The Biblical Zoo, as Jerusalemites call it, is located in the southwest of the city, literally at the opposite side of where we are. So it takes almost an hour to get there by taxi, and about three hours by public transport. I should make an extra post just on public transport in foreign cities with four kids in tow. But that would probably be boring.
The entrance fee made me swallow - we paid almost $50 for all of us. I'm constantly amazed at the costs involved when taking four kids on an outing in the civilized world. Maybe that's why we like to keep to the developing world. It's not quite as draining on our resources. However, this zoo is worth the money and also, I like to think my money goes toward the animals. I hope.
The zoo has an amazing array of animals for its size - elephants, giraffes, all sorts of tropical birds, kangaroos, zebras, monekys galore, and also local fauna. More amazing than that, I thought, were the plants - there must have been dozens of flowering trees and bushes I'd never seen before in my life. The walks are wide (there is a little train running that costs extra - which we didn't know, oops), and there isn't much shade on those walkways. It was a really, really hot day and the kids and I were visibly wilting after only a short while.
Leah was grumpy from the start. It's too hot, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I'm tired, it's too hot, and I'M TIRED! Sometimes, outings start out badly, and if you are lucky, they will get better. Yesterday, we were lucky. It didn't get cooler but feeding her some French fries did help with the grumpiness.
We did a lot of walking and saw a lot of animals anyway. We collected lots of bird feathers (almost a kind of hobby around here.) The kids (and I) loved the African Savannah exhibit but I was sad that we missed the Wet Side Story, I really thought that would be interesting for them. Maybe after we've visited the Galilee region.
But even with lots of water, it was just too hot. Even the Israelis complained about the heat, so I didn't feel quite so whimpy. We ended our visit with a one-hour stay at the really beautiful and well-done playground. It's built around crazy big tree trunks, has slides and swings and bridges and ropes. There is sand to play in. There are some big animal sculptures, covered with crazy mosaic. Some had tiled mirror pieces inside and the kids thought it was really cool to see themselves in a kind a wacky kaleidoscope.
It took us three hours on public transport to get back home, otherwise it would not be a question to come back.