Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (whether fictional or real)
Only ten? I could choose ten fictional and ten real, and still have to abandon far too many realms! Yet here goes, ten real places books have made me want to visit:
- The Holy Islands of England and Scotland. There are a number of islands that go by the name Holy Island, for example, the tidal island of Lindisfarne. Diana Wynne Jones’s Dalemark Quartet have the Holy Islands, which must, however loosely, be based on these places. I think Jones’s islands are a good deal more tropical, but I may be wrong, and in either case I want to go.
- Greece. Green spaces, mountains, valleys, ruins, statues, monasteries, narrow white-wash-edged streets spilling over with greenery, doors, and flowers.
- Wales. Green rolling hills, castles, moors and heaths, sheep, rivers, and history. The Welsh language and music. Home of Gwyn ap Nud (The Merlin Conspiracy), former home of Howl Pendragon (Howl’s Moving Castle), Gwyn Griffiths, Emlyn, and Nia (The Snow Spider trilogy), and a whole lot of interesting historical characters. I want to see rivers and green valleys and sunlight.
- Egypt. Always, always Egypt. I have no idea how many books set in this country I read as a child; I’ve lost count. Also, the surrounding countries and peoples. Historical fiction is one of the most natural ways to fall in love with history and unfamiliar cultures and with people one can never meet.
- Most accurately, whatever place I have read of most recently.
- Middle Earth. This was probably the most obvious one.
- Small Damages by Beth Kephart made me want to visit Spain.
- Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater made me want to go to L.A. again.
- Tokyo on Foot by Florent Chavouet made me want to go Tokyo.
- Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling made me and a couple million other people want to go to Hogwarts. No surprise there either.
AHH! IT’S TUESDAY ALREADY! *squints at Janet’s list* Did you mean to go with only five in the end?
- Wales. Because travelling with Janet sounds fun. Also, because of all the Diana Wynne Jones and King Arthur.
- Magical!London. I am much too old to go to Hogwarts now so Scotland is out and don’t think I care that much about muggle London, but I’d love to have a beer at The Leaky Cauldron.
- London Below. Not the same as Magical!London. I want to enter Neil Gaiman’s version of the London underground that he writes about in Neverwhere.
- The Mumbai Institute. From Cassie Clare’s world of Shadowhunters. We’ve never seen it in the books, but in my mind it’s somewhere by Juhu beach and that means you can kick some demon ass and then go get some yummy street food.
- Brooklyn. If only to party with Magnus Bane.
Vancouver. Can someone please just write an urban fantasy set here so I don’t have to travel?!