Category Archives: wuppertal

Zoo Wuppertal

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After seeing all those penguins in various parts of the city, I had to see the real ones! There was still time to go to the Zoo Wuppertal, an almost 125 year old zoo.

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In fact, the penguins in the city were made in celebration of the zoo’s birthday. 200 penguins were made and presented in a parade in August, which I can’t see.

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Besides penguins, the zoo has the usual animals: monkeys, lions and tigers, great apes, elephants, polar bears and tropical birds. Polar bears can be watched through an underwater window. On that day however, most of the animals seemed to be less active due to the heat.

I think it’s a very nice zoo. While certainly not the biggest one, the animals are given some space. Of course compared to Ueno every zoo is huge.

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Wuppertal Schwebebahn

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Wuppertal is connection to the other cities in the Rhine area, but also has its own transportation system the Wuppertaler Schwebebahn. The Schwebebahn is a suspension railway, the trains arrive and leave at elevated stations. The tracks follows the Wupper river most of the time.

The Schwebebahn is the oldest elevated railway in the world yet looks modern. Visitors who expect classic trains will be disappointed. Although Wuppertal has museums and a zoo the train is considered by many to be the main attraction.
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There are other suspension railways in Germany but are used as either a replacement for a cable car (Dresden Schwebebahn) or only serve few stations (H-Bahn in Düsseldorf).

This year I decided not to stay at the Mac trade show for hours, but to travel afterwards. My choice was Wuppertal given its proximity to Cologne (30 to 45 minutes by regional train). The train didn’t feel like a piece of history to me but I always wanted to ride this very special train. For the locals it’s just a regular train.

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The Penguins of Wuppertal

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Starting in Zürich in 1998, public space sculptures showing the characteristic animal of the city have grown in popularity. Each animal is usually painted in a different design. Berlin has a bear, Munich the lion and Hamburg the water-carrier (and non-animal) Hummel. Some of these sculptures are auctioned off for charity.

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I have no idea what the relationship between Wuppertal and penguins is. Of course there is a zoo where penguins live and one of the sculptures was near the zoo.

Most invaded the central part of the city and were standing outside or in shopping malls. Penguin invasion!

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