from place to place. Just so he can see as many animals as possible!
     
  9. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    On some days however, sanity was restored by the gentleman in the shorts. :D
     
  10. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Well I won't be doing extremely detailed, long reviews of each collection simply because of how much material I have to get through. I plan to just do more generalized reviews such as my thoughts, main positives and negatives, and anything else that's noteworthy at each collection.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  11. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    That is Britain for you :p
     
  12. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    You forgot football not soccer.
     
  13. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Taxi and cab spring in mind.
     
  14. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Who calls a liquid 'gas'?

    In school science lessons when teachers ask for an example of a liquid do students call out 'gas!'?

    Also, who tagged this thread with 'driving on the wrong side'? :D
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    just out of interest, would you have gone travelling if you had not joined Zoochat? I mean, presumably you might have done so when older, but was joining here the driving force to do so now.
     
  16. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely say having joined ZooChat was a big driving force in visiting now. This trip has been discussed and planned for a good few years now, and it was invitations of several of the members I met and stayed with that pushed me to make this my first big trip.

    @bongorob, of course! How could I have forgotten that one:rolleyes::p

    @LaughingDove, short for gasoline:p I put the driving tag but I'm just wondering who added the pizza one as it definitely wasn't me! :confused:

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  17. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    I added an accurate tag. :)
     
  18. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Harbor. Color. Theater. Center. Gray. Nope can't do that last one it's grey.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  19. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Prologue: An Adventure Years in the Making

    For those of you who have shared the chatroom with me for any length of time now, you may have known this trip was one which begun its early planning stages back in 2013. This was a time when I was first beginning to travel further from home to visit zoos (Cincinnati, for example), though international travel was still a far-off dream in my head. That was until I was chatting with our resident tea addict, who suggested the UK as a first trip due to it being an English-speaking country and how easy it can be to access with public transportation. It was still just an idea at the time but soon enough a rough list of zoos was thrown together and the idea quickly grew. Eventually some other members such as zoogiraffe and bongorob offered to meet me and help me with my trip and as discussions progressed the trip became a no brainer.

    Throughout the planning process, when I'd be visiting, the number of collections I would visit, where I'd be going, and how long I'd be there for changed often. Originally I was to visit over the summer of 2015, but that was pushed back to June 2016, a date which was then pushed back to July/August due to complications on both sides of the pond. At various points Ireland and even France were tacked on as possibilities, though neither came to fruition simply due to cost and time restraints. A final itinerary wasn't fully produced until less than a month before I left, and even then plans changed as the trip progressed.

    And even after three years of planning, the reality of what the trip became was something I couldn't have imagined. No, I didn't visit Australia or Ethiopia, I didn't backpack across Southeast Asia, but to an 18-year-old who had never left the US, a trip to the UK was huge.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  20. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    July 26: Cars, Planes, & Crying Babies

    Not really too much to tell from this day. My flight was at about 8pm EST so most of the day was last minute preparations. The most exciting event would have been my Dad's car breaking down on the side of the highway on the way to the airport and having to get a ride from a stranger:p

    I flew with Virgin Atlantic and have to say I was very impressed with the quality of air travel they provide. Decent food, two meals, WiFi, free movies, free TV, decent legroom, nice staff, and all but the WiFi is included in your ticket. Sure that just means the price of the ticket is a tad higher but still can't complain. My flight landed at about 7:30am BST on July 27 and the plan was for me to sleep overnight on the plane and then head to London Zoo for the day. The twin crying babies seated next to me, however, had other plans for me... But hey, at least their parents gave me a goodie-bag. In the end I suppose it worked out that I didn't get any sleep because 30 straight hours of no sleep only meant when I did finally get to sleep on the first night I'd have no jetlag for the entirety of the trip:p

    ~Thylo:cool: