First impressions on seeing the island are slightly marred by the huge power transmission towers that stand on it, but they're not so noticeable once you're there:
Nearly setting foot on the island now:
And finally, the welcoming committee:
The waiting bus takes you on the short-ish but slow (to avoid road rabbits - watching them a bit too casually getting out of the way causes anxiety to the newly arrived rabbit fans) drive to the hotel, where there's every chance more will be on the stairs near the entrance:
Now, of course I have scores of photos of happy rabbits being fed by my happy family, but privacy concerns prevent me putting them up; and besides, you can see heaps of similar photos elsewhere on the net so I won't bother - wait - who am I kidding, how can I resist?
Walk out in front of the hotel (they don't want you feeding them right at the entrance), shake your bag of pellets, and you'll be the centre of attention very quickly:
The websites say the origin of the rabbits is not known with certainty, but I do doubt the version that they are from the island's poison gas days. They just look more like what I imagine they should from being from pet rabbit stock; and are, by and large, healthy looking and well behaved around people. Signs indicate you shouldn't touch (or at least hold) them; but they are gentle and most are happy to be petted softly, as guests continuously do:
Hire a bicycle from the hotel and ride around the island (it's a pleasant, mostly flat, ride) and they're everywhere, often approaching if you stop. (Photo cropped for family privacy reasons):
How charming is that?
I didn't even see what rabbits are famous for doing to generate baby rabbits. Maybe they leave that for the burrows?
If you have food, you'll easily get rabbits on your lap, if you want them there:
But - you do have to be sensible about not getting fingers too close to a hungry eating rabbit's mouth - my son somehow got bitten deep enough to bleed. My daughter had a bite too, but not a bleeding one. Later I saw video from her phone where she was putting her fingers right up to a rabbit's mouth, it was like she was inviting it to have a bite. They, rightly, did not blame the rabbits.
As I say, they are generally well behaved, curious and lovely creatures. The occasional bit of rabbit on rabbit fighting can be spotted, but by and large, it seems rabbit society is pretty orderly.
In the next part, I'll talk more about the island and hotel.