Become a symbologist yourself and plan out your path as Skyscanner presents the ultimate Professor Langdon tour – just keep your eyes peeled for mad monks!
This week, millions of Dan Brown fans will finally be able to delve into his latest code-filled mystery, The Lost Symbol.
The author of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, has already spurred record-breaking presale numbers with the new thriller. Along with all the hype that surrounds these hugely popular books, the locations featured within them also become part of the frenzy, as legions of would be code-crackers follow in Langdon’s footsteps, boosting visitors numbers by as much as 252%, as was the case of hotels reserved in Rome after the Angels & Demons film came out last spring.
The flood of new, Dan Brown-inspired tourists happened first in Rome and Vatican City, the setting of Angels & Demons, where the main character (who appears in all three books), Robert Langdon, discovers a secret plan that aims to destroy the Vatican.
People flocked to the area after the book came out in 2000, and even more so in the summer of 2009, when the correlating movie was released. Now there are tours and attractions that specifically revolve around the events in the book. The official Angels & Demons Rome tour, called "The Path of Illumination", is run by AD Travel and lets travelers become the sleuths themselves as they visit all sorts of mysterious old buildings and historical wonders.
While this tour costs money, there’s also the option of setting out on your own, taking your time, and doing a self-guided tour. WhyGo has put together a user-friendly trail guide and map, to keep wannabe detectives on track and well-informed. A few of the stops are St. Peter’s Square, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel, the Castel Sant’Angelo and the neighbouring Passetto di Borgo. These are not only must-sees for Angels & Demons enthusiasts, but are also major Italian tourist attractions.
The sudden influx of thousands of suspense-loving tourists that happened in Rome also became the case in London, Paris and rural Scotland, which is where Robert Langdon runs around furiously trying to figure out hidden meanings of some of the most famous artwork in the world in The Da Vinci Code book and movie.
For cracking the clues hiding in London at your own leisure, LondonTown.com has a Da Vinci Code personal guide that includes plot summaries of features that appear in the book along with useful real-life info and how to find them in the city. Or, for exploring with others and a narrator, British Tours leads two Da Vinci Code journeys, one that is three hours long and another that is seven hours. Some leading London sights that appear in the story include Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, King’s College and its library, a couple of priories and Temple Church.
British Tours also hosts a Paris guided Da Vinci Code adventure, which, among other destinations, brings people to the world-renowned Louvre, home of Da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa" and the glass pyramid. For piecing together the Paris puzzles on your own at The Louvre, the museum has actually created its own walking route within the galleries called: "A Visit to the Louvre Mixing Fiction and Fact", which combines elements from the story with actual truths about the museum’s legendary artifacts.
To become familiar with what other _Da Vinci Code _thrills await in the City of Light, such as St. Sulpice Church and the Palais Royal, check out the web manual, "Paris of The Da Vinci Code".
The Scottish scenes in The Da Vinci Code take place in a village just outside Edinburgh, at the elegant Rosslyn Chapel. Tour Scotland has a full four night literary extravaganza to summon the Dan Brown fanatics, which travels around Edinburgh to haunts known to be linked with secret society Knights Templar – similar to the one from the novel.
Other well known sites in town, specifically related to literature and art, also are part of the Edinburgh segment of the journey. The other half is spent up near Aberdeen inspecting the former stomping grounds of several abstruse groups of the past. For an introduction to Rosslyn Chapel or to plan a visit there yourself, Stuck on Scotland’s summary of it is a helpful tool.
Up next on the Dan Brown trail is Washington D.C. The Lost Symbol is set in the nation’s capital, and is centred around the Freemasons, both of today and in the times of George Washington, a loyal member. Soon, curious readers who are interested in seeing the Masonic sites and other highlights from the novel in D.C. for themselves will no doubt overrun this city as well.
While the exact D.C. events and locales featured in The Lost Symbol are not yet known, it has been predicted that some of the capital’s most important Masonic structures and leaders will be referenced. The Washington Post has made a slideshow which focuses on Masonic icons throughout town. Things that may star in the upcoming story include The House of the Temple, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the Pentagon, Judiciary Square and the CIA headquarters.
For some background information before reading, The Washingtonian investigates some of the real historical facts that may turn out to be the basis for _The Lost Symbo_l’s storyline. And in a short while, themed tours will surely be offered here as well.