A book can take you away to far off places that you can only dream about, and true literary artists are able to weave colorful pictures of the setting in the same way in which they build their characters. In fact, the setting of a book is almost as essential as the characters, because it sets the stage for the action. When the time comes to take an actual trip, why settle for something less than a true adventure? If you are a book lover, here are some of the best book inspired vacations to consider.
Though the Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien wasn’t actually set in New Zealand, the movies that brought the books to life were, and walking the peaks of Queenstown or the hills of Matamata can make you feel as if you are walking in the footsteps of your favorite wizard and hobbits. Because the movies were filled in New Zealand, you can actually walk on some of the original movie sets, such as the Hobbiton Movie Set. Take time to tour the Weta Workshop’s Weta Cave to see some of the props from the movies that you cannot see anywhere else. Of course, you will want to schedule ample time for outdoor adventures, as the mountain ranges and brilliant lakes of this country are breathtaking. The hardest part about this trip will be deciding which of the islands to visit, as both the North Island and the South Island have locations that are reminiscent of Middle Earth and were used in filming the movie trilogy.
If you’re a fan of James Joyce’s classic Ulysses, then a trip to Dublin is a must. This classic novel takes Leopold Bloom, its main character, on a 24-hour trek through the city, and Joyce’s descriptions are so clear that you can literally walk in his footsteps in this historic town. In fact, the book is written almost like a walking tour. While Ulysses is not a book for the faint at heart, the descriptions it makes of Dublin are fascinating, especially in light of the fact that many of the structures described in the book are still standing today.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love is a bit less heavy than Ulysses, and its ending location stands in sharp contrast to the historic cities of the UK. Taking a trip to the tropical city of Bali, one of the three locations in Eat, Pray, Love will give you a taste for the exotic. Follow in the footsteps of Gilbert as she learns about the city’s history, the culture of its people and the beauty of its nature. While there, take a bicycle tour around the city center, which includes the Ubud villages. Indulge in a massage at one of the many spas. You can also explore nature by visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, which is located nearby. If you are going to embrace the philosophy of Eat, Pray, Love, you will follow your own passions and see the attractions or do the activities that help restore your own personal balance and sense of peace.
While Outlander by Diana Gabaldon took place in the 18th century, a trip to its setting, Inverness, can still give you the feeling of taking a step back in time, all without leaving your modern-day comforts behind. This particular city in Scotland has plenty of historic sites and buildings to tour. Consider making your trip more authentic by booking a stay in a historic bed and breakfast, and then enjoy touring the Inverness Castle, sampling the brew of a local whiskey distillery or simply walking the historic streets of Inverness. Bring your copy of Outlander with you to remember the adventure you loved.
When it comes to book inspired vacations, London is hard to beat. This city has been the setting for hundreds of books, from the ancient to the modern, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books are, perhaps, some of the most famous. Today, even 100 years after he was first published, Doyle’s books still capture the imagination. You can see many of the sights of Doyle’s Victorian England still standing in modern-day London. If you are a fan of Holmes, you will want to visit 221B Baker Street, which is now a museum dedicated to the fictional detective. Visit the Sherlock Holmes Pub, which was once the setting for part of the Hound of the Baskervilles, and take a Sherlock Holmes Walking Tour to see the alleys and cobblestone streets that still remain in the city.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson put Stockholm on the literary map, drawing many tourists to the once quiet town. On your trip to Stockholm, see the favorite spots of your favorite characters like the Island of Sodermalm or the Stockholm District. Once you arrive in Stockholm, head to the Stockholm City Museum to pick up a Millennium Map, which will give you a self-guided tour of the popular destinations from Larsson’s trilogy. On your tour, you will quickly see why the wooden homes and stone buildings of Stockholm made the perfect setting for the action-packed books.
With much of the book taking place in the famous Louvre, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown opens the door to an interesting tour of the city of Paris. Start your tour at the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, where you can see some of Da Vinci’s original paintings. Picture yourself spotting the body of the museum curator and launching the adventures in the book, or take a specialized tour of the museum that invites you to “crack the Da Vinci code” just like the characters in the book. After touring the museum, visit the Hotel Ritz, St. Sulpice or some of the other locations spoken of in the book. Of course, you will want to see the other sites of Paris, like the Arc de Triumphe and Eiffel Tower, but your favorite literary work will give you unique insight into the history of this popular destination.
Your favorite book serves as an escape from your daily stresses. Make that escape even more realistic by booking a trip to one of these enchanting or historic cities. Explore the places your favorite characters lived and worked with the help of these book inspired vacations.
Plan a trip to one of these book inspired vacation destinations with the help of the travel experts at go-today.