Just after 10 o’clock this morning our Wartburg entourage drove over the the last velvet-green hill east of the coast, before descending into the “C” shaped town of Whitby. The group was excited to be there but none more so than Leif; as he got to share his passionate appreciation for the text Dracula(at the actual site that inspired its creation). In the midst of wind, drizzle, and a collapsing fog we marched up the steps of the standing remains that belong to Whitby Abbey(shown from different angles below). From just outside this dilapidated cathedral Leif pointed out the actual location on the coastline where Count Dracula’s ship crashed into the beach.
Tracing the story further we dredged through thick, wet, grass into the eeriest location we have been yet, the spot where the Count attacked one of his victims. The graveyard we visited gave off an aura unlike anything we have seen connected to text thus far, being in the spot where Dracula is based throws you into the story and immerses you in its creepy and mystifying culture. Whitby as a whole is gloomy; pinched between two dark cliffs and dotted with orange tiled roofs its no wonder one of our most famous horror stories comes from there. Though, despite this awesome and unreal exposure to the atmosphere found in Dracula, our entire day was not as dark and dreary as it may sound. We marched through encampments, and witnessed a real viking battle complete with royalty and safety marshals (thanks to the “Vikings Raiders and Invaders” event going on). The entire group marched down the hills surrounding Whitby and into town to the restaurant Trenchers. Enjoying fish caught that day in the North Sea, we all crossed off yet another experience from our cultural immersion checklist, “Eat Fish and Chips.” Following a fresh lunch the group was released and scattered to all parts of Whitby, where we experienced another first in England, a cyclist race. The Tour de Yorkshire competitors barreled down the tight streets of Whitby and banked steeply into turns all fighting for the lead position. We had the chance to see the entire town, and then some, come out and line the streets with “May Day,” “Tour de Yorkshire,” and various other flags waving them vigorously for all to see. With the main bridge in town being closed due to the race, we trucked back to the pickup location and piled into the bus with no time to spare.
Shortly after arriving back at the hostile our valiant tour guide for the day, Leif, was the first to get to sleep at just 8 o’clock. Surely we all need sleep after such an immersive day. Besides, who knows what is to come tomorrow.