Today I thought I might do something different and share with you my first experience of a literary journey ever. Since I am studying here in England for a semester, I knew before coming here that I absolutely wanted to go to Haworth at least for a couple of days. For those of you who don’t know, Haworth is a small village in Yorkshire where the Brontë sisters grew up, along with their brother Branwell.
I decided to stay there for two days, so that I would have the time to visit the parsonage where they lived but also to walk on those same moors that inspired them to write the brilliant novels they produced during their short life. So, on Monday April 18th I took a train to Leeds from King’s Cross Station – yes, the same one from where Harry Potter left for Hogwarts. During the train ride I listened to my audiobook of Wuthering Heights, my favorite of the Brontë novels; the weather was gloomy and dark outside of the window, and I certainly did manage to get into the right mood.
As soon as I arrived in Leeds I had to take another train to Keighley, so I asked information on what kind of ticket to get; unfortunately, I hardly understood what the man said, the accent was so different! At the second try I understood that the train I needed was leaving from platform 8 in 5 minutes. Once I arrived in Keighley I needed to walk to the bus station and take a bus to Haworth; the village is so lost in the Yorkshire moorland that only a few buses reach it, and its train station only works in June and July. The bus driver was nice enough to tell me when to get off the bus to get to the parsonage.
When I got off, I saw a small street that wiggled its way among cottages: it was the only way to go. So I walked up the street and I finally found myself in a familiar place: in front of the Black Bull pub and the Apothecary, where I was staying for the night. I had seen pictures of this part of the village, and I know that the Brontë Parsonage was only a few steps ahead, behind the church where the Brontës are buried.
The owner of the Apothecary came out of the door to greet me and showed me to my room, a small single with a nice bed that faced the Main Street of the village. After putting my stuff down, I could wait no longer and I walked behind the church to go to the Parsonage Museum. As soon as I rounded the corner I saw the famous graveyard facing the Brontë house, and long shiver ran down my spine: I could see the three sisters writing in the parlor looking outside of the window on a wintery night, and seeing all the ghosts that inspired their stories. I walked among the tombs and then reached the museum. After getting a ticket, I entered the Brontë home, and I loved seeing where they wrote, Charlotte’s wedding dress, and seeing the original poems they wrote in their tiny handwriting.
One of the things that always gets me about the Brontë sisters is that, even though they lived together and they grew up together, their minds worked so differently. All of them had different writing styles and different ideas. While I was inside the parsonage, a wuthering wind started to howl outside, rolling black clouds obscured the village and a pounding rain started to splatter onto the windows. Now I understand why people talk about a ‘wuthering’ weather around here… I thought.
Of course, that did not stop me from exploring the moors in the afternoon. It had been years since I had walked among such wild nature; the path was still the same as it was in the 1840s and I could understand why, especially Emily, loved the moors so much.
Walking by myself in those moors, void of any other thought, I felt really good, and i understood the importance of sometimes taking some moments to spend with ourselves and ourselves only. Enjoying the little things and appreciating what we have.
That night I washed down these philosophical thoughts with a good Yorkshire beer and dined with the Yorkshire pudding. Yum! The following morning was a sunny day, so I returned to the moors, and I sat on a bench that overlooked the entire landscape. It was so peaceful up there, but most of all, it was silent. I could not hear any sound: cars, trucks, airplanes, nothing of that sort. In fact, as soon as I returned to London, the first thing that I noticed was the buzzing sounds of people talking and yelling, cars running everywhere and the tube underground.
The two days that I spent in Yorkshire really helped me clear my head and get away from all the pollution that surrounds me most of the time. Now I want to go on literary journeys more often, I find them healing! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this blog post, and if you have gone on literary journeys yourself please let me know! All of these pictures have no filters, and I cherish them, since they remind me of the wonderful place I visited.
Until next time!