The Open Bookshelf

As I sit on a bench drinking a hot coffee on a crisp December Sunday afternoon on a Frankfurt street I notice a single, glass fronted bookcase, standing alone in the street. In the ten minutes or so that I sit there on this quietest of days, I count six people walk, or cycle over to make use of it. Some remove old books from their bags and put them on the shelf, a couple peruse the selection before moving on, another two pluck a volume from the shelf, read the copy, smile, and wander off, happy with their new acquisition.

The offener bücherschrank (open bookshelf). A simple and wonderful idea.

Leipziger Straße, Frankfurt, Germany.

Offener Bücherschrank (Open Bookshelf) Leipziger Straße, Frankfurt, Germany
Offener Bücherschrank (Open Bookshelf) Leipziger Straße, Frankfurt, Germany

Condor Country

My latest travel story/photo blog

Joe's Travel Memories

The giant bird glides on a thermal above me, adjusting its path with the slightest of movements. Its long black feathers spread out like great fingers across the tips of its enormous wings, its white collar bright among dark plumage. It’s huge, maybe 3m across. The rare and sacred Andean condor, one of the largest birds in the world.

When I was seven years old, I read a Tin-Tin comic in which the young adventurer was carried away by a condor. The image struck a chord in me. Imagine a bird so huge? I’ve dreamt of seeing one ever since.

I first came to Peru in 2010, spending six weeks zigzagging between mountains and coast, until eventually crossing the Andes and into the Amazon. Only without seeing a single condor. Three years later, and there’s one right above me.

This morning I awoke on day three of a solo trek…

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