Nighttime in Transylvania is as atmospherically spooky as you would hope it would be. During the winter, a thick, low-lying mist covers thick forests of pine trees and firs. Above the fog, you can see the silhouetted turrets and spires of ancient castles and fortified churches. Many of the old homes there still burn wood fires, adding to the smoky air, while the towns are filled with gothic and baroque buildings that were once beautiful, but are now marked by peeling paint and crumbling facades.
Courtesy of Atlas Obscura.
I have a Pinterest board of the cities the characters visit in Daughters of Shadow and Blood for anyone who’s curious and wants to do a little sightseeing from their computer.
This time last year, we had just returned from a week in London. This is kind of embarassing to admit for a European history major, but it was the first time I had ever been to Europe. I love British history, so the trip was really special for me. One moment that I keep going back to happened on out first day in the city. We had arrived the night before at around 10:00, and after having been in transit for about fifteen hours, we just collapsed in the hotel room, so bright an early that morning, we were ready for some exploring. We took the Underground from our hotel to the Westminster station, and by dumb luck, I picked the right exit, because climbing the stairs up to the street, all I could see was the Clock Tower of Westminster Palace (a.k.a Big Ben) rising up in front of me. It was a perfect moment, because it hit me all of a sudden that I was, in fact, in England, not just reading about it or thinking about it. I was there, and for once, I was happy that I didn’t have to use my imagination anymore.