Dienstag, 10. Februar 2015

In a Monday spring mood.

As the kids were getting ready for school this morning, Noelle asked: 

"Mom, can we go to the zoo?” 

Me: "Yes."

Noelle: "This morning? Right now?” 

Me: "What do you mean “this morning”? 
So you will miss valuable educational opportunities?  
And I just drop the work I am swamped with? 
And I ignore the chaos reigning here since the week-end?” 

Noelle: "Yes."

Me: "... and instead I will sit in a tropical greenhouse with you, sipping hot chocolate and reading you a book aloud?” 

Noelle: "Yes."

She is truly her mother’s daughter. 

Stuttgart’s zoo ‘Wilhelma’ opens already shortly after 8 am – it is wonderfully void of people at this time and you feel like being in private gardens.  
We were welcomed by a sea of scents, colors and birdsong and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere in the historic greenhouses for a very long time; they go on for long stretches and across different buildings: one of them features huge hanging cocoa beans, another houses hundreds of camellias in bloom, a third one is so full of singing birds that you can hardly hear your own voice. 
And, by the way, do you know how cinnamon grows? 

From an architectural standpoint the Stuttgart zoo is one of the most beautiful ones in all of Europe – King William had the buildings erected about 200 years ago in the Moorish tradition: the fountains, water features and Oriental buildings always transport us immediately to an “Arabian Nights” kind of atmosphere. 
During the winter everything lies quietly and exudes a particular magic, in my opinion. 

Don’t forget to take a look at the room with the tree ferns in the Moorish Country House – since you can hardly imagine a more beautiful and magical place!  
A small brook dances across mossy-green spaces, and you will be absolutely convinced that little elves float along in their small boats made of bark. 
Unfortunately we couldn’t spot any this time – but they are there, no doubt. 

I don’t think there is a more beautiful place for reading the book "Durch Wüste und Wildnis" than right there, surrounded by subtropical vegetation, fragrant flowers and loud birds’ voices. 
(Except if you actually read it in Africa – but it was impossible to achieve this morning!) 

It is one of my favorite childhood books:  
Henryk Sienkiewicz’s adventure story, written in 1912, tells the story of two children fighting their way through the jungle and enthralls my children as much as it did enthrall me back then! 

Unfortunately the book is only available in a used version right now, on Amazon e.g., (another edition HERE) – but it is worth it in any case! 

Don’t forget to end your visit by sitting down at the edge of the Koi pond and sinking your nose into the lusciously blooming lilacs: 
I promise you an instant sensation of spring freshness! 

Today I am wearing an uncomplicated and comfortable look that still does not come across as sloppy due to the color black: a narrow coat, a warm sweater and skinny jeans paired with comfortable slip-ons. 

5. Vans

So my advice to all readers fed up with winter: 
Indulge in a prolonged visit in a botanical tropical glasshouse nearby – it is not only truly beneficial for your respiratory system, but also your senses and mood! 

But not on a Monday morning, of course. 
You’ll miss valuable educational opportunities. 



Thank you to Ginnell Studio for translating this post!

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