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Adventures for All

Category Archives: Travel

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Visiting Filming Locations Around the World

filming locations

One of Iceland’s many waterfalls. But this one freezes in winter to become The Wall in the HBO series “A Game of Thrones.”

Years ago, I got hooked on A Game of Thrones. I was surprised to see HBO take the ambitious step of turning A Game of Thrones into a series – and doing a pretty good job of it too. Sure, some of my favorite background characters didn’t make the cut; a few situations changed too. But overall, HBO did a nice job preserving the essence of A Game of Thrones.

My first glimpse of The Wall, which the Night’s Watch guards to protect the realm from all sorts of encroaching bad stuff, added some fun for me. I realized that I’d been to there in-person. That revelation made me think of movie and TV filming locations I’ve visited in my travels. These were the first three that came to mind.

The Wall from A Game of Thrones

The real-life version of The Wall is Godafoss, a waterfall between Akureyri and Myvatn in northern Iceland. I visited in summer, long before the first movie crews arrived to turn it into a filming location for A Game of Thrones. So what appears on your TV screen as an icy monstrosity 750 feet tall was considerably smaller, and flowing with milky-green water. I admire the creativity of the people who decide on locations for A Game of Thrones. I wouldn’t have looked at Godafoss and said “this is The Wall.”

filming locations

Climb Mt. Ngauruhoe – it’ll be one of the coolest things you ever do.

And I know just about everyone hated Prometheus. I was less harsh since I’m not an Aliens fanboy. I saw the problems with it, but there were still parts I enjoyed – like the opening credit sequence, which pans over the landscape you’d see in the first stage of the Laugavegur trek. I annoyed my friends by chanting “I camped there, I camped there!”

Mordor and Mount Doom
I’m not a big Lord of the Rings fan. But the scenery is pretty epic. You can see Middle Earth filming locations throughout New Zealand – all the locations are there, and I’ve been to many of them. But nothing is cooler than saying you’ve climbed Mount Doom – in real life, it’s called Mount Ngauruhoe. To get there, you have to hike through the Rangipo Desert, which is also Mordor. I still keep meaning to go back and watch the corresponding movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

filming locations

Follow in the footsteps of the man in the hat.

If you like Hercules:The Legendary Journeys or Xena: Warrior Princess, you can scope out many of their locations in New Zealand, too. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to run into Bruce Campbell.

Indiana Jones on the Run
Raiders of the Lost Ark gets off to a rolling start, with Indiana Jones out-sprinting a giant stone marble that wants to squash him flat. He hightails into an amphibious plane and flies to safety.

You can kayak up that river with a visit to Kauai. It’s called the Hule’ia River, and it’s a major point for tourism in Kauai. I’m a big fan of Kauai since it’s more laid-back than anywhere else I visited in Hawaii. It’s mind-bogglingly green and verdant, and the Kauai topography doesn’t stay flat very long. Add the Raiders of the Lost Ark factor, and it’s obvious why so many film crews choose to work in Kauai.

Overlooked Oregon – Places Beyond the Hype

Tell someone you’re going to Portland, and you’ll get two reactions: “Ugh, why are you going there?” This is usually people from cities like Chicago or New York who can’t fathom that there’s actually cool stuff in other places. “Powell’s! VooDoo Donuts! Rogue Brewery!” All great, but … all plummeting toward cliché status. I madeContinue Reading

Oregon Blimp Hangar Ranks Among Coolest Aviation Museums

It never fails to amaze me how many aviation museums I can stumble across. My latest one is the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon. To be honest, I didn’t even plan to stop. I’ve seen more aviation museums than I can remember. And the Tillamook Air Museum doesn’t exactly have a huge collection. My plansContinue Reading

Quick Guide to Easy Icelandic Words

My ears love the Icelandic language. My tongue, though, hates it. Just about every attempt at saying a few bits (aside from “takk fyrir,” the phrase for “thank you”) earned me a few chuckles. I still had fun trying, and I think it’s good for any traveler to try learning a few words – noContinue Reading

Where to Beat the Summer Heat in Arizona

If you live in Arizona, there’s a good chance the summer heat has its oppressive boot squished against your neck. And you want to know how and where to beat the summer heat in Arizona, someway, somehow. I have some tips for all of you who are afraid of getting heatstroke on the way out toContinue Reading

Six Things to Know About Curitiba, Brazil

The World Cup put Curitiba on the rest of the world’s radar. Many of us just think of Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo – for better or worse. I went into Curitiba with few expectations – I didn’t really have enough information to form any. And the blogosphere let me down. It seems evenContinue Reading

Dysentery Dangers and Poop Puns A-plenty

According to the Dysentery Dangers infographic, I should’ve had explosive diarrhea on at least two continents. I should’ve had the squirts in South Korea. A colon blow in Costa Rica. A bowel bomb in Belize. A … well, I can’t think of any sort of euphemism for a power dump that starts with a JContinue Reading

Dog Poops On a Flight, Causes Unscheduled Landing: Analysis

A dog poops on a flight and causes an unscheduled landing … and the most-amusing aviation story in a good, long while. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of  the Philly.com story about US Airways Flight 598 bound for Philadelphia from Los Angeles. All copy in italics comes from Philly.com. Everything else is my commentary. AContinue Reading

What Makes Phoenix Better Than Tucson?

People from Phoenix love to shit all over Tucson by saying things like “It’s dirty” and “the roads are terrible.” (Disclaimer: I am an Arizona State University graduate. But I also have little regard for silly-ass tribalism. I also like Tucson more and more with every visit.) While those who bash Tucson run their mouths,Continue Reading

Titan Missile Museum Tour Taps Cold War Memories

The Titan Missile Museum tour is perfect those of us who have forgotten – and for those of us who never knew – the Cold War. Some of us (not me!) will recall the “is this the end?” tension of the Cuban Missile Crisis. People my age will think back to Regan-era rhetoric, the StarContinue Reading