I Always Wonder…

I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question.

– Harun Yahya

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My Favourite Libraries

Libraries are such special places for bookish people, and there are some absolute beauties out there. I’ve decided to throw together a little list of some of my favourites – enjoy!

Public Library – Ruscoe, South Dakota, USA

Ruscoe, SD library

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

How cute is this little thing? Apparently, it was built in the 1930’s by a group of eight women called the Priscilla Embroidery Club. They worked with their husbands to build the library, and then took turns to work as the librarian. Sadly, it closed in 2002, but for a while it was the smallest known library in the States.

Strahov Monastry Library – Prague, Czech Republic

Photo Credit: All That Is Interesting

Photo Credit: All That Is Interesting

How utterly stunning is this? Featuring a section on theology and one on philosophy, this library is rich in not only books, but preserved manuscripts and one fancy gift shop.

Trinity College Library – Ireland

trinity-college-ireland

Photo Credit: Irish Welcome Tours

Not only is this library flipping beautiful, LOOK AT ALL THE BOOKS.This is Ireland’s biggest library, and it’s home to a really famous 800 year old manuscript called ‘Book of Kells’ – written by Celtic monks. I think that’s so cool!

Jay Walker’s Private Library – USA

JW Private Library

Photo Credit: Aaron Tang

Wired called this “the most amazing library in the world”, and I can kind of understand why! It’s absolutely crammed full of not only a tonne of books, but an array of rarities – including a Sputnik, a list of plague mortalities from the 1600’s, and books bound in rubies.

Raza Library – Rampur, India

Raza Library

Photo Credit: Mental Floss

This is some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve ever seen. This library was built just over a hundred years ago, and it used to be a part of a palace (does that surprise you, though?) It’s protected by the Indian government, and is home to a vast collection of manuscripts, hand-written palm leaves and miniature paintings.

So those were a couple of my favourites! Which libraries would you love to visit?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.

~Dani

Travel

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

-Mark Twain

Hello Again!

Hi all – it’s been a (very long) while! If you were wondering what happened to me, basically…exams and Africa.

This summer I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel a little bit around the continent of Africa with a friend, and it has just been the most wonderful month! We spent three weeks in Uganda and a week in Zambia, and in that time my friend and I have learned a lot more about each other, and made so many new friends from all over the world!

The trip has really taught me a lot about friendship; whether that’s people I’ve known for weeks, months or years – the connections made between people are powerful and beautiful.

I’m quite an awkward person, so I often have difficulty finding the right words to say, or keeping up with quick-fire conversations. What I’ve learned is that ‘the right answer’ or a witty quip isn’t what makes a good friend: it’s the heart behind the words. It’s the joy that people find in each others’ company.

It’s the spaces between the words that builds the friendships: when the jokes are over and the adventure is done, a friend is still there. When they see how messy your life is, they don’t flinch, but take your hand and say, ‘yeah – me too.’

There’s a beautiful Proverb that says:

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Friendship is really powerful! I could never have got through my trip, or my first year at university, if I didn’t have friends. They are my motivation when I am running low, and my laughter when times are good.

I love the picture of life as a racetrack, with us as the racers: we take it hand in hand, running when we are strong, helping each other up when we trip, and leaning on each other when we are drained. We may cross that finishing line bruised and tattered, limping and slow, but we’ll cross it together.

Romantic love gets a lot of good press, and that’s great – but can we just appreciate the power of friendship? One of my favourite examples is from the Bible, and it’s the story of Jonathan and David. Jonathan is the son of a King, and David is a shepherd boy who just got famous by killing a giant (you may remember Goliath?) Basically what happens is, the King becomes jealous of David, and plots to kill him. When Jonathan hears of this, he not only disobeys his father, but puts his life on the line to save his friend. (It’s actually a really good story; if you search for 1 Samuel 20 you can read it properly!)

Friendship is beautiful. I want to walk away from this summer with a deeper appreciation for it, but also a new openness. It doesn’t take a witty, confident, extroverted person to be a friend; it just takes you – as you are. Real friendship is honest and genuine, and beautiful for it.

Thank you so much for reading guys – I hope you’re all well, and I look forward to getting stuck back in to the whole blogging thing!

Have a lovely day.

~Dani

Places in the Pages: A Room With a View

A Room With a View (E.M. Forster) is such a beautiful book, and is set both in Florence and England during Edwardian times. This post is going to describe the locations in Florence, Italy.

First up is ‘Pensione Bertolini’, which has since been closed and re-opened as Hotel degli Orafi. It’s a beautiful 4-star hotel in a Florentine building that dates back to the thirteenth century!

Hotel degli Orafi

If you’re familiar with the novel, you’ll recall the importance of some very famous attractions, like the statue of the Grand Duke of Ferdinand.

Grand Duke Ferdinand Statue

There’s also the Santa Croce Church; whose building dates to the thirteenth century, although the facade was built far more recently. It looks gorgeous!

Santa Croce

I’m desperate to go to Florence! If you’ve been, I’d love to hear about how you found it. What’s on your bookish travel list?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani

Places in the Pages: Pride and Prejudice

In this new series of posts, I’ll be detailing what is basically my travel hit-list. I’ve collected a lot of locations that either appear in books, or have been a part of a movie adaptation.

Today’s post is about Joe Wright’s film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (2005)There are some stunning locations that I’m just itching to visit in person!

  • Pictured is Chatsworth House (AKA, the Darcy residence). This stately home really is situated in Derbyshire, and offers a variety of activities and services (including weddings!). You can stay in one of their holiday cottages, or in one of the hotels on the estate. It blows my mind that people actually live there!

Chatsworth House

  • If it’s the ‘Bennett residence’ you fancy, try Groombridge Place. Again, these guys put on lots of events, and they have some award-winning gardens for you to stroll through. It looks absolutely stunning.

Groomsbridge House

  • And finally, sometimes you just want to stand on a dramatic rock formation and squint wistfully into the wind. You can stand where Lizzie stood! Just pop over to Stanage Edge. This is a breath-takingly beautiful bit of English countryside, not limited to handy cliff-tops for perusing.

Stanage Edge

Those are my Pride and Prejudice Locations! (Hint: click on the photos to see the sources!) I think they’re gorgeous – if you’ve already been, let me know what you thought!

Do you have a book-related travel wish-list?

Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day!

~Dani