|Book and Tea or Coffee - Bliss!|
23rd April, which for now might be gone and forgotten, was actually World Book Day and I, being a bibliophile and a wanderer, could only think about how some places have been made so special for us by some amazing books. No, I am not talking about books like Lonely Planet or the Outlook, but I am actually talking about fictional books that made a place come alive with just words and stories based on these places. Imagine people wanting to visit Sleepy Hollow just because they read Sleepy Hollow, or wanting to visit Hogwarts (How I wish it was real!) because the whole story of Harry Potter revolves in and around this castle. Literary destinations, many a times are very real and today, after being 2 days late due to my office work, I share the top 10 literary destinations of in my bucket list! (Some I have already ticked off)
|How I wish places in this book were all real!|
10. Darjeeling – Not many have read Feluda stories; but for the ones who have – he was just as amazing as Sherlock Holmes and best part about Feluda Short Stories were the locations in the plot. Feluda and Byomkesh Bakshi stories made me want to visit Kolkata for sure, but a couple of Feluda take – particularly Danger in Darjeeling, made me add Darjeeling to my bucket list. And it is one of the places I have ticked off!
9. Dehradun – No points for guessing who has made us all fall in love with Dehradun. Ruskin Bond is a genius when it comes to simplistic short stories, we all know, but he is a brilliant word painter and that is what made Dehradun so very famous and amazing in our minds. Don’t you all agree? And for people who have no clue - Till the trees grow in Dehra – this book is the answer to all the questions you have.
|Ruskin Bond lives there too! (Source)|
8. Verona – William Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet balcony scene get all the points for this one. The Capulate house, the description of the place and then you had the movie letters to Juliet to just coax you to visit this place one day! Na not a love struck fool, not a romantic either but I am a window and balcony lover. Crazy fixation I guess but Tuscan houses have this charm and Juliet’s house would surely have a bit more of it.
7. Dublin – Weird, Very Weird but so very interesting. James Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses gives you a glimpse of a very grey but mystical Dublin with flickers of wonder here and there. Yes, he brought Dublin on the literary travel map and the city very well appreciates it too. Along with its many historic and modern attractions, Dublin also has a statue of James Joyce at North Earl Street which is a small gesture of gratitude for the man I guess.
|Scared of Count Dracula? (Source)|
6. Transylvania - I talked of weird and interesting, so I had to talk of the castle of the first ever Vampire kids know of – Dracula! Bram Stoker, himself for Ireland, brought alive a sleepy misty down of Romania to make his ultimate creation, Count Dracula, immortal. The book has references to London too, but the descriptions of the Vampire’s Lair, his castle and the foggy town is probably what makes thousands of people visit the place every year. This one is a must visit for me!
5. Savannah – Georgia Savannah is still an offbeat place but when you say Gothic this place sure pops in my mind in seconds. Again a book not many have read, but a masterpiece just like Dracula - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, made this small town so famous that the major tourist attraction of this gothic town is actually Ghost Walking Tours! Need I say more?
4. Paris – Too much spooky? Let’s move to historical and interesting again! Louvre! Nope not Eiffel tower I want to go to Louvre. Dan Brown sure knows how to make ‘make believe fictional tales’. I still remember reading the Da Vinci Code and googling every bit about the historical landmarks mentioned there. And imagine my surprise and wonder when most of the places turned out to be true and the theories around them almost true! Maybe he ends his novels badly but his works are still my favourite!
3. Istanbul – Not a famous book, not even a great book but it took me from Amsterdam to Bulgaria to Istanbul and back to Transylvania because after all The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova was based on Count Dracula. This book is interesting but suffers a lot in flow. But you can forget all of it because the description of places, specially Istanbul can keep you going till the end and make you want to know more!
2. Vatican City – Confession: I never wanted to visit Vatican because I thought the place was highly religious and very crowded and the visit would be an expensive waste of time. Angels and Demons changed all of that in two night! The book was something no book lover would want to miss and it portrayed Vatican as a place that no traveler would want to miss ever! Yes Dan brown did it again. He made me add Vatican to my list and I am going to Vatican for sure.
|Mr Holmes? (Source)|
1. London – Baker Street, Pillars of Hercules, Globe Theatre, King’s Cross Station, Canterbury, George inn and many more. London has been made the Switzerland of Literary Travelers by many writers like Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, Julian Barnes and god knows how many more. You love books? You love travelling? You want to see books come to life and not just stay in you r imaginations? London is calling. End of story!
I was tempted to add Russia - Russian Fairy Tales and Hobbiton Shire - Lord of the Rings to this list but both didn't really fit the criteria. For those of you wondering why Alaska - Into the Wild didn't make it to the list; I got the book almost 1 year back and still haven't had the chance to read it.
Anyhow, this was of course my list. If you love books and travelling tell me the places you would love to visit. And tell me of places I failed to add to my list!