From the Pont des Arts, looking south, the Bibliothèque Mazarine. Established in 1643 by the physician Naudé and named for the Cardinal, France’s first public library contained nearly 40,000 items by 1652.
With apologies to They Might Be Giants, I’ve been spoiled by Morocco. Again. In Istanbul, I was hoping for, and indeed expecting, a city teetering on the edge of two worlds. Straddling Europe and Asia, on the edge of the Middle East (Turkey’s neighbor to the east is Iraq), I expected crazy.
Driving more than 2500 km around New Zealand is an endeavour filled with hazards. But winding roads and falling rocks and monsoon rains are to be expected. It’s the bridges I’m not prepared for. Constructing highways through challenging landscapes has led to bridge designs that are rather shocking by North American standards.
Two hours from Christchurch, through low, grass-covered hills, we swing around a bend. The road stretches out across a massive plain of grass and flowers and sparse trees, sliced in two by the grey road — a straight shot that stretches out until it disappears at the base of the Southern Alps.