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tuesday, june 30, 2015 the animals
Last night was rough for me. My body wasn't reacting to food the way it should have been, so I had some bad pain in my stomach which kept me up most of the night. Paul was kind enough to get me some medicine on his way home from work, and that seemed to help. After a restless night of very little sleep, I didn't like doing much today. I wanted to do something, but I wanted it to be low-pressure, yet enjoyable. So I summoned my inner child and decided to head to the Madrid Zoo for the afternoon.

The zoo was very easy to get to, just a few stops on metro line 10, which goes right by where I'm staying. During this metro ride was the first time that I had an experience where the metro actually leaves the underground sees daylight. I'm quite fascinated by the metro system and how it all works; I even did some research online a few days ago because I wanted to learn more. Not all stations are created equal—most are underground, but there are some that are works of architecture, like the Príncipe Pío metro station I went through today. It was very modern, and tons of sunlight was pouring through, yet it wasn't above ground. And the connecting platforms to get to other stations looked like a cool labyrinth. If you look closely in this picture (click it to enlarge), you can see that the trains for metro line 6 go through the center of the station, whereas the trains for line 10 are on the outside of line 6. I have no idea how this works, but it really intrigues me!

It was the perfect day to go to the zoo since it wasn't as hot as it's been the past few days. And since it was a Tuesday, there was hardly anyone at the zoo. I would have guessed that maybe there were 70 people at the most, which provided for a very relaxing experience. The zoo was exactly what I expected it to be—just a lot of different animals sleeping most of the day. I anticipated that, and I was okay with it as long as they were visible enough for me to get a few good pictures, which I believe I achieved. The most animated of the animals were the gorillas. It was feeding time when I arrived, so they were moving around and grabbing the carrots and oranges that were being thrown into their space. I watched them for about ten minutes and was thoroughly entertained.

I was not, however, entertained by the baboons. There were probably 150 baboons in this one area, and they way they were moving around and communicating with each other made me think there was a plan for world dominance forming. They just looked like they were up to no good. When I first arrived to check them out, they were all congregated in the back of their space, and then they started moving forward and one-by-one they climbed down this wall to reach the bottom of the pit. It literally looked like a river of baboons that was dripping off the ledge down to the pit below. And they just kept coming. I had to see where they were all ending up, so I peered over the edge of the fence to look straight down, and I saw that the inner wall was lined with a massive amount of baboons. They were gathering there to escape the sun, which made sense, but it was still and unsettling sight. I left the area to check out some hippos, and then I came back towards the baboons once again. There were no baboons in the pit lying in the shade anymore, as they had all climbed the concrete slabs and were meeting in the back corner. It honestly looked like they were having a meeting (like you'd see in a Disney film), and I didn't want to stick around to see what they were planning.

So today wasn't a very cultural day, though I did get to learn some new words for animals that I didn't know before—so at least I learned something! When I got back to the apartment was right when a headache started, which wasn't surprising considering I was still recovering from a lack of sleep, and I was walking out in the sun for close to four hours. I grabbed some dinner from Il Siciliano, took some Tylenol, and called it a night. Enjoy the pictures from today!

pictures from today

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