In a way I thought the day would never arrive, but time has also been going way too fast. It’s April 23rd today, which means as of today It’s All About Books will be going on a Europe trip hiatus! But not before I finish this ‘European wanderlust’ inspired bookish/movie post. Oh yes, what better way to prepare for a trip than looking up books and/or movies set in the countries we are going to visit?
So, below you can find my google map of the countries/cities we’ll be going to visit in the next month and also the countries we will be visiting in this post. It will be one intense trip with lots of different countries and cities in a limited amount of time (fact: there are so many amazing sounding places to visit in Europe, and it’s SO hard to limit them down!!), but hopefully this plan won’t be too crazy. *fingers crossed*
In short, we’ll be visiting The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. They will be visited in a counterclock-wise movement, starting with The Netherlands, then Belgium etc etc. Why? Let’s just say we started looking up things that way and it kind of worked out. Or maybe I’ve been craving those Belgium waffles and chocolate way too much and wanted to go there first. Who knows? 😉 Either way, that’s the way our bookish/movie travels will go today as well.
Ready to start?!
Before we go to the different countries, I’m going to explain a little my choices below. I’ve decided to only name books I’ve actually read and movies I’ve actually seen. Otherwise it would kind of be cheating right? Also, I was surprised just how hard it was to find titles for some countries! I really thought it would be easier… But one country ended up with less than the three book/movie titles in total I wanted to mention and did’nt have a single book (Belgium, I’m looking at you!). I need to step up my international setting game!! xD
Our first stop is the Netherlands, which is also my native country… I haven’t actually lived there for years, so my Dutch is preeetty rusty, but it will be great for my hubby to finally get to know the country I was born in.
Talking bookish, it is of course impossible to think of the Netherlands without mentioning the famous memoir The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank. I think I won’t have to give more details other than that this WWII set memoir is highly highly recommended. Another book set in The Netherlands I really enjoyed is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, both for the historical setting and the writing itself. The last book I decided to mention is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which is partly set in the Netherlands. While I wasn’t a big fan of the book, the final part set in the Netherlands was in fact the strongest for me.
Another one a lot will remember is the famous Amsterdam scene in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. And there are a ton of other books and movies set in the Netherlands, both WWII related and now. (Remember Ocean’s Twelve for example?)
Our next stop is Belgium, a country I’m excited to be visiting again and not just because of the waffles, chocolate, fries and beer. 😉 Sadly, somehow I wasn’t able to find a book I’ve actually read that is set in Belgium (although I do have a writer or two with the nationality), so I definitely have to change that. Any recommendations?? I did find two movies that were at least partly filmed in Belgium, and at least the first is based on the book. Which two? Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and The Monuments Men.
Switzerland is up next… With chocolate, cheese and mountains, and another country I’ve been looking forward to. Again I thought I won’t be having problems to find books, but the only one I could think of at first was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which is actually only partly set in Switzerland. I need to do better! Angels & Demons was at least based on the book though and an easy mention… And now I think of it, wasn’t Stieg Larsson‘s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo partly set in Switzerland?
Next up is neighbor Austria, and a country I’ve been wanting to get to know better for years. Especially Vienna has been on my bucket list for ages!! So you can imagine just how excited I am we’re finally going there. ❤
The only book I could find was Wanderlost by Jen Malone, a YA Europe roadtrip story that is partly set in Austria. I need to remedy this!! Movie-wise, I couldn’t NOT mention The Sound Of Music of course, especially since we’re going to Salzburg as well and will be seeing famous places from that movie. (I believe even the hostel is showing the movie daily, so we’ll be having a ‘sound of music’ overdose when we leave Salzburg haha.) And the movie 3096 Days has about the kidnapping of Austrian Natasha Kampush has made a huge impact on me as well.
We only added Slovakia to our trip last minute after we realized we can visit the capital in a daytrip from Vienna. Looking forward to get to know Bratislava though!
As for the books, I admit I’m cheating a bit here and picked a book with a main character originally from Slovakia (Erika Foster!). It’s also one of my favorite detective series so that counts right? Movies seem to be easier as apparently Slovakia is a very good place for film sets. Popular movies such as The Peachmaker and Eragon have been filmed there.
Poland was added to our trip mainly because we both wanted to visit the Auschwitz camps, and after we found out Krakow is a gorgeous city it was kind of a two for one deal and a completely necessary stop.
Bookish wise, it was really easy to find books set in Poland, especially those set during WWII. The three below were my first choices, but there are a LOT more. The first two are also highly recommended movies in case you haven’t seen them yet. In order: Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally, The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman and The Dollmaker Of Krakow by R.M. Romero.
My number one Europe bucket list destination is Prague by far, so I’m over the moon we’re going to visit the city soon! I just can’t can’t wait to finally go there… And while we don’t have time for the rest of the country, fingers crossed that time will come in a feature trip (the same goes for the other countries really.)
The first book that came to mind was The Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor, because I remember clearly loving the descriptions of Prague in that one. And since Franz Kafka seems to be everywhere in the capital anyway, of course I had to mention The Metamorphosis as well. There seem to be quite a lot of movies filmed in the country as well, but the first that stood out for me was The Illusionist.
Fun fact: I’ve visited Germany multiple times over the years, but somehow I’ve never been to the three cities we are going to visit soon! Yes, that includes the capital. xD Apart from visiting the cities, I’m really looking forward to eat another bratwurst and wash it down with German beer! 😉
Bookish wise, Germany has to be the easiest country to find books for. It might have to do with the fact that I read a lot of WWII historical fiction, but I could go on for ages about WWII books set in Germany. I’ve decided to pick just three to not make this post any longer than it already is. 😉 The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne is an old favorite I just HAD to mention. I also had to mention my recent read Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys. And as a third book I picked Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.
You might ask why I didn’t name the popular The Book Thief? Sorry, but I’m on the unpopular opinion train with that one. xD There are numerous books I did want to mention though, but like I said, time…
Leaving Germany will bring us back to The Netherlands, and the full circle is made… And somehow we’ve made it through a eight-country-trip in this post. What did you think of my book/movie choices of each country? Do you have any recommendations I should read/watch? Feel free to comment! 🙂
Also, with reaching the end of this post I will now officially go on a hiatus until June 1st… I don’t think I will be able to visit WP or bloghop until then, but you will find me lurking around on Twitter or Instagram for sure! I hope to see you all when I’m back in June! Have a wonderful month everyone.
❤ ❤ ❤