Hello hello! Today is Wednesday, and since I skipped last week, I’m overdue for a wanderlust Wednesday post. I was at a loss for what to do this week, so the wonderful Emily wrote a post for me (and it’s a good one)! She takes us around the world to some pretty cool places, so without further ado I’m going to stop yammering and throw it over to her. 🙂
Greetings, weblings! My name is Emily and I blog over at Rose Read. A little about me: I am just finishing up my 2nd year teaching high school English in the Midwestern United States, but I am going back to school soon to study library science. My favorite genres are literary fiction, YA, fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels, and the occasional non-fiction/memoir. My current read is “The Smell of Other People’s Houses” by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock. Other than books and blogging, I love musical theater, hiking, dark chocolate, Mumford & Sons, owls, and unicorns. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @enchntdrose or my blog at www.rosereadblog.wordpress.com! Thanks to Carrianne for letting me do a guest post – let’s get started!
So in keeping with Carrianne’s theme of “Wanderlust Wednesdays,” I decided to compile a list of literary places I really want to visit. Over on my blog, I do a series called “Thoughts from Literary Places,” (inspired by the Vlogbrothers’ “Thoughts from Place” videos on YouTube) in which I talk about places I’ve visited that have literary significance. Some of those places include Hannibal, Missouri, the childhood home of Mark Twain; Bath, England, where Jane Austen spent a good amount of her life; and Walden Pond, where Henry David Thoreau wrote the famous Walden: or, Life in the Woods. But there’s still a whole world of literary places out there to explore! (I even have an entire book called Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West. It’s great!) So here are some of the top literary places I want to see:
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France
Starting off our trip on the morbid side, let’s go to a cemetery! (For whatever reason I really like visiting famous graves. Call me weird.) The list of people buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is impressive both in length and prestige: Balzac, Molière, Proust, Chopin, Georges Méliès, Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison, etc., etc., etc. But perhaps the most visited grave site is that of Oscar Wilde. It once was a tradition to kiss Wilde’s tomb with red lipstick, so at any given day when you visited, the tomb would be covered with kisses. Unfortunately they stopped letting people do that in 2011 (stupid “they,” always ruining the fun). I’d still love to go; the tomb is featured in a scene in Paris, Je T’aime, one of my favorite films.
Hopping across the channel for another creepy literary site: Whitby, England. This town is perhaps most famous in literature because of Bram Stoker, who supposedly drew inspiration from the ruined Abbey in Whitby for his novel Dracula. Having read and loved the novel, it would be simply spine-chilling to visit! There is apparently now a bench at the approximate spot at which Stoker stood, which gives the best view of the Abbey and the infamous stairs leading to it. On the bench is the inscription: “The view from this spot inspired Bram Stoker (1847-1912) to use Whitby as the setting of part of his world-famous novel DRACULA.” Pretty cool, eh?
The Elephant House, Edinburgh, Scotland
Ok no more dead and/or undead…let’s lighten the mood a bit and go get something to eat over in Scotland. The Elephant House cafe has become famous for being one of the locations where J.K. Rowling penned much of her original drafts of Harry Potter. Lord knows you could make a whole vacation out of visiting Potter places, but this is the place I would most want to visit: the place where it all began.
Wayside Inn, Sudbury, Massachusetts, USA
Still hungry? What ho? Something in the USA! I’ve actually been to many literary places in the US, but this one is conspicuously missing from my list, which is ridiculous because my brother lives in Boston, and I’ve seen just about every literary place of significance around the area, which is A LOT, as you might suspect (birthplace of the nation, and all). The Wayside Inn is probably the most famous pub in American Lit. Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which includes the famous “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” poem, was based on this establishment. At the time, the Wayside Inn was called Howe’s Tavern, but Longfellow described it as a wayside inn, so it was later renamed after the book got famous so people would recognize it for its literary significance. You can eat there are stay the night there and get married there (*heart flutters*)…
German Fairy Tale Route, Hanau to Bremen
Finally, the ultimate literary vacation. The German Fairy Tale Route is an entire vacation in itself and it would be absolutely incredible. It takes you through places where the Brothers Grimm lived and wrote and took inspiration. From castles of Sleeping Beauty, to Little Red Riding Hood’s cottage, this route is historical in that it features actual, real places that are now immortalized in German folklore, yet fantastical in that certain places cheese it up to make it more touristy (which is fine by me, a proud Disney World nerd). I want to go. Right now. Are we there yet?
Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted from that trip around the world. It was fun though, wasn’t it? I’m embarrassed to say that I wasn’t aware of these places and/or it never occurred to me to look at literary destinations across the country, let alone the world. Huge thanks again to Emily for writing this post! Go follow her if you haven’t already, you will not regret it.