A day in the Monkey House

They seek shelter from the rain and we head outdoors to see them

They seek shelter from the rain and we head outdoors to see them

It’s raining in Stuttgart, so what else to do but visit the Wilhelma again?

Entering the new enclosure

Entering the new enclosure

Enthusiastic guests indoors in the new enclosure

Enthusiastic guests indoors in the new enclosure

The gorillas and bonobos have officially moved in to their new home and boy what a home! We’ve been meaning to see the 20 million Euro enclosure since it opened one and a half weeks ago and finally got the chance on a rainy Sunday. Despite the rain, the park was still well visited.

A young gorilla orphan thrills visitors with his antics

A young gorilla orphan thrills visitors with his antics in the Gorilla Kindergarten

It’s very much concrete and glass but it’s big, it has a large outdoors area and best of all, it has a gorilla Kindergarten where orphaned baby gorillas get the individual care that they need. It was amazing to watch them play around as a zookeeper sat in their indoor enclosure with them. She spoke to them as if they were human children and they seemed to respond to her. The similarities in humans and gorillas always astounds me.

Inside the new enclosure: plenty to keep the gorillas and bonobos busy

Inside the new enclosure: plenty to keep the gorillas and bonobos busy

What is also really cool about this new enclosure is that they’ve really put a lot of thought into it. There are many ways in which the animals can entertain themselves, from games where they have to use a stick to push food through holes in a perspex box until the food is within reach, to water fountains and even a TV that the bonobos can control and watch at specific times of the day. There is plenty for them to do and for visitors to observe.

I know that I could have stood there all day watching those young gorillas playing around with so much energy and interacting like little people.



Birthday booklet

Best part about my birthday present: choosing what to do for the day

My birthday was last Friday and as a special surprise from my husband, I received some gifts as well as a self-made booklet. As he is a graphic designer, it also looked awesome. This little booklet contained 9 options of things that I could do on my birthday, as well as the weather forecast for the day and a sentence saying that he had taken the day off work to spend the day with me. Best first birthday as a married couple ever!

There were a ton of cool things to do, including going to the zoo in Karlsruhe, shopping and a sushi lunch, checking out the castle and gardens in Ludwigsburg, spending time at the Spring Oktoberfest (Frühlingsfest) in Stuttgart, going swimming at the mineral baths, going to the Wilhelma and spending the day at Tripsdrill.

Having never been to Tripsdrill and loving rollercoasters and rides, the choice was easy. I’ve been to Europapark which is a massive theme park. We were there 2 years ago and wanting to do everything, we arrived at 9am. We left at about 5pm and still did not try every single ride. Tripsdrill on the other hand is a much smaller amusement park and from what I had heard it was aimed at a younger demographic, so naturally, I was not expecting too much but nevertheless I was excited.

We arrived at the park at about 9.30am because the forecast said that it would start to rain just after midday. Not all of the rides were open yet and at the carpark there were about 10-15 cars there. Keep in mind, it was a Friday and not school holidays. A dream, if you’ve read our post about Universal Studios Singapore!

As it was my birthday I had free admission and received a Tripsdrill badge with my name on it, and was greeted and wished a happy birthday by the staff. We went in and rode some of the smaller rides, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Although some rides are skewed to younger thrillseekers, they were not too shabby for us either. As a huge plus, we were mostly on rides all by ourselves and never had to line up or wait to get onto a ride.

Tripsdrill is about an hour and a half drive from Stuttgart (of course, depending on the traffic) and because it’s in Schwabenland (this area of Southern Germany) the staff were amazingly friendly and the theme of the park is very traditional. Food is well-priced and generous and the entire place is neat and tidy.

Flume Ride

Badewannen-Fahrt: The flume ride at Tripsdrill

The weather was perfectly sunny and even hot at times during our visit. We left at about 1pm and had conquered every ride. I enjoyed all of them, but of course as a bit of an adrenaline junkie I enjoyed the bigger rides the most. There is a great flume ride where you sit in a bath tub and a big wooden rollercoaster called ‘Mammut’ (Mammoth). Sometimes I feel like rides are way too short, but at Tripsdrill they seem to have mastered each ride and made them great experiences for the park guests. There was only one ride where I felt like ‘oh, was that it?’ but then we were sent around again automatically. On a few of the rides they also make souvenir photos or videos, which is always cool to see.

The ticket price also includes entry into the adjoining Wild Paradise (Wildparadies) where you can see a number of different wild animals, however we were worn out from all the rides.

All in all I think that they have a great variety of rides and animatronics around the park to make it interesting and exciting for young and old. I know that I can’t wait to go back some day and take more people with us once they’ve finished building their latest rollercoaster.


Zoo and Botanical Garden? Yes please!

As promised in my previous post, this one contains some images from Stuttgart’s very own Wilhelma.

A couple of these were taken by me, but the majority were taken by Michael.

The Wilhelma is, as the post title reveals, a combination of zoo and botanical garden, making it a very pleasant place to visit especially when the weather is good. This weekend, the weather conditions were optimal for a Wilhelma visit. Though still chilly at about 7 degrees Celcius, the sun was shining and there was only a very light breeze. We spent about 4 hours there with some of our good friends and the resulting images attest to the magnificence of the Wilhelma.

Do enjoy!


Our parents are travelling to Stuttgart to visit me in just a few days and I’m so excited because the weather is really amazing and hopefully we’ll get to do a lot together.

The last time the whole family was here was in December 2011 and it was typical European December weather. Cold, grey and wet. Though it was fun and interesting, the different seasons really play a huge role in determining mood and activities. Unlike in Australia where the weather is generally quite calm, here, something like snow can decide whether or not you can even leave the house.

Right now it is a lovely 17°C which is astounding for early March. Then again, can we really predict the weather accurately these days?

I’m looking forward to being able to go to the zoo, the chocolate factory and visiting some of the castles in the region. I’m also going to be trying on wedding dresses with my parents, which will be a new experience for all of us.

Needless to say, there will definitely be stories to tell. We’re also heading to Bodensee, or Lake Constance for a wellness weekend with our families and friends. The lake is special because it is bordered by three different countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

My camera is ready to go and since we’re staying on the German side of the lake, my internet will be too, and I hope to post about our weekend later in the month.

Til then, take care and I hope the sun is shining brightly wherever you are!