So now that you’ve read your favorite stories, why not visit the locations and bring the text to life on your next vacation;
1. Ashdown Forest, UK – Let’s start with one from your childhood. Let’s travel to our first location, Ashdown Forest in South East England, United Kingdom. Otherwise known as the Hundred Acre Wood where Winnie the Pooh and his friends live. Here you will find the famous bridge where Pooh and his friends played “pooh sticks”. The original was built in 1907, but has since been restored. You will also venture through Pooh’s sandpit and the Dark and Mysterious Forest.
2. Paris, France – For our second literary adventure we must visit Paris, France. Here we will find Notre Dame de Paris, where a certain hunchback became famous. At one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, not only can you attend the services at the Notre Dame Cathedral, but just gaze at the chapels and alcoves for the saints which line the walls. Gold paint and marble will be a treat for your eyes. And of course once outside you can see the splendor of the two towers adorned with gargoyles and saints. A magnificent sight to see.
3. Verona, Italy – Thirdly let us visit Verona, Italy to daydream as we look upon Juliet’s balcony. The house where the balcony is set was said to have belonged to a real Veronese family, whose rivalry with neighbors inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet. In those days, gentlemen often wooed beautiful women to their balconies from the courtyard below. There are two amusing details of the courtyard. the entryway of the courtyard is plastered with romantic graffiti. Secondly, it is supposedly lucky to touch the statue of Juliet. Humorously, there are spots on her where the bronze is more worn away. Use your imagination on that one.
4. New York, USA – On to our fourth destination. Sleepy Hollow, New York. Washington Irving’s story was based on this town and its inhabitants. A Hessan soldier was said to have been nursed and died here. The famous bridge has been rebuilt several times. A walk through the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery will show the graves of all those involved in the story, and you can even get a map to where the Hessan soldier’s bones lie in an unmarked grave.
5. Missouri, USA – Let’s head to Hannibal, Missouri in the USA for our fifth stop, Mark Twain’s childhood home. The picket fence that Tom Sawyer conned his friends into painting is around the yard. The Mississippi, where Twain penned many an adventure, is just a short walk away. There is also a National annual fence painting contest held during Tom Sawyer days, July 1 – 4 each year.
6. Nantes, France – And last but not least, our sixth destination brings us to Western France. Nantes to be exact, where we will find Le Musee Jules Verne. Le Musee is home to a splendid collection of memorabilia and objects related to Jules Verne. One of the newest works is a sculpture by Gerard Leroy, depicting Jules Verne in the form of Captain Nemo. Come and delve into his life under the sea.
By Julie Bowman