“…today we are leaving on our Grand Tour…and I’m not going to waste any of it.”
—The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee
And so, like Monty and Percy and Felicity, I embark on my own “Grand Tour of Europe”! Only I have in tow a brother not a sister and a set of parents rather than a best friend, but the gist of the trip is the same. It is kind of a last hurrah: what may be the last opportunity for us to have a proper family holiday in a very long time, as my brother and I reach the end of our student lives and enter the real (*gulp*) world.
In celebration of this long-awaited trip, I will share with you over the coming weeks some photos of the places we visit. But to align with the reading-and-writing theme of this website/blog, these pictures will have a twist: each will feature my Kindle “displaying” a novel cover each place reminds me of! You’ll see what I mean, so without further ado, I present the first stop in my Grand Tour of Europe:
THE ROUTE SO FAR
Base map: Designed by Freepik
KEY SITES: Days 1-3
Our first stop was Big Ben / Palace of Westminster. Unfortunately, the famous clock tower is currently covered in scaffolding, but what can you do? For this site, I chose to display Timekeeper by Tara Sim. I haven’t actually read this book yet, but it’s set in an alternate Victorian world and is all about clock towers!
We arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly before the Changing of the Guard, so the crowds were absolutely horrendous! I have displayed A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab for the picture. Again, I haven’t read this book (yet!), but I know it involves several “Londons”…and I also liked how well the colour scheme went with the setting 😀
Tower of London
I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought the Tower of London was just a massive skyscraper. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at this site and I was confronted with an amazing and seriously old castle! Amidst a backdrop of a mounted crossbow, I have displayed Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, which is set in an alternate Regency-era England.
The Tower Bridge is magnificent! Unfortunately my feet were too sore by this point to make the hike up to the top, but I did walk across the bridge just as two police boats raced by beneath my feet! Here I have displayed Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. The Tower Bridge is no Blackfriars Bridge, but Blackfriars is kinda boring in real life. Sorry Tessa and Jem.
I’ve never been a massive Shakepseare fan, but we couldn’t pass up a walk by the reconstructed Globe Theatre. The merchandise shop had a fake axe that I almost bought! In front of the theatre I display Passion by Lauren Kate, because Luce and Daniel may or may not be responsible for burning down the original one…
What a lovely day for a turn in the renowned Hyde Park! It’s so nice and green, but someone seriously needs to explain to me why there is a massive big pink and purple and red thing in the middle of the lake! Of course, I had to display Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, since I made this particular trip to find some ducks especially for Will 😛
Several hours were spent wandering the endless aisles and alleys of the Camden Market area. In many ways, it kind of felt like being back in Vietnam but without the blistering heat or incessant noise. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare is on display because certain parts of the market made me thing of the trip Kit, Livvy and Ty made to London’s Shadow Market!
Getting inside Westminster Abbey was worth every second waited and every penny (pound?) spent! As a born-and-bred Aussie, I have never seen anything so old as some of the statues, tombs and artefacts. The atmosphere inside its walls, and the abundance of knights’ burial places within, reminded me a bit of Eli Easton’s The Lion and the Crow.
King’s Cross Station
As we departed London via St Pancras Station, I just had to make a quick detour next door to take a picture of King’s Cross Station’s iconic facade. Of course, the novel I chose to display here is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, because, well, what else? (Secretly shattered I didn’t get to check if I could access Platform 9 ¾.)
Are you travelling at the moment? Have you been to London? What are your favourite books that are set in the UK?