The sun is hot on our backs as we enter the courtyard of the small château at Clos Lucé where da Vinci spent the last days of his life. We climb narrow stairs which open out into a studio with models of machines on a bench and diagrams pinned to the wall. Leaving my friend engrossed in things mathematical, I climb back down the stairs. The garden beckons . . . peonies, lily of the valley. Two swans cruise around a pond too small to accommodate them. As if they read my thoughts, they spread their wings and lift off into a cloudless azure sky.
the tourist taps a wood frame
with his walking stick