Transylvania – Romania – Carpathian Mountains – Do I even have to say it?
– from Dracula by Bram Stoker
mighty slopes of forest up to the lofty steeps of the Carpathians themselves.
Right and left of us they towered, with the afternoon sun falling full upon
them and bringing out all the glorious colours of this beautiful range, deep
blue and purple in the shadows of the peaks, green and brown where grass and
rock mingled, and an endless perspective of jagged rock and pointed crags, till
these were themselves lost in the distance, where the snowy peaks rose grandly.
Here and there seemed mighty rifts in the mountains, through which, as the sun
began to sink, we saw now and again the white gleam of falling water. One of my
companions touched my arm as we swept round the base of a hill and opened up
the lofty, snow-covered peak of a mountain, which seemed, as we wound on our
serpentine way, to be right before us:-
he crossed himself reverently.
and rocks stuck up through the clay. There was no grass beside the road.
Looking back we could see the country spread out below. Far back the fields
were squares of green and brown on the hillsides. Making the horizon were the
brown mountains. They were strangely shaped. As we climbed higher the horizon
kept changing. As the bus ground slowly up the road we could see other
mountains coming up in the south. Then the road came over the crest, flattened
out, and went into a forest. It was a forest of cork oaks, and the sun came
through the trees in patches, and there were cattle grazing back in the trees.
We went through the forest and the road came out and turned along a rise of
land, and out ahead of us was a rolling green plain, with dark mountains beyond
it. These were not like the brown, heat-baked mountains we had left behind.
These were wooded and there were clouds coming down from them. The green plain
stretched off. It was cut by fences and the white of the road showed through
the trunks of a double line of trees that crossed the plain toward the north.
As we came to the edge of the rise we saw the red roofs and white houses of
Burguete ahead strung out on the plain, and away off on the shoulder of the
first dark mountain was the gray metal-sheathed roof of the monastery of
Germany – The Rhein – The Loreley Rock – from the poem Die Lorelei by Heinrich Heine which is the first German poem I remember reading some four years ago. It’s a haunting poem relating a legend of the siren. This is a Mark Twain translation.
(picture taken from Wikipedia)
I cannot divine
what it meaneth;
This haunting nameless pain.
A tale of the bygone ages,
in the gloaming;
And peaceful flows the Rhine.
The thirsty summits are drinking;
The sunset’s flooding wine.
The loveliest maiden is sitting;
High-throned in yon blue air.
Her golden jewels are shining;
She combs her golden hair,
And sings a weird refrain;
That steeps in a deadly enchantment
The listener’s ravished brain.
Is tranced with the sad sweet tone.
He sees not the yawing breakers,
He sees but the maid alone.
billwos engulf him;
Ushuaia – Tierra del Fuego – Argentina – the Beagle Channel – from This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson
The sun nudged aside the persistent grey clouds in
celebration. There, in a sheltered cove, nestled an acre or so of rich, sloping
pastureland, well watered by brooks and protected on three sides by low, wooded
hills. The pretty little natural harbour was studded with islets, the water
smooth and glassy, with low branches overhanging a rocky beach. It was so
beautiful, so unexpected amid the wilds of Tierra del Fuego, that it possessed
an almost dreamlike quality. It was the perfect place to build a mission.
17 thoughts on “Five Places Books Make Me Want to Visit”
Lovely places, Priya.
A different presentation with Book quotations. Didn't know of some. Horse is cool 🙂 Hope you fulfill your dream to visit these places.
Anita – Thanks, any time I read such wonderful descriptions in books, I wish to be right there in the character's shoes. Thanks for the great topic!
I've only read Dracula on this list, but I completely agree! And Hemingway is quite good at making you want to go places. After I read The Old Man and the Sea, I dreamed of going to Cuba!
Nice! I'd say England! Books have inspired me to experience the high tea, the cute countryside and the Scottish Highlands.
barefootmeds – Anyone who has read Dracula is bound to agree, Harker's account is so vivid. I've always wanted to read The Old Man and the Sea and now I can't wait!
Renuka – Ooh, yes, the whole of England would actually do better. I do like the idea of high tea, and roaming around in the northern English countryside.. Thanks for stopping by!
Vinisha – Aren't they!? Glad you stopped by. 🙂
Awesome post. Greetings from Montreal, Canada.
Wow priya. Makes me want to pick up thr book by Hemingway. The German poem was beautiful too. ^.^ I loved this idea btw makes me think of all the books that captured my mind with the picturesque places. There's far too many to writw them all down to be honest!
Linda – Thanks! Glad you stopped by!
Sabeeha – Oh you should pick it up, it's great. 🙂 All of Heine's poems are really nice and vivid, even in translation. He's one of the few poets I'm well versed in, you should check him out, too.
Beautiful places, Priya! I would love to take that coach ride in the middle of the night into the Carpathian mountains like Jonathan Harker did 🙂 Ushuaia (The Beagle Channel) is breathtakingly beautiful. Argentina is one of the countries that I dream of visiting one day.
Vishy – I know! Even I want to be on that journey, except I'd rather jump out before I reach Drac's castle. 😉
Argentina does seem beautiful and I completely agree with the author's description of the Beagle Channel as having a 'dreamlike quality.' It does. That blue: mesmerizing. I'm glad you liked it. Here's hoping your dream comes true!
Love the quote about the horse! I visited Brontë-country (that would be Haworth, Yorkshire) with a friend in 2009 – her husband came along as our driver – and it was a real treat. We also visited Anne Brontë´s grave in Scarborough and I even managed a detour to Sylvia Plath´s grave. I do think, though, that if the story and its author matters to you, go alone, and stay a while. It takes time to soak up the atmosphere and I think both my friend and I want to go back there.
Your number 1 is on my list as well. Transilvania is a beautiful place, I miss it very much – the people, the food, the forests…
India is on my list – I've always wanted to wear a sari and take a yoga class taught by an Indian yogi.
Oh my, I just read a few and I'm in love. Btw this reminds me I'm reading this poetry book translated from arabic. The book is called modern arabic poetry. Absolutely beautiful 🙂
Viktoria – So do I, especially since you're bound to find people who take one look at the figure and go, "But that doesn't look like a horse!" The only bells Scarborough rings for me is that it was partly the setting of A. S. Byatt's Possession, but it sounds gorgeous. That's the plan, once I'm done with college, I do plan on roaming around all the literary-places here.
Delia – It does sound beautiful. And I do hope you get around to coming here to India!
Sabeeha – I so have a thing for Arabic – I mean, it sounds like a pretty artistic language, so I'll definitely to see if I can find this book – thanks for the tip!
Lovely list. I would like to add the Scottish Highlands from Outlander to my list
Aren't those the time-travel books? I have always wanted to read them. Now I will! 🙂