Surprise birthday celebrations

May the forth be with you.

The 4th of May is a very special day, the day the love of my life celebrates her birthday. Since we’ve been together this is the third birthday that we have celebrated together, and I feel as though I need to outdo myself and do something bigger and better each year. The first year, I took Elle for a meerkat experience (meerkats are her favourite animals), last year I took her for her first spa day and bought her 21 gifts as she turned 21. 

This year, I had to come up with something even better than the two combined. So, here’s what I came up with; a pamper hamper – for much needed spa days at home, a hamper of her favourite sweeties, and a travel key ring that has engraved rings of the countries we have visited together. But that isn’t all… As you know, we are in Poland, this is the biggest present alongside all the excursions and days out we’ve had whilst we’ve been here. However, considering we’re here for Elles’ actual birthday I had to plan something big.

The morning of the 4th, I informed Elle of our plans for the day… Krakow Zoo, an evening in the Main Square and a fancy dinner. Not everything went to plan, but we had a great day!

We arrived at Krakow Zoo around 10am, the entrance fee was only 18 Zloty each. We bought an “English” map of the Zoo, to find out it was all in Polish with one sector of writing in English. Needless to say, we didn’t use the map. I’m going to start by saying we were really fortunate to see all the animals that the zoo had to offer. Usually, you don’t get to see them all as they’re usually hiding, inside or just not in sight. 

The first animals we saw were two large elephants of which Elle seemed to fall in love with and they came right over to where we were standing and done a little dance for the camera!! As soon as we left, they left too.

Following on from the elephants, we were fascinated by a flock of flamingos but not for long as Elle had noticed what animals were opposite… You guessed right, meerkats. Complete and utter fascination, I would go as far to say that she is completely infatuated by them. The first thing she said I’ve seen Polish meerkats, Hungarian meerkats, English meerkats AND I’ve met and touched meerkats!!!” 

I speak for both Elle and myself when I say that the next few animals left an imprint on us. It was a first for both of us to see these animals in person. First; we saw 3 Chinese cheetah’s, one of which was pregnant. Absolutely beautiful animals.

The next animal left us speechless, and we probably spent a good half an hour admiring and taking photos/videos of the two majestic beasts. Black jaguars. Neither of us have seen one in person, let alone two. They are absolutely astounding creatures. I must admit we felt really bad for them as they were separated in two small enclosures, however we later found out that it is only temporary as a large enclosure is in the process of being built specifically for the jaguars.

We went on to see the famous herd of Pygmy hippos that live in Krakow Zoo, but much to my disappointment they are temporarily no longer residents. For those that don’t know; hippos are one of my favourite animals. 

We went on to see a few more animals, before Elle started talking about how she wanted to see some lions and tigers. I suppose I’m supposed to be a genie on her special day, so I made it my mission to grant her wish. Off to the tiger and lion enclosure. 

Considering it had started raining at this point, we were extremely lucky to see the tigers and lions. The tigers were on the prowl, as they heard their food truck coming and we momentarily saw the lions sleeping before they went inside for feeding time. Not only did we see lions and tigers, but we also saw snow leopards. They were on the prowl too, as they had heard the lions being fed.

The rain was really starting to come down now, we took it as an opportunity to go find shelter and grab something to eat. After food, we realised that most of the animals had the same idea about finding shelter. It was a good time to head back to the hotel and get ready for tonight.

We got back to the hotel around 4pm and took a much needed nap until around 6pm before getting ready and heading back out into the Main Square. 

When we reached the Main Square we headed straight to our new found favourite restaurant Trattoria prima, we went downstairs to the inferno cave bar for a few cocktails. We’ve never been in a place quite like it. A man made cave with limited lighting, multiple nooses’ hanging from the ceiling, skulls moulded into the walls, cob webs everywhere and gravestones out back. To top it off, the Addam’s Family was playing on the Tv. Kinda eerie, but most definitely our cup of tea. 

After a few alcoholic cocktails, we went upstairs for a few more alcoholic cocktails and for a meal. Sun setting outside, candlelit dinner and tranquil music playing in the background. Blissful. We both ordered lasagne, which was beautiful, best I’ve had in a while. 

After our meal, we went into the Main Square to admire the views at night. The atmosphere is so much better at night than during the day, it’s so peaceful. It’s still busy, but it’s not bustling. It’s still loud, but it’s calm. 

Before long we found ourselves in a shisha bar called Pitbull. We met this American guy called James, who we ended up speaking to for hours. Then we got introduced to a few of his friends. They found out it was Elle’s birthday, and out came the complimentary shots!! We had anticipated to be in there for an hour or so… Well, coming up to 3 hours later, we were finally stumbling home, rambling about what a great day we’ve had. 

Next up; a day trip to Auschwitz.

Elbitravels x


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