Culture & Entertainment

My favourite new travel hack: It's all about the book!

By: Doug O'Neill
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

My favourite new travel hack: It's all about the book!

By: Doug O'Neill

How to find fiction that's set in a place you're planning to visit Mark-tollerman-krakow

Tradition and modernity roll side by side in the middle of Krakow (Courtesy FlickrCC/Mark Tollerman)

  I've just discovered an amazing tool to help me when I'm planning a trip: tripfiction.com. I'm leaving next week on a short trip to Krakow, Poland, a city I've longed wanted to visit ever since I watched (so many years ago!) the emotional, Oscar-winning movie "Schindler's List." In fact, I plan to visit Oskar Schindler's factory, which played a huge role in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie. It's in that building that Schindler employed – and then ultimately saved – hundreds of Jews from the Nazi death machine. The factory is now an artist-run studio space and gallery. Christmas markets will be on my list, Polish castles, a tour down into the salt mines, and perhaps a visit to Auschwitz concentration camp on a day trip outside Krakow. I'll also be checking out the food scene, galleries devoted to contemporary Polish art – and I've even booked a visit to a monastery where the monks serve up their own local brew. Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle with the Wawel Cathedral, Krakow (Courtesy FlickrCC/J.Boyer)

So it's obviously I've done a fair bit of information-gathering which is part of my craft as a frequent travel writer.  But it's also been a longtime habit of mine to read fiction set in the destination I'm planning to visit. Reading dramas, mysteries or even romances set in a specific locale helps me get the flavour of a place, possibly extra insight into the personality and character of a place that is new to me. So I did a shout-out on Twitter and Facebook asking people to recommend fiction set in Krakow. That's how I found about tripfiction.com. It's simple: you type in the city or country you're planning to visit, even an author's name should you desire, and hit 'submit.'   tripfiction   And that's how I landed on this book titled "Even the Crows Say Krakow" by James Hopkin. Even the Crows Say Krakow   Ticket? Check. Hotel booking? Check. Travel guide? Check. Fiction to read on the plane? Check. Guess who's a happy traveller now?
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My favourite new travel hack: It's all about the book!

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