Way back in the early seventies, I must have been around 12 years old when my niece took me to the “Plaswijk park” in Rotterdam (Hillegersberg) that was and still is on another side of Rotterdam then where I used to live. This beautiful old large amusement/nature park was home to several animals like monkeys, kangaroos, births and horses that children could ride around a U-shaped parkour for 10 cents. There was a space tower overlooking one side of the park and on the other side the boats on the lake and the islands that surrounded it for a large part. You could take a trip on a longboat to see those lakes or hire a rowing boat to do the same. And it was home to one of the largest playgrounds I had ever seen! With crazy dangerous attractions that would not pass any safety check these days! And there was an ancient “mary go round” and several typical “Dutch” restaurants with Patat (chips, fries) with mayonnaise or Poffertjes (small pancakes) with melting butter and powdered sugar on top! 🤗😋MMMMmmm!! Needless to say that I had a great first day and was even allowed to visit the stables and help with walking around the track with the ponies! After that visit, I went back many a time to help and play and had many greasy adventures with the many human and animal friends there! Later I even had my first paid job there renting out the rowing boots or running the box office of the “Maze”, where I use to show pretty girls the way out for a kiss! 😁
But the best part was the interaction and helping to take care of the many animals that lived there! The often amazing adventures that I had in the “Plaswijkpark” were and still are a great lesson in friendships human and animal alike…it certainly was one of the best and most important times in my life! This park fired a lifelong love for animals, nature and pretty girls!😉
The following few pictures were originally made in 1974 by my dear Father who I proudly showed around the park. Some time ago my big Sister Hennie restored the following pictures from those original old slides. 😘Below: me aged 13 with “Lorre” one of several parrots that lived in the park.
Below: with “Sjacko” the cheeky little capuchin monkey.
Below: always going for the hair!
Below: with my dear old girlfriend “Anja” the Baboon. She was so lonely all by herself and was so thankful for any attention…that is to the right person! 😁 She could flee me (carefully scrapping off little pieces of skin) for as long as I sat with her!🥰
The often amazing adventures that I had in the “Plaswijkpark” (Rotterdam) were and still are a great lesson in friendships, human and animal alike…it certainly was one of the best and most important times of my life! Thanks, Sis!!!
Hans van Meer.