Ettal Abbey, Book Dedications, Dining Cars, Literary Bucharest & More: Endnotes 09 April

Ettal Abbey, Book Dedications, Dining Cars, Literary Bucharest & More: Endnotes 09 April

Friday, 9 April, 2021

Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!

This post is part of our Endnotes series.


The Baroque confection of gilt and pastel color above is the frescoed dome of Ettal Abbey, a Benedictine monastery and church in Ettal, Germany. In addition to its stunning chandelier, golden crowns, and pink-and-blue depictions of Heaven, the monastery’s surroundings offer castle-like buildings and sprawling green lawns. The complex is home to about 50 monks who run a brewery, a liquor distillery (producing seven different liqueurs made from up to 70 mountain herbs), a hotel, and a publishing house that are all open to the public for tours. {more}

I gave up on mercy a while ago

That’s what happens when you live in a castle on an artist’s grant You look at the late-afternoon Umbrian light smearing itself over the tomato vines

& feel entitled—like an underage duchess whose husband has finally died of gout leaving her free for more secret liaisons with the court musician— From ‘A Night in the Castle’ by Kim Addonizio

 vintage postcard depicting the swimming pool of the castaways resort motel in miami beach, florida
Castaways Resort Motel, Miami Beach, Florida
  • New podcast alert: On the Road with Penguin Classics. Hosted by author Henry Eliot, each episode dives into a classic novel, visiting locations associated with the story and chatting with an ‘expert’ about the book. The episode featuring The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins is excellent.

  • 19 Cool Iceland Facts Most People Go Their Whole Life Without Knowing

  • Yes, yes, read the book first. But a bowl of popcorn and a luscious period drama are an excellent way to escape for a few hours.

  • You know we’re mad for trains (listen to the train episode of our podcast) — so we enjoyed this deep-dive into Polish dining cars. ‘[T]he War’s name (pronounced varse) has in Polish become all but synonymous with its dining cars, serving up a taste of Poland — everything from hearty pierogi to piping hot żurek fermented-rye soup — in sleek and comfortable surroundings. Wars dining cars have fostered countless anecdotes, inspired songs, and generated a large following among contemporary train buffs.’

  • Finally! A live-action Jack Reacher with a Jack Reacher that actually looks like Jack Reacher.

  • It’s so interesting to see what author Ioana Morpurgo has to say about the push-pull, love-hate relationship she has with the city of Bucharest, Romania. ‘Bucharest is a floating metropolis for me, a wreckage from the turbulent history of a part of the world that refused to go down for good, instead reinventing itself time after time… I feel a combination of nostalgia and nausea every time I visit Bucharest. I love this city against my own better judgment somehow, and I always wonder what it did to me — living there for as long as I did.’

  • Mad respect for Evan Saunders, a devout proponent of the club sandwich. He’s tasting and mapping the best club sandwiches around the world.

  • Yep, you need to watch 22 charming minutes of Dracula staged with the Edward Gorey Toy Theatre.


Wishing you adventures (real and virtual) with loyal friends.

Top image courtesy of Geneva Karr/Unsplash.

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