Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Orangutans steal show at Barcelona Zoo

A couple of weeks ago we traveled to Italy to see our White Rock friends. Instead of driving we flew from Barcelona to Nice. It would have been much more convenient to fly out of nearby Gerona, but unfortunately Ryanair has cut many of its flights from there.

We couldn’t find the local taxi driver in any of his usual haunts so Seamus called him on his cell. The conversation ended with Seamus saying we will see you in "dos horas”,  two hours. We were outside ready to go but still no taxi driver. Finally, Seamus called him again and he came speeding along the street. Our cabbie speaks no English at all. He thought we had called for the next day, "mañana." This was nonsense. We lurched from one side of his van to the other as we sped to the station. The ticket office was closed and the ticket machine didn't seem to work. We couldn't persist with the machine any longer as the train had been announced. Once on the train we kept waiting for the ticket collector and for the first time ever, no one appeared. Our plan was to pay once we were in Barcelona but the exit led us straight outside to Passeig de Gracias. I suppose you could say the taxi driver did us a favour. However, we won't be using him again.

It was so lovely to be outside in Barcelona with no wind. We decided to make our first ever visit to the Barcelona Zoo, which was only steps away from our hotel. We watched the hippos, rhinoceros, cheetah, flamingoes, Bongo, mouflon and some monkeys. The stars of the show were the gorillas including two tiny babies, and of course the orangutans, who also had two very young additions to the group. They put on a wonderful show sitting right by the glass posing as if they wanted to have a conversation. The male was in his own enclosure wandering about with a piece of canvas that he enjoyed using as a coat.

Our dinner was at the Santa Caterina Market restaurant. It is always busy and we always end up sitting right by the open kitchen where we could watch eight chefs preparing their specialties. As always it was entertaining, especially watching the head chef making sure everything on the plates was perfect before the servers took it away.

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