Bears in Berlin

Our first day in Berlin and grot boy and I were in constant amazement. As soon as one of us would say, “Look at that beautiful old building” the other would respond with “Isn’t that sculpture amazing?”

The bears, on the other hand, were very quiet and didn’t appear to be thrilled by their new surroundings. At first we thought they were just tired. All the excitement of packing and catching a plane, followed by the long flight, had been exhausting for all of us.

But when they were no better the next day grot boy was concerned, “What’s wrong?” he asked “I know it’s confusing here with everyone talking a funny language but it’s just like home really.”

Berlin brown bearBobby looked puzzled, “We don’t mind the people, but where are all the bears? We thought this was a city for bears.” Grot boy and I laughed. “Oh dear,” he said “this is Berlin, the teddies thought we were going to Bearlin!”

Not wanting to disappoint them, we decided to hunt for bears in Berlin. Surely we could find them somewhere, we agreed, given the city is named after Albert the Bear.

The first bear we found was a big brown bear. When we stopped to admire him, he asked the teddies “Would you like to have your photo taken with me?” Ccino was very keen, “Yes, yes! I want a photo. This bear is HUGE. Come on Bobby, come on Dwight, come and have a photo.”

Berlin chariot bearsThen we found a bear chariot. I thought it looked pretty silly but grot boy, trying to cheer everyone up, said “Let’s pretend we’re chariot riders”. That kept them entertained for a while.

But it was the real, live panda bear at the Berlin Zoo that thrilled us all. When we arrived, he was sleeping. We watched him in quiet wonderment, speaking in hushed voices so we didn’t wake him up.

Grot boy pointed out a sign on panda’s fence and asked “What do you think that says?” In my basic, school girl German I worked out that panda feeding time was at 3pm, just half an hour away. None of us wanted to miss this and grot boy told us to wait next to panda’s feeding bowl, which he’d noticed.

Berlin pandaOf course he’d picked the best spot. When the food appeared, panda woke up, ambled to his bowl and started munching his way through pretzels and watermelon. The teddies were delighted, grot boy was happy taking pictures and I was pleased to see everyone enjoying themselves, though I didn’t think much of panda’s diet.

That night, the bears were much happier. Bobby explained “Berlin is a pretty nice place for a bear after all. They have all sorts of bears here. And you can spend all day eating and sleeping.”

©, 2013


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