Edinburgh: Day 2 – Pandas, lemurs and bearcats, oh my!

The first full day was zoo day so I got up fairly early, thought it might be a smart idea to get some breakfast before heading out so went to a place a couple of doors from the hotel which turned to be an inspired choice as the food was excellent, as was the service and the ice cream selection was such that I decided to pop back later to try some.

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I meandered to the bus station with the intention of getting the bus however the bus station only seemed to have buses that were going out of town and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out which were the right bus stops so I just ended up getting a taxi. The taxi driver seemed a thoroughly nice bloke though in view of the fact that I could understand about half of what he was saying to me so he could have realistically spent the entire journey calling me an arsehole I’ll never know.

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Anyway the zoo was pretty awesome, when you book your tickets you get to book a time to go and view the pandas so I meandered down to the pandas to just make sure I knew where it was for my slot but upon arrival and a chat with the keeper there weren’t many people so they let me go in earlier which may have been a good thing as I got to see them both just chilling whereas I may not have seen them later as there’s no guarantee they’ll come out. The only real disappointment of the day was that the penguin parade didn’t happen but this was due to the zookeepers giving the penguins the choice on whether they wanted to come out of their enclosure or not, which they didn’t which is fair enough.

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The lions and tigers were all sleepy and while I got to see them they weren’t doing anything beyond napping which is a shame but they are big cats so it’s understandable, and I saw every other animal that the zoo had barring the porcupine which didn’t make an appearance. The chimpanzees were interesting and oddly affecting as they’re so human at times, the lemurs were pretty awesome and the dinosaur exhibit they had was pretty special too, though I’m a massive dinosaur geek so I am hugely biased.

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My favourite animal of the day was the bearcat though, I’d decided that was the animal I most wanted to see and I had to got back a few times as each time I went it was chilling out in a hutch type thing. My persistence paid off in the end though as I came back at a point where the zookeeper was putting food out for it, so I decided stick around. It took a little while but eventually the bear cat came out to and I have to say it was amazingly and one noisy little eater, all in all I’m definitely glad I put in the effort to see it.

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Eventually it was time to go home so I left and as my mother informed me that the zoo wasn’t far from where I was staying I decided to have a little walk. It turned out that my mother was grossly misinformed as it was absolutely miles to walk and took bloody ages, at one point I caved and went to get on a bus only to be greeted by a sign stating exact change only, which I did not have, therefore I was left to continue my walk. I eventually made it back to the hotel and after a quick shower went out for dinner and a few beers before turning in to rest my aching legs and get some much deserved sleep.

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