There’s pretty much a rule about travel writing and airports–but my flight out of DC was delayed about 2 hours, with boarding and sitting and deboarding and reboarding. So, I feel at least like mentioning it. Also, over the Atlantic I watched Cinderella Moon, a retelling of the “original” story from 768 AD China. (And some Law & Order and some Big Bang Theory because I cannot live on culture alone.) I slept terribly, if at all, despite my comfy safety orange neck pillow and eye mask combo. I was very cold.
Then, on touch down, it turned out that I actually got here a day later than I thought I would, because I just looked at my ticket without thinking. You know, about how the Earth is curved and shit? The ticket didn’t show the added day, and since the last trip (in the other direction, I realize NOW) lost a day there… Anyway, I feel like an idiot, but there you go. I was charged as a no-show for booking the hotel a day early and I’ve lost a day in the zoo that I thought I would have. I need an assistant to book my travel, apparently. BUT, the great thing is that all that doesn’t matter, because ORION.

In the above photo s/he’s looking around while Sir, the attentive father, keeps an eye on me. Both parents share equally in chick-rearing duties. When I came back later, Snowflake had swapped spots with Sir.

The Antwerp zoo is quite lovely and I actually saw an animal I’d never heard of, the takin. It is a goat-antelope, according to the Interwebs. It looks like a little shaggy water buffalo. I kind of want one. I also saw another fave, the okapi (including a coltish and cute as hell calf).

The raptors are well represented in Antwerp, with several caracaras, owls, vultures, and even a couple of Andean condors. I think Sir and Snowflake are much prettier than the condors–but I don’t think I count as an impartial judge.

Tomorrow I will get some research reading done and observe the researchers monitoring the chick.

For the full set of day one pictures, click here: Antwerp – Day 1.