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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Has a movie location ever made you want to visit someplace?

Another travel-and-movie-related question for today:

Has a movie location ever made you want to visit someplace?

I can’t remember now, but I’m sure that it was movies and TV that made me want to visit London in the first place.

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • MaSch

    Last year, around Christmas time, I was In Bruges.

    Thankfully, I wasn’t shot.

  • Ralph

    When watching The Lord of the Rings I felt an urge to visit New Zealand. Thanks to my work (wine importer) I was able to fulfill that urge in February of 2002. Flying there from the Netherlands took 32 hours, but it was worth every minute. I visited Hobbiton and a few other locations. Absolutely spiffing!!!

  • captain_swing

    I needed to visit Istanbul after a life long love of “From Russia With love” – didn’t disappoint. Manage to visit quite a few of the locations used in the movie including the catacombs under the Russian embassy and the gate where grant dumps the Citroen. Going again in two weeks time so I’ll see where else I can visit.

  • Lisa

    Russia cos of that Sean Connery film they shot there the John Le Carre one with Michelle Pfeffier Martin Clunes the guy who was Meryl’s husband in out of africa can’t remember the name of the film y’know the one where it looks really beautiful

    but then I changed my mind cos my friend went to a five star hotel in Moscow and said it was filthy and full of cochroaches

    I do have the quite annoying habit of watching films made in Europe and going I’ve been there cos I travelled around a bit when I was in college my family hate me doing that!

  • I’ve wanted to go to Portmeirion since watching The Prisoner over and over again. I’ll even bring my own giant ball.


  • Anne-Kari

    Ralph, I’m right there with you. I can’t imagine anyone seeing LOTR without wanting to go to New Zealand.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    I’ve got to second In Bruges. The Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film Syndromes and a Century made me really want to see rural Thailand, and Into the Wild made me want to trek across America, though hopefully without the whole horrible-death stuff.

  • Pollas

    Besides LOTR peaking my interest in visiting NZ, the ending of The Bourne Identity made me really want to go to Greece.

  • Kate

    “Shirley Valentine” years ago made me want to go to Greece! Actually, pretty much any movie set in Greece makes me want to go to Greece….Maybe next year?

  • Grinebiter

    Lisa, you’re thinking of “The Russia House”. I think the first spy film filmed actually in Russia. I bet your friend stayed at the Rossiya, which I do hear is a disaster. While we’re at it, how about “Dr. Zhivago”?

    I took a day-trip to Bruges a couple of years ago, before the film, while staying in Ghent, and was disappointed. Ghent is both just as beautiful and far more real a city.

  • Jester

    Third for In Bruges. I had never heard of the place before that movie came out, and I have almost no interest in continental Europe. But I still want to see the place now.

  • stryker1121

    Lost in Translation-Tokyo.

  • Jerry Colvin

    During my 2002 visit to London, I hopped aboard Eurostar and spent a long Saturday in Paris visiting all the real locations appearing in my then-favorite movie, Amelie. The cafe, the grocer, Sacre Couer, etc. The first and only time I’ve been to Paris.

    During my 2000 visit to London (I try to visit every couple of years), I more thoroughly investigated the Notting Hill area following the superb movie released the previous year.

  • Mimi

    Yup, LOTR and New Zealand, though I haven’t made it there yet.

    The only real pilgrimage of this kind I can think of was to Mont St. Michel in France… because it was featured in a section on tides in my 4th grade math book, and my little 4th grade self swore to go there some day. At age 25, I did!

  • bats :[

    London, with the various and sundry Peter Pan movies set there (well, Neverland is pretty much out of the question).
    Venice, from “Dangerous Beauty.” Gah, I’m such a girl.

  • MBastet

    I saw A Room With a View when I was in college and it made me yearn to see Florence and Tuscany. When I finally made it there more than ten years later, it was even better that it looked in the movie. I will admit to stopping on a picturesque corner and saying “A smell…a true Florentine smell!” And, of course I wished I had some MacIntosh squares.

  • I usually visit places out of pure wanderlust, but have made a special effort in these cases:

    Portmeirion (The Prisoner)

    What’s left of the Star Wars locations in Tunisia, for instance Ben Kenobi’s house and the Cantina in Ajim. I had time, as I was backpacking around the country for six weeks. In most cases the locals were bemused by what I was doing (it’s not like I’m even a huge Star Wars fan); I think to them it’s just a cheesy old film, ‘La Guerre des Etoiles’.

    Once I hired a moped to visit Shubiel Gorge, where R2-D2 was zapped by the Jawas and Luke was attacked by the Sandpeople. (It was also used in Raiders of the Lost Ark, apparently.)

    I also visited the ksours, or grain houses, which doubled as Tatooine’s houses in Episode I.

    I might not have stayed in the undistinguished town of Tataouine, whose name George Lucas stole, were it not for the Star Wars connection.

    On visiting Matmata, where the homes are burrowed out of the ground, I chose to stay at the Sidi Driss hotel, aka the Skywalker home in Episodes IV, I and II. It still had the props in place from the more recent films.

    From the town of Tozeur, I went on a 4WD desert tour that took in the area around Onk Jemal. This was a location for The English Patient and the Star Wars prequels. The Star Wars sets were left intact in the desert as a tourist attraction on the insistence of the Tunisian government, I believe.

    Earlier this year, when Britain’s National Express bus company was selling ludicrously cheap tickets on the net, I had a trip to Gloucester almost entirely based on Doctor Who: The Next Doctor. I discovered that the stunning opening scene, showing a Victorian Christmas, was not filmed in a spectacular town square but in a small patch of ground, surrounded by very old houses, near the cathedral. Clever direction and dressing made it look much more impressive than it actually is. Still, never mind; the cathedral was marvellous.

    I’ve also been to Popeye’s town, from the 1980 Robin Williams movie, which has been left intact in Malta. Not that that film has ever inspired me or anything…

  • Grinebiter

    I’m not a particular fan of the Sergio Leone westerns, but when I hired a car to look at the various mountain ranges north of Almería, the studios in the Tabernas desert were on my way. They have the wooden town set and the adobe town set back to back. They charge an arm and a leg to get in, but the food is good.

  • mel

    Went to NZ not because of LOTR, but did many a LOTR thing when i was there.

    My mum and i are currently planning our European holiday at the moment, and we’re planning a Pride and Prejudice tour of the UK after the Keira Knightly version of the movie.

  • Shadowen

    Echoing Ralph and all the LotR-based NZ-philes. I want to build a house in rural New Zealand.

  • Pat Mustard

    I wanted to go before I saw it, but ‘Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade’ made my desire to see Petra damn near unbearable..

    I finally made it about a year later & stayed in a hostel that showed the film every night.

  • Paul

    Movies are the best advertisement England has ever had. I’ve even read about Harry Potter tours so you can see where they filmed.

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