Now we can go on holiday again, I thought I would collate my top fictional places I would like to visit. Far more interesting than Venice, Ibiza or canoeing the Amazon…
10) Wonderland – with Alice. Not the (admittedly very good) Tim Burton version, but the original, the just-as-strange locales that Carrol originally created. I mean, how wonderful would it be to meet The White Rabbit, The White Queen (because I’ve always wanted to know which impossible things she imagined before breakfast), some of the Cheshire Cat.
9) Outer Space. Okay, I know this isn’t a specific place (or rather, it’s a rather large
space place) but of course I want to go there – who wouldn’t? Not as a Musk/Branson tourist but on The Heart of Gold, as part of HG Wells’ crew, with Brian Aldiss’s characters (or ideally, on the USS Enterprise or Discovery, but that’s cheating for this blog post so naturally I won’t say that).
8) Narnia. Magic, mythical beasts, talking animals. Adventure and mysteries. And arriving via the wardrobe, which has spawned so many other literary portals. I could bore my friends for hours with photographs when I got back from this trip.
7) The Night Circus. I know this isn’t in one specific location, but I would find it and I do so want to visit the tents: The Carousel, the acrobats in The Hanged Man, The Labyrinth, the list goes on and on. It would certainly mean more than one visit to do it justice.
6) Much Hemlock. Human-sized, anthropomorhpic rabbits? The MegaWarren? Jasper Fforde’s imagination? Tick, tick, tick – yes, please.
5) Milliways. To eat in The Restaurant at The End of the Universe, the most significant eatery of all time, that would be a waiting list worth being on. Hoping OpenTable add it soon.
4) Lansquenet-sous-Tannes. To taste the chocolate, of course (assuming Vianne guesses my favourite); but also for the architecture and to stroll by the river.
3) Rafi Zabor’s Manhattan: I would love to visit one of the smoky jazz bars with The Bear in Zabor’s ‘The Bear Comes Home’, and listen to him play his alto sax alongside Lester Bowie. Holy cow, that would be a night to remember.
2) Besźel and Ul Qoma. You would obviously have to visit both cities at the same time, and I’m sure it would be more of an experience than a holiday. I know I would have to apply for permission before I could visit either place, but it would be worth all the work and preparation. I just hope I could unsee anything which I needed to.
1) Ankh-Morpork. Well, it has to be number one, doesn’t it. (Have they ever had any tourists there…? 😉) If there was only one place on this list I could visit then there isn’t a question in my mind of where else I would want to go. We can all see the walled city already in our minds: the characters, the streets, the assassins. To smell the smells. To stroll alongside the River Ankh, hmm. I’m hoping there are organised walking tours of the inns. Just keep one particular character away from me…
I did also consider the following: Middle Earth (but you could spend your whole life there); the Troposphere (as long as I could definitely get back) in Scarlett Thomas’s wonderful ‘The End of Mr Y’; and yes, Hogsmeade (ideally with an invisibility cloak). I was also tempted to add The Past, but that’s probably a whole other post…