Day 4 – San Diego Zoo and the Natural History Museum

Our final day of activities in San Diego was saved for the San Diego Zoo. On the advice of the Information Centre volunteer we started our day with a guided bus tour around the Zoo grounds. The tour covered about 70% of the Zoo and was an informative and entertaining way to learn a little of the history and background of the Zoo and the animals that called it home. A piece of history in itself, the Zoo first opened in 1916, and by all accounts is simply AMAZING in its scope and exhibitions.

We were definitely beginning to feel all the excercise we’d had over the last few days as we made our way around the Zoo, traversing windy paths, hills and valleys. But there was just so much to see! So many animals!

The San Diego Zoo had put amazing efforts into trying to reproduce the animals natural environments. For the elephants they had created large tree-like structures. Their bases could be used as scratching posts, held food, warmed up to act as heaters on cold days, while the canopy above provided shade from the sun and held a mister to simulate rain. On top, an Acacia bush grew that was expected to fill out and cover the canopy in 15-20 years.

Man-made tree for Elephants



During the Zoo’s efforts to better conserve water they uncovered whale bones dating back to the Pleistocene Period. And so they dedicated a section of the park to the Pleistocene Period. They called it ‘Elephant Odyssey’ and showcased some of the living descendents of the animals that had roamed the Earth at that time.

Elephant Odyssey


Jo and the Giant Sloth

After exploring the grounds for what felt like forever, we left the Zoo tired but thrilled at how much we had seen.













Polar Bear with his carrots




Martin wrestling a rattlesnake


Jo and the rattlesnake


Seriously dragging our feet at this time we made our way to the nearby San Diego Natural History Museum. To give our legs some relief we started by watching a 3D movie about the centre of the Earth. Martin caught up on some sleep while I struggled to stay awake.

The most fascinating displays at the Museum was that of gemstones ad crystals; amazing colours, amazing formations…

The Theatre by the Museum


California State Gemstone - Benitoite


The Red Wonder Cross - It consists of 11 Red Diamonds which are extremely rare


Gemstone Music Box - replica of carousel in Balboa Park


On leaving the Museum we again found ourselves under the hot San Diego sun. Even the crazies we encountered on the bus trip back to the hotel couldn’t diminish the amazing memories we had so far created. We had both fallen in love with San Diego. A beautiful city with so many attractions and things to do, and need I say, gorgeous, gorgeous weather! It was sad to be leaving, but tomorrow…tomorrow we were to board the ms Zaandam where a new adventure awaited us…at sea!

Our room at Sofia Hotel


Goodbye Sofia Hotel


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