Amsterdam Day 5: Animals Big and Microscopic

Amsterdam Day 5: Animals Big and Microscopic

Since we had missed out on the zoo the previous day and the weather was still dry and sunny we decided to head back and spend the day surrounded by animals.

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For breakfast we revisited Omelegg. (And we sat at the same table) Ryan had the Viking omelet and I decided to try something from their sweet menu. Never would I have thought to put figs, walnuts and maple syrup in an omelet but it is now my favorite way to eat an egg. And the accompanying assortment of fruit was a wonderfully refreshing start to the day.

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We made our way over to the Artis Royal Zoo and the first thing that struck me was how close the animals were. I’m use to zoos where the animals are in giant enclosures with moats and large impenetrable fences between the patrons and the wildlife. Most of the enclosures only had a thin fence or net with signs warning of sharp beaks, claws, and teeth.

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Being able to be so close to the animals was amazing. The other thing that struck me was the smell, sure there was the manure smell (but it was faint) but you could also just smell the different animals.  Most weren’t unpleasant and a few were surprisingly spicy when I expected more of a musk.

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I could have spent several days just watching the animals. If we ever move to Amsterdam I am getting a membership so I can just stroll through on nice days.

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The foliage and layout of the zoo was also nice. Most exhibits were sheltered a bit and it felt more intimate than most American zoos I’ve been to.

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As dusk began to set we made our way to the zoo entrance and the next stop of our trip, Micropia. It’s the first microscopic museum. While it’s not a very large museum space-wise it took us a few hours to get through and we both learned quite a bit about microbes.

Some were absolutely beautiful. Some looked like something from a sci-fi world. And some of the information was a bit terrifying. (If you are germophobic this is not the museum for you.)

Plus Ryan and I got to sit in a tardigrade chair!

For dinner we returned to the pub-style restaurant by the museumplein for some hearty food. Then we returned to Cafe Brecht to sample some more beer, sit, chat and do a little bit of people watching. We considered trying to find a new place to try out, but there was something a little comforting about going back to places we enjoyed. It made us feel a bit more at home in the city, that we had our regular spots to go.

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