ZOO- Veszprem, Hungary

As you walk to the entrance of Veszprem zoo you get a vague, though small scale, feeling of Jurassic Park.  A gated wall protects the entrance as tree covered hills flank both sides.  Behind that gate you expect a T-Rex to be lurking, and you would be correct.IMG_1621.JPG

Your first stop upon entering the zoo is a simple concrete building to your left.  Inside you are greeted with the joy and pride of the zoo. Guinea Pigs! In a small hay enclosure with a very low wall are dozens of these scared and squeaky animals.  A few minutes of enjoying the cuteness and trying to catch one will be enough to put a smile on your face for the rest of the day.  IMG_1602.JPG

Tearing yourself away you continue through the building into a large playground full of entertaining items like rope walkways, as well alligator turtles and snakes(Not roaming the playground but safely behind glass in the walls).  You may decide to play around which will require you to push little humans out of your way or you may wish to stand in front of the alligator turtle tank wondering if it really could bite your finger cleanly off, though this will most likely also require you to push little humans out of your way.  IMG_1604.JPG

Stepping out of the building into the sun you take note of your surroundings.  There is a large walkway down the ravine with little trails running up the sides of the hills.  All is densely covered with trees and animal enclosures are dotted along everywhere.  You continue down the main path zig-zagging across to look at all the animals.  Birds, Raccoon pandas, raccoons, deer like things, capybara, and much much more.  You wonder what animals lay hidden behind these enclosures on the small trails running up the hills but decide not to check as that means walking up hill.  You continue down the main path but your luck runs out.  The trail spits into two and both run steeply up hill.  So much for trying to avoid it you mutter under your breath as you start huffing and puffing. IMG_1611.JPG

From here the zoo becomes a maze.  Hopefully you have kept the map you received upon entering or you may end up lost and a permanent exhibit.  One path leads you through the forest on what can only be described as a hiking trail.  No animals are around but you do come across a large sign explaining the flora of the area.  Remembering that this is a zoo and that you came to see animals you take a break to drink some wine(This is Hungary so it is federal law to have wine, beer, or palinka on any outing), then quickly move on and try to find your way back to where the animals roam.  IMG_1612.JPG

After roaming for a few hours and seeing the tigers and other wonderful animals in large and pretty enclosures you climb another hill to find the much needed restaurant and toilets.  Here you give your barking dogs a break(Your feet and not your pet as he had to be left at home).  After relaxing for a while and finishing the break off with an ice cream you continue your tour by entering the new part of the zoo.  This section of the zoo is an animal resort.  First is the meerkat exhibit which is a large open area that you are actually able to walk inside and get close to the animals.  Things continue like this for a while, though you can not get into the pens of most of the animals, which I am sure is a disappointment to the carnivores.  You will be impressed with the zebra and rhino enclosure.  This massive area seems straight out of Africa.  The animals roam a large area.  It is impressive.  IMG_1616.JPG

A short walk from this area you will discover what Hungarian scientists have been hard at work on.  They have found a way to make a park of plaster dinosaurs.  This is an excellent area of life size dinosaur exhibits.  The dinosaurs are placed chronologically with information plaques in English and Hungarian.  An excellent use of an hour of your time.  Feeding them is allowed though trying to ride them is frowned upon.  IMG_1624.JPG

A full day at a zoo that is well worth it.  Just be sure to visit a spa after completing your trek and have a nice comfortable bed to pass out in at the end of the day.