Explore the world a little differently
The Deep South, USA
America’s Deep South, that includes the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, is peppered with literary landmarks from some of the best-known authors and books of all time.
Georgia’s Gone With The Wind trail might be the most famous of them all; it takes you through Margaret Mitchell’s house in Atlanta, the Stately Oaks mansion in Jonesboro which is a close replica of Tara – the plantation where the protagonist Scarlett O’Hara lived, and many such.
Besides, there are several other places that the bibliophile travellers amongst you would love to explore: In New Orleans, Louisiana, you can visit the apartment where Tennessee Williams began writing A Streetcar Named Desire .
Harper Lee based her “tired old town” of Maycomb in To Kill A Mockingbird on Monroeville in Alabama. And, there are a multitude of sites dedicated to William Faulkner and Ernest Hemmingway.
Salzburg, Austria and Matamata, New Zealand
It may be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to Mozart and a lovely baroque city, but Salzburg in Austria is best known for the 1965 film The Sound of Music . The Sound of Music tour takes you through landmarks from the film: the Mirabell Gardens, the Pegasus Fountain, the lake where the iconic boating scene was shot, and more.
Halfway across the world lies the rural town of Matamata in New Zealand. A picturesque farm forms the location for Hobbiton where our favourite hobbits lived in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
This permanent set, now a big tourist attraction, has 44 unique hobbit holes, including Bag End (Bilbo’s house). You can take a walk through the heart of the Shire, with its mill, double-arched bridge, and Green Dragon Inn. Guided tours include drinks and a feast fit for hobbits, or even men!
Washington state, USA
Music enthusiasts will have guessed who we’re about to trail here. The man who gave us legendary songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are , one of the most iconic rock musicians in the history of alternative music, frontman of Nirvana: Kurt Cobain.
There is no organised tour tracing the 27 years of his life, but you can go on one of your own. Walk through the half a dozen homes in Aberdeen where Cobain spent most of his childhood.
In the neighbouring towns of Montesano and Hoquiam, you’ll find the places where he wrote some of Nirvana’s best-known songs. There is the famous 171 Lake Washington Boulevard home in Seattle where he was found dead. The Marco Polo motel in the gritty periphery of Seattle is a peek into the turmoil of his troubled mind.
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From HT Brunch, March 22
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