Hey all! I did a poll on Twitter to see if you guys would be interested in this post and it got overwhelming reviews, so here we are. I traveled to Europe in July for a few weeks (and I miss it terribly) and I stopped some bookish places along the way! I felt a little bit like Monty, Percy and Felicity from GGTVAV with my whole ~tour of Europe~ thing going on…
1. THE TEN BELLS, LONDON
If you know me well, you know I am in love with Kerri Maniscalco’s books! Her first book in her series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, is about a fictional pair of teenagers that try to track down the infamous Jack the Ripper who is plaguing the streets of London with murder. The real Jack the Ripper was a serial murderer who took the lives of female prostitutes in the area of Whitechapel in London. He took organs from each of the woman and left their bodies in alleys or on the street. The Ten Bells is a pub that is thought to be one of the places that Jack picked up his victims. At least one of them, Annie Chapman, was thought to be drinking heavily the night she was murdered at this very pub. It is still open and functioning today, so I had to make a trip and get my own drink there! It was eerie thinking about the history of it as I sipped on my hard cider but it had such a historical l feel I absolutely loved it!
2. BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE, LONDON
Shadowhunters novels are certainly my favorite novels of all time, and The Infernal Devices is no different! I had to stop at the famous Blackfriars bridge on my trip to London because it was mentioned in the books. Tessa and Will and Jem: my forever OT3, I love them so much and thought about them as I took this photo. The original bridge was built in 1769 but the current bridge was built in 1869. The traffic on this bridge is INSANE and I definitely almost got hit by some bikers when I was trying to cross the road: oops! It sits over the Thames River and the walk along the Thames, along the Victoria Embankment, is a pretty one but a long one. I first spotted the bridge on a river taxi and decided to walk there from the London Eye: let me tell you that it is a SUPER long walk! But it was so worth it to snap this pic and see the history along the way.
3. SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY, PARIS
Shakespeare and Company bookstore of Paris was opened in 1951 by George Whitman. It sits on the Left Bank, adjacent to Notre Dame Cathedral. It was originally called ‘Le Mistral’, but was renamed to honor William Shakespeare. Photos aren’t allowed inside because of the tight quarters, so I had to settle for a photo of the outside. I actually took this photo 2 years ago when I visited and totally forgot this time because there was a massive line to get in! As I mentioned, the bookstore is super narrow and cramped, making it pretty hard to move around inside. But, let me tell you, that it is so worth it to take a trip inside. All of the wood is original and the floor creaks in an endearing way when you walk. They have many new and secondhand books: I purchased a copy of Lord of Shadows when I was there! They stamp your book (if you want) with an insignia that says Shakespeare and Company, Kilometer Zero. Kilometer Zero is located in front of Notre Dame and it is the point from where all distance is measured in Paris. It is a unique stamp as you can only get it at this store.
4. RIJKSMUSEUM LIBRARY AND READING ROOM, AMSTERDAM
Rijksmuseum is an art and history museum in Amsterdam. It opened its current doors in 1800 and is home to the many works of Rembrandt, its most famous painter housed within its walls. I am not a huge fan of art but this museum offers more than paintings: on its lower levels, there are armory weapons, ceramic pieces and metal pieces. This is the library and reading room, where visitors can study and utilize many of the art & history books on the shelves. You aren’t allowed to actually take books out from this library and it is strictly a reference-type library. There are librarians that actually fetch the books for you so that you don’t damage the older ones or put any back in the wrong place. The picture above is actually only 1/3 of the whole thing: it was hard to get a photo of both sides with no glare from the sun! It was very quiet (not surprisingly) as many people could be seen studying below when I visited. The louder guests were hushed and it was an amazing sight to see for sure.
5. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BENCH, AMSTERDAM
The final stop on our bookish tour is the bench that was featured in the Fault in our Stars movie. My traveling partner really wanted to see this and luckily my friend who lives in Amsterdam (shoutout to Sanne!) knew exactly where the bench was and was happy to take us. TFiOS is probably my favorite John Green novel and I absolutely loved the movie. This is the bench that Hazel and Gus sit on while filming a scene in the movie. If you can’t visualize the scene, here is a pic:
The view, as you can tell from my photo, is absolutely gorgeous to sit and watch the boats come down the canal. The canals are really a wonder in themselves and it has been on my bucket list to see them! There are a ton of love locks attached to the bench and it is actually bolted to the ground. There are also, predictably, a ton of quotes from the book & movie written on the bench. Here is the most famous one:
It was a surreal experience to be able to sit on the bench where they filmed and I will definitely never forget it!
Well, that finishes my post today, I hope you enjoyed it!
What is your favorite place that you have traveled?