Dracula Chapter 1
The first chapter, like many after it, is written in journal style. This journal belongs to Jonathan Harker, a young Englishman who is traveling to the furthest reaches of Europe in order to meet with Count Dracula; who Dracula is or why Jonathan is meeting him is not yet revealed. The journal begins on the third of May.
Jonathan is traveling to Transylvania, in the Carpathian Mountains, for the first time. He is curious and diligent. He has done research in order to find out more about this faraway region and has discovered that it is an area with many changing borders and many different peoples. He notes, "I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting." Chapter 1, pg. 2
Jonathan makes several offhand references to a woman, Mina, who is clearly awaiting his return.
Throughout the course of the first chapter, Jonathan travels via train from Munich to Budapest, from Budapest to Klausenburgh, where he stays in a hotel, and from Klausenburgh to Bistritz. He then checks into another hotel, under orders from the mysterious Count. The next day, he boards a horse-drawn coach and is taken further east, where he eventually meets another coach, which will take him to his final destination, Dracula's castle. The further he travels from home, the stranger his trip becomes.
In the hotel in Klausenburgh, his elderly hostess begs him not to continue, arguing that St. George's Day begins at the stroke of midnight and this is a day of evil.
The dutiful Jonathan politely ignores her warning, but reluctantly accepts a crucifix as a lucky charm.
Once on the first coach, things only get stranger. The locals are all worried about some kind of devil, and the driver tries to convince Jonathan to postpone his meeting with the private carriage that is to take him to Dracula. The carriage driver, however, interrupts this plea and takes Jonathan away into the night, on the dark side of the jagged mountain range.
The carriage driver is polite but very odd. He is almost always in shadow; the most we see is "a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory." He is extremely strong and has a way with animals. This is seen in his ability to calm the nervous horses. It is seen more clearly when, after leaving the carriage for a moment, he was able to walk easily through a pack of angry wolves surrounding the carriage.
Jonathan notices that the driver has been circling around, apparently waiting until midnight to reach the castle. He also notices that the strange blue flame that they keep passing can somehow be seen through the driver's body, if only momentarily. These odd occurrences combine to produce a state of fear in Jonathan as he approaches the "vast ruined castle... whose broken battlements showed a jagged line against the moonlit sky."