Monday, September 20, 2004

Stuttgart, Germany--Frankfurt, Germany--Day 233

Today I headed up from Stuttgart to Frankfurt, stopping in at Karlsruhe on the way. After checking out the hotel in Stuttgart, I headed down the cobblestone pedestrian walkway to the subway (quite interesting when wheeling luggage) and bought my ticket for the central train station, got on the train and was disappointed to find that the acappella singers were not on for the day. Dang. I made it to the train station nonetheless and got a bit lost actually figuring out how to get up from the subway to the trains. But I did and found the next train to Karlsruhe and hopped on.

An hour later I was back at the zoo--which is across the street from the train station. I knew that I had two things to do--get pictures and find out the REAL name of one of the hippos. I was sure that one was something along the lines of "Platsh" or something (I could not read the handwriting of the woman who wrote it for me) and was almost certain that the other hippos name was not Nema like she had told me. I had a suspicion because I had seen a sign that I thought said that Nema had been moved to a some other zoo in Belgium--one that I had not visited!

So I went back to the enclosure and found three zoo workers cleaning their enclosure and the hippos were in a smaller pool to the left of the enclosure. I asked the keepers the hippos names and got Platsch (the correct spelling!) and Cathy. Ah-ha.

I took more pictures of the two hippos and when I had my fill, I went back to the train station and caught the next train to Frankfurt. I then got a taxi to my hotel which is called "Alexander Am Zoo" so you can just guess why I chose to stay there.

After checking in, I set out for the zoo which was right across the street from the hotel. I went in and found three hippos--Mikael, Petra and two month old Kiboko. Mikael was outside while Petra and her baby Kiboko were inside, making it difficult to take pictures of them. But I tried and eventually left the zoo around five thirty with the intentions of coming back tomorrow to get more pictures. Hopefully they will rotate Kiboko and Petra to the outside enclosure where I can get better pictures of them.

We will see. I spent the rest of the early evening wandering around downtown Frankfurt on a mission to find contact solution. Which which you might think was not all that hard, but I found it to be. I kept going into different chemists and stores that sold just about everything else EXCEPT what I needed. Eventually, I found what I wanted. I dined on bratwurst for dinner and called it a night. Tomorrow my friend Elizabeth is coming to join me on the hippo adventure for a few weeks. I am so excited, I can hardly sleep!