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Zooman Mini European zoo tour 2015

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by zooman, 27 May 2015.

  1. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Leaving on a 4 week family holiday in 3 weeks, so while not officially a zoo tour will still manage to fit in a few ;)

    I will be visiting Barcelona & Hamburg and have visited both of their city zoo's and wondering if there are other collections close to the city worth visiting?

    I am also going on a cruise and stopping at the below ports and would appreciate any tips on collections that are possible and worth visiting?

    Palma De Mallorca, Spain
    Marseilles (Provence), France
    La Spezia (Florence/Pisa), Italy
    Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
    Naples (Capri), Italy

    Thank you in advance all thoughts appreciated :)
     
  2. Lemurs

    Lemurs Well-Known Member

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    Rome's zoo is okay, nothing special. Time would definitely be better spent in the city centre.
     
  3. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree. It comes very far down the list of Rome's tourist riches though it would obviously be a must for any Zoo enthusiast. Naples Zoo comes( or did) even further down the list from what I have heard.
     
  4. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Thank you,

    Naples and Rome Zoo, any ideas on best transport to these?
    Public transport usually cheaper and frequently faster than a taxi, thoughts?
     
  5. Lemurs

    Lemurs Well-Known Member

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    I actually walked there from near Termini (about half an hour), then afterwards walked west to Piazza del Popolo. There are tourist sites and a metro stop in that area.

    Do the same or get a taxi there then walk back to the central spots? There's not a metro stop near the zoo and buses are always a pain when you don't know the town and language.
     
  6. Tim Brown

    Tim Brown Well-Known Member

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    Don't you bother with aquariums? Barcelona, Naples(a very historical one),Palma has a decent newish one too.Regarding Lemur`s point about leaving zoos alone to attend to other aspects of tourism in some amazing cities...its a tricky one,but personally as a zoo fanatic I would always take even an average zoo over almost anything else..that said,the glory that was Rome takes some beating....then again,the Pantheon,Spanish Steps,Trevi Fountain... they wont take a fraction of the time it would take to look around the zoo(which has many interesting aspects actually).
     
  7. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, you are referring to Rome Zoo?
     
  8. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tim,
    Aquariums are not my thing, I was actually disappointed with GWA...
    I will definitely go to Rome Zoo, the entrance alone looks brilliant!
    As I am travelling with my partner and two kids there will be plenty of touristy sights.....
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It does, but just inside on the left was an atrocious old -fashioned Ape house. I think it has been modernised/replaced now but still only contains hybrid Orangutans and Chimps. The zoo also contained the worst bear cages I've ever seen though fortunately they are long gone and the Zoo has generally been upgraded.

    As above,Rome Zoo is pretty easy to access as its within the city, not outide.
     
  10. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Hey zooman,

    Sounds like another great trip. Bioparco Roma (Rome Zoo) is a nice zoo and worth visiting if you have time; highlights include the reptile house and the chimpanzee enclosure (which I didn't see). The nearby Galeria Borghese is a must-visit museum (evening visits should be available if pre-booked; they're very impressive).
    On your visit to the Italian ports you may find that history takes priority - I only visited the zoo on my third visit to Rome.

    If you're visiting Hamburg and looking for another zoo to visit then you cannot miss Walsrode; one of the world's greatest bird parks. I know it lacks gorillas, but you'll see more birds of paradise, hornbills and some fantastic rarities. It's not much over an hour away from Hamburg by train.

    Whilst in Barcelona, you may wish to consider visiting Cosmocaixa - one of my favourite museums. It also houses an indoor rainforest and a small aquarium section with some very intelligent exhibitry. The entire museum is very well-done. It's worth a prolonged family visit. Valencia might be a worthwhile visit (~3h away from Barcelona) but it depends on how you're doing for time. CaixaForum museum in Barcelona often hosts some impressive temporary art exhibitions with loans from major museums (and hefty contributions from Madrid's Prado); see if the exhibitions are to your taste. :)

    I think you're probably going to miss out by skipping the aquaria, but if Georgia dissapointed then I can't see Barcelona trumping it.
     
    Last edited: 28 May 2015
  11. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Devilfish,
    Thank you for the info and Cosmocaixa looks very good.
    Maybe the bird park, will see how we are travelling.

    BTW, just noticed we joined zoochat same year and month LOL!
     
  12. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    This is starting to get creepier. :p
    As I mentioned in our PM, I am set to be in/near Barcelona the same weekend as you.
     
  13. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Coincidence !!! :confused:
    Great lets make sure we catch up. Barcelona is our first stop, arriving Friday 3am.... So probably Saturday morning best for zoo.
     
  14. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Currently on a flight Barcelona to Hamburg free access WIFI at 30,000 Feet!

    I am going to work backwards as I have just visited the most impressive and under utilised Museum in the world! Yes a big statement but seriously if you have not visited Cosmocaixa you will just have to believe me.

    On entry you walk down a circular path that surrounds a huge tree, the kids and I were both excited and intrigued!

    The amount of interactive and informative displays on everything from the value of a oval shape in seeds and eggs to a interactive display on the ripple effect demonstrated on a 60 ft ladder were overwhelming. I would actually recommend touring this place solo as it's just frustrating having to explore it with others!

    I have included here a picture from the entrance area, what I find really interesting is the use of rock on the floor as a restraining barrier for the public to not touch the display, identical to what is used in many zoos yo restraining rhino and giraffe !
     

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  15. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Rome zoo,
    I was actually ready for the worst and was pleasantly surprised. Yes this zoo does have some small bad enclosures but to their credit they are doing some great renovation work remodelling old bear and tiger, snow leopard and I think puma enclosures.
    Two elephants in a very small area with little obvious enrichment and they were kept apart.

    Picture of renovated tiger exhibit, from what I could see it appeared that it was once a moated exhibit.
     

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  16. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Rome Zoo.
    This picture is of the renovated primate exhibit that is now used as a passage way and stairs to the giraffe viewing platform.
    A real treat for a zoo architect nerd as it was structurally in original condition with exhibit and off exhibit areas free to roam and explore!
     

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    Last edited: 28 Jun 2015
  17. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Rome Zoo.
    Another view of converted primate exhibit to giraffe viewing point.
     

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  18. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Rome Zoo.
    A Coati enclosure with original off exhibit area and very well planted and enriched out door area.
     

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  19. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant. I'm so glad you went and I'm pleased that you liked it. I visited on Thursday and had forgotten how much I loved this place. A brilliant museum, and extremely clever too. Did you notice the seed dispersal display in the central area of the spiral staircase? I hadn't seen it before.

    Both times I've visited I've been left to go alone at the last minute, and I've always felt it would have been great to have others enjoy and appreciate the exhibits with me.

    It's such a great place that I've never managed to give it enough time to do it justice, but it's an amazing experience.
     
  20. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear it's improving. It sounds like most of the things you like are the more recent changes, which would explain why those of us who visited a few years ago were much less positive.
    Did you make it to any other nearby attractions in Rome?