September 19, 2005

Scotland Chronicles Day 10 – August 29 – Edinburgh Zoo

Today my mom and I decided that we would go off on our own and visit the Edinburgh Zoo while the grands, my dad and Stephen checked out the Gauguin exhibition.

The best feature of the zoo, which is cool regardless, is the Penguin Parade every day at 2:15pm. The penguins are invited each day to walk out of their enclosure and tour the zoo’s walkways. In anticipation of the event people begin to gather 30 minutes in advance, you have to hurry to get a good seat on the grass along their path. But even timing doesn’t guarantee a view of the penguins. You see, they only come out if they are in the mood.

No food, tricks, ropes, or other means are used to entice the penguins. Of the 150+ penguins, six decided to come out during our visit. We were thrilled, but the Scottish folks were disappointed with the low turnout. I guess you get used to parading penguins if it happens every day.

It was a delight to watch them waddle along the path, looking at the people, at our feat, into other animal enclosures and then walk very happily back into their area. My mom and I were finally on a true photo safari and delighted in the opportunity to point and click to our heart’s content.