02 July, 2014


This trip has been a year in the making, so Saturday morning we all woke nearly bursting with excitement. We boarded a double-decker bus bound for Edinburgh Zoo, with coffee, cinnamon rolls, and our picnic basket.

The morning was cool but sunny, and later in the afternoon a light rain shower blew in and forced us to take cover in the chimp house, which was welcomed by all of us-- chimpanzees are always a riot.

All in all, the zoo was not the most impressive that we have ever visited and we didn't leave tempted to buy season passes, but below are our highlights. The little ones are still talking about the trip this week.

If you brave the giant hill beyond the cats, the views from Lookout Point are beautiful and there is a coffee stand with a couple picnic tables at the top to rest and enjoy the views.

Sebastian liked the big cats best (though we never actually found the lions) and Katharina wore her new zebra dress to see the zebras, though she says her favourite animal ended up being the tigers. Peter also liked the tigers, and the monkey house is always my favourite.

Philippa adored the penguins and even showed us her pudgy penguin waddle. She says they were her favourite. The area at Penguin Rock is beautiful with some small cafes and a large grass space, where we ate our picnic and the kids later played on the playground.

Edinburgh Zoo has two pandas on loan from China. We booked a slot to see them and were fortunate enough to get to see both wide awake gnawing on their bamboo lunch, which is apparently a rare thing as they sleep for 20 hours a day. Rumour has it that the female may be pregnant but no one can say for sure just yet. Did you know pandas spend most of their lives alone, and only come together for 36 hours a year to mate?

So there you have it-- three stars from the Hopkins crew. All in all, it was a great day and just being together made it worth it to us; it is hard to ruin family days. Maybe we'll hit it up again next summer to see that baby panda.

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