Off For Easter, Fang You Very Much

Observatory

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Bram Stoker never visited Romania. He depicted Dracula’s castle based on a description of Bran Castle that was available to him at the time of writing, so now I’m going to put that right. I’ll be writing a novella for the Mysterious Bookshop in NYC, and am off to do my research.

My Easter journey is taking me from Cluj in Romania to Sighisoara, Brasov, Sibiu and into Dracula country. Sadly, Michael Ripper is dead. Ripper was usually cast as a Transylvanian inn-keeper, and bizarrely chose a West Country accent to deliver his lines, crying ‘You’m bain’t be goin’ up to Carstle Draaakler tonoight!’ Perhaps this was the point. Hammer films weren’t set in Bavaria or Lichenstein or Transylvania, they were set in England and they were about the English, only nobody could see it at the time.

I had planned to follow the exact path of Bram Stoker’s novel (as much as it specifies places ie. not at all) but I have been let down at the British end. After Easter I’ll be at the Scarborough Literary Festival, Books On The Beach, and had thought I could hop a train to Whitby, except that the line is closed and would take longer than the entire journey from London, so I’ll finish that leg another time.

Meanwhile, I imagine that over the next few days my wi-fi connection will be less than perfect, so there may be some interruption in your service during Easter. Soon I’ll be revamping the site (starting to look as messy as a teenager’s bedroom) and connecting it to my author hub on the upcoming Penguin author website. Until then, watch this space, or follow me on Twitter @peculiar, or on Facebook as Christopherrobertfowler…

11 comments on “Off For Easter, Fang You Very Much”

  1. Vivienne says:

    Interesting article on BBC magazine site about Transylvania today. Just in case you encounter some transhumance.

  2. rh says:

    Bon voyage! I thought this article was an interesting view of the London locations at any rate…

    http://www.literarylondon.org/london-journal/march2004/davies.html

  3. slabman says:

    The Scarborough Whitby trip is on my to do list – biking the old railway line

  4. John Griffin says:

    With Slabman here, just hire a bike and you’ll be in Whitby a couple or three hours later via the most lovely Robin Hoods Bay.

  5. snowy says:

    It’s an hour by bus, which calls at three pubs on the way. It would only be a long journey, if you paused at each.

    Timed correctly one could leave after a leisurely late breakfast, stop off for morning coffee enroute. Re-embark refreshed, [interpret that how you like] arrive Whitby, have a stroll around the town, take lunch, do the sights and retrace your steps, stopping off half way for Afternoon tea.

    [I’d propably do Scarbrough to RH Bay on the out leg, 40 minutes to the bay, 20 minutes from there to Whitby, pick somewhere else nice to break the return leg.]

    [Shame the festival is not a week later, they are doing promanade performances of Dracula in the Abbey ruins.]

  6. Anchovee says:

    To echo Slabman and John G, NCR1 is just over 20 miles and quite flat with spectacular views. Get yourself some padded shorts and bimble your way down!

  7. Helen Martin says:

    What an absolutely marvelous Prospect. I might even break out a bike again if that ride were possible.

  8. Graeme Lynch says:

    In 1895, Bram Stoker visited North East Scotland, staying at a cottage near Cruden Bay, and he may have been a guest at Slains Castle, which is cited as an inspiration for his 1897 novel Dracula.

    You can check out the castle ruins in this photograph:

    http://www.clanhay.net/CASTLES/IMAGES/NewSlains-12.JPG

    And this landscape photo provides a more romantic image:

    http://www.michaelfellowes.com/prints/WinterSeaSlainsPrint.jpg

  9. karen says:

    do u have newsletter to join

  10. Helen Martin says:

    Missed wishing Chris a happy Birthday over the weekend. Doing so now – hope you had a lovely day and that there will be very many more.
    Also hoping that the site vamping doesn’t become vampiring now that you have been to castle Dracula.

  11. jan says:

    Graeme’s photo very interesting looks like a cross between Castle Dracula (was dead good wasn’t it) and the Abbey at Whitby

    One of the things i thought was weird about Romania was their habit of serving hot food on very cold plates. I know its a daft thing to remember but i just thought it was odd. Specially as the food included lots of stews etc which went cold quickly

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