heights. They make me feel weak, not just at the knees but in every joint. I fizz a little like lemonade beginning to lose its carbonated bubbles. It is not a pleasant experience. I even felt a little like this looking at a picture of the Millau Viaduct sent by a friend in the UK. He wants to know if I would like to drive over the slender and delicate looking piece of engineering which is the bridge. Er, no. I will close my eyes. Tell me when we get to the other side! I wonder if it sways at all in the wind?
My father and I have also been watching some television programmes which were filmed entirely from the air. Modern technology kept the cameras steady beneath the helicopters. We have flown across Austria and Germany and part of Greece so far. I have had occasional fizzy twinges looking at mountainsides from unexpected angles, looking down onto the Rhine, a castle or a cathedral. Going to see all of it in real life is unlikely so I will make the most of it this way.
Occasionally my father will say, "Now how on earth did they build that?"
Last night was the first of two parts on Greece. Greece is, of course, considered to be ancient. We expected to see the remains of temples and ampitheatres. We know there are many islands. Exploring some is another unlikely dream. I wonder how far I would get with my six or so words of 'polite' Greek? Not far.
What made me feel fizzy however was something else. It was the walls. There were so many walls set on the very edge of cliffs, high above the sea. The walls surrounded fortresses, temples, a mosque and blue domed churches. There were walls around a monastery built on a lump of rock.
From the air the walls still seem thick and strong. Their purpose is clear. They are there to protect what is inside the walls. I wonder who built them and what they thought.
I also wonder - did they always build the buildings and then the walls - or did they sometimes build the walls and then the buildings?