So the second May Bank Holiday weekend has come and gone – it always ends so soon! I had a lovely time relaxing at home with friends and I finally got to catch-up on a lot of things I’ve been wanted to do over the past few months. For example, finishing up a new book I’ve been reading (The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan – I recommend it!), watching some films with friends and attending that Chelsea Flower Show tea party I was telling you about before. Sadly, flower-shaped cupcakes did not materialise as planned :(.
Anyway, one thing I did do successfully was watch all three Lord of the Rings films almost back to back for the first time since I saw them in the cinema all those years ago – and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s true, they are long and quite unwieldy in places, but they’re great fantasy films and I hope they continue to be a favourite with people over time.
It may sound as though that was a purely self indulgent way to spend all those hours, but – as ever – travel opportunities for myself and my readers are never far from my mind! The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand and the country really did get a tourism boost from its success. Not surprisingly either – take a look at the stills below from the Fellowship of the Ring and you’ll see that Peter Jackson’s direction really did the country’s natural scenery justice.
The upcoming film version of Tolkein’s The Hobbit, which precedes the Lord of the Rings in narrative chronology, is going to be filmed in New Zealand too, which I’m sure will give the country an even higher profile amongst film-loving travellers. But New Zealand isn’t the only place to have benefited from its scenery being showcased in exquisite style on celluloid. Earlier this month, the tourism board in Western Australia said that its bookings had skyrocketed following its starring role in the Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman film Australia released last year. By all accounts, the film itself was a turkey but at least some good has come from it :).
The beautiful Greek Island of Kefalonia also saw a profile boost after the 2001 film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was filmed there (Louis de Bernieres’ book was also set on the island). And I’ve got loads of friends who set off in search of the real Barcelona after watching the great film L’auberge Espagnole (or Pot Luck in English), or jetted off to Thailand after enjoying The Beach (despite its bleak storyline).
But I’m sure there’s loads I’m missing out – anyone have any more locations to add to the list? Personally, I’ve never gone on holiday to a destination simply because it featured in a film I liked, but I was in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia when they were filming the 1999 film Entrapment. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of Sean Connery but I did see the back of Catherine Zeta-Jones’ head!