Saturday, 28 November 2015

Trip to Paphos, Part One - A Day at The Zoo

After 6 years of 'never getting round to it'  this month we finally took the boys on a proper day out - a road trip which to them probably felt like we were driving to the end of the earth it was so far! Since Cyprus is a small island the boys have never really spent much time in the car for anything other than short journeys, anything over 15 minutes has them moaning and complaining, so going to Paphos (about two and a half  hours away) was not something we thought would go well!

But on a spur of the moment decision on another unexpected school holiday this month (unexpected for us, it was a Saints days I think) we decided to go to Paphos Zoo.  I was slightly apprehensive being that we had recently had some travel sickness issues even on short journeys, and when we decided to go it was not far off lunchtime already but against my instinct I agreed with Aaron and we were off....

And what a day we had!   It was brilliant from start to finish, the boys handled the journey with no problems, and a little nap.  Leo was amazed at the change of scenery as it becomes a lot more hilly as you travel west,  and he I was surprised to see how excited he was about going over bridges on the highway, not to mention his amazement as we went through the tunnel!


I didn't really know what to expect from the zoo itself, I generally have low expectations of any attraction here from previous experience but it was unjustified. The zoo is a god size, with a large selection of animals, including the 'big ones', elephants, giraffes, lions and tigers etc.  It's clean, and the animals look well cared for.

We arrived just after 1pm which turned out to be perfect, we managed to see everything, watch the bird show and let the boys play before it closed It gave us just enough time without rushing but not too long that they got over tired.

Armed with a map each the boys excitedly showed us where to go and had the time of their lives running around the paths and exploring. Louka was impatient to always 'go see some-at else' (as he says) as he was so excited he wanted to do it all at once!



Predictably the playground was calling them and despite our protests that we came to see animals the boys were not to be won over and we soon gave in, letting them play happily while we had a nice sit down in the sun!


Getting back on track we found the big animals - elephants for Louka and it was no surprise that Leo wanted to see a real live giraffe (having had his 'little orange raff' since birth). They also really enjoyed the big cats and we spent quite a while watching the tiger cubs while the Dad prowled around the edge of the enclosure protecting them,



It was a joy to watch the kids reactions whilst looking at the animals and I realised that they had never seen animals so big before (the closest being camels at the Camel Park last year).

The reptile house was another huge hit as we walked round playing 'spot the animal', we were in the for ages as they enjoyed trying to find the creatures hidden in their cages and they even enjoyed us reading out the information about them, especially how poisonous they were!


One of the highlights came as we looked at the snakes and came to the Burmese Python (the snake in the first Harry Potter film)  It was curled up and hiding under a rock so Leo tapped on the glass, at which point I told him not too, adding don't you remember what happened to Dudley in the film.  Leo then started talking 'parseltongue' to it and it instantly sat up and moved toward the glass!  We were in fits of laughter and Leo was very impressed!


The monkeys were brilliant as expected and had the boys laughing so much when several of them started fighting over a carrot. We watched them for ages until being distracted by another monkey showing us his bum!  - you can imagine how well this went down with two young boys which led to shouts of 'monkey bum' for the next 5 minutes!

We finished up the trip with the bird show which was really good as well.  Performing parrots and owls swooping over our heads amazed the boys and I loved it too, except maybe the point when I almost dived into Leo as the very large owl swooped right over my head!


All in all a fab day out, no crying, no moaning at all and enjoyed by all of us - I think that's a first!


Country Kids
from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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