If you're thoroughly exhausted from zorbing or jetboating or drinking the bars of Cuba Street dry, may I suggest the library for a bit of downtime?
Lovely staff, great cafe, and an amazing collection. It even stocks zines!
57 Victoria St, Wellington 6011 (five minutes' walk from Te Papa Tongarewa)
Every year at the end of January, Angouleme hosts the biggest comics festival in the western world and it is as exciting as being a kid again. Not to be missed, especially now that graphic novels keep on growing in popularity.
Exhibitions, events and shows are throughout Angouleme.
Take a leisurely stroll along the left bank of the Seine, past Notre Dame and go into the Shakespeare and Company bookshop. Climb the narrow wooden stairs, pick out a dusty old tome, take a seat on a worn but comfy sofa in the corner next to the contented sleepy black cat and peruse it at your leisure.
To really begin to appreciate Avignon you should take the book The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears with you and read it on the train on the way there.
It brings to life Avignon in the 5th, 11th and 20th centuries with three glorious plot lines interwoven to give you glimpses of the secrets that the city holds. Then go and see what you can find in the city from these periods - it is the ultimate starting point for the imaginative journey which matches the physical one.
There are many Maori stories about how the country, natural phenomena and fauna were created, and reading up on them before you visit the country can enrich your journey.
Ranging from creation myths to stories of love and loss, these often humorous tales will enhance your understanding of the spirituality invested in the landscape by the Maori.
Maori Myth and Legend" by A.W. Reed is a nice introduction.
The Central Library has a beautiful main reading room and free internet access. A good place to read, study and reflect. It's possible to take a tour of the building. The haunted yarn given by the librarians sounds like they've seen the opening scenes in Ghostbusters one too many times.
College Green, BS1 5TL;
tel: 0117 903 7200;
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