Lebowski Fest, 11-12th July 2014, Louisville, Kentucky Dedicated to all things Dude, Lebowski Fest’s been running for a whopping 12 years and offers White Russians, unlimited bowling, costume contests and special guests. The Dude abides at Lebowski Fest and we couldn’t think of a better summer festival.
Full Moon Party, 13thJuly, 08th September 2014, Koh Phangan, Thailand If we could choose one word to describe the Full Moon Parties of Koh Phangan it would be: epic. Shirtless, shoeless tourists dance all night at the biggest beach party in the world, where you’ll find plastic buckets that hold a litre of vodka and Red Bull. Told you it was epic.
Excited about Game of Thrones Season 4? Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic on April 6th, we’ve got some pictures of the best filming locations for the new series. For anyone living under a rock, the TV show based on the hugely popular G.R.R. Martin books centres around the fight for power amongst seven feuding families who plan to win the right to the Iron Throne. Featuring the Starks of Winterfell, Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands nad House Targaryen it is a fantasy epic with locations that match its incredibly dramatic story lines. Game of Thrones is filmed mostly in Iceland, Ireland, Morocco, Croatia and Malta where rugged landscapes stand in for Winterfell and sun soaked streets play host to the Queen of the Dragons. Here are some of our favourite Game of Thrones locations.
The bulk of Game of Thrones filming season 1, 2 and 3 took place in Northern Ireland, where Castle Ward in Downpatrick became Winterfell and introduced viewers to the Starks, Lannisters and King Baratheon. McComb’s Coach Travel provides Game of Thrones day trips from Belfast where you can also visit the Kings Road and the Cave of Cushendun where the shadow baby was born to Melisandre. Ballintoy Harbour played host to Theon Greyjoy’s homecoming to the Iron Islands and near Bushmills is the avenue of trees known as The Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing. There’s even a GoT exhibit in Belfast where you can take a seat on the Iron Throne.
Huge jumbo jet, tiny runway. Despite all the technology involved, some planes still land in the wrong place. This exact thing happened in November 2013, when a Boeing 747 Dreamlifter landed at a tiny airport in Kansas, 8 miles from its original destination. New pilots were brought in and the flight was (just about) able to take off the next day.
Predict the weather with plane trails. The little white lines in the sky that planes leave behind will tell you if it’s about to rain. If the con trails are thick, long last tails indicate a storm is on the way, while thin, short lasting tails suggest decent weather.
LAX was once shut down over a haircut. Los Angeles International Airport had two runways shutdown for an hour when a hair stylist was called to Air Force One, to give then President Bill Clinton a short, back and sides. That’s one of our absolute favourite facts about flying!
You don’t get drunk faster in the air. Contrary to popular belief, Mythbusters asked an ‘alcohol expert’ who said your alcohol level doesn’t increase, but you can get higher levels of hypoxi. That’s less oxygen in your blood. The symptoms are similar to drunkenness, but that’s no excuse!
Pilots don’t eat the same meals. It’s one of those just-in-case things. It’s not exactly forbidden by airlines, but it is discouraged.
Flying is incredibly safe. Even though aviophobia, fear of flying is very common, the risk of dying in a commercial flight varies, but it is well over 1 in 5 million. Safe enough if you ask us.
If you’re still scared.Statistics say the back of the airplane is safer than the front. In over half of 20 crashes surveyed, passengers at the back had a better rate of survival.
A plane lands somewhere in the world every 3 seconds. In the US alone, around 87,000 planes take off every single day. Don’t believe us? Take a look at flight tracker to see what’s in the air right now.
You can’t get stuck on an airplane toilet. The 2002 news story about a woman trapped on a toilet for two hours because of the vacuum suction was announced as a myth. In reality the flush button is behind the lid, so it’s not possible to push it while you’re doing your business.
Don’t bother with tea. Sorry, but it’s impossible to make a good cup of tea on a flight. Air pressure is reduced, so water boils at 90 degrees, so it’s never quite hot enough for a proper brew.
Do you have anymore facts about flying? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth is celebrating the release of the new Hobbit film early, with a scary Smaug themed livery for its planes. A Boeing 777-300 has been specially touched up to show the dragon Smaug all the way down each side to celebrate the release of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.
The plane’s new livery is all part of a theme for Air New Zealand who pull out all the stops when it comes to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Last year there was a similar effort when various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey featured on the side of an aircraft. However, this year the mighty dragon Smaug voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch takes the starring role. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s been a privilege to collaborate with the film team and Director Peter Jackson; “we worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”
If you’re a twihard, like us, then here are some holidays you might want to to think about. From the rolling hills of Ireland to the breathtaking landscapes
of Italy, we’ve got the top trips for Twilight holidays.
Olympic Coven, Forks, Washington, USA
Home to the Cullens, Edward, with added Bella, Carlisle and Esme and (of course!) the newest edition, Renesmee, Forks has become a haven for Twilight fans. Of course, starting off with a Twilight tour is a must. A trip to Seattle nearby is a great family friendly choice; you can even visit the famous Space Needle, while Forks’ national park shows off the setting that inspired Stephanie Meyer.
Volturi Coven, Tuscany, Italy
Romance is alive and well in Tuscany of course, even if you don’t see much niceness from the Volturi themselves. Volterra is the home of the vampire royalty who’ve lived there for over 3000 years, enforcing their strict code of conduct. It might be home to a fictional vampire elite, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of the most popular places in Europe to get married (think summer evenings, eating outdoors, fireworks and olive groves,) while the show stopping scenery and long, lazy days surrounded by sunshine and pasta make for a totally laidback holiday.
Egyptian Coven, somewhere in Egypt
Egypt might reveal vampires pretty quickly – with all that sunshine, you couldn’t help but sparkle. For non-vamps, the historic homeland of one of Twilight’s oldest clans is an unbelievably beautiful experience. From snorkelling the clear waters of the Red Sea, to discovering the ancient historic sights of the King and Queens valleys.
Denali Coven, Alaska, USA
The Denalis are the Cullens’ closest friends and the only other known ‘vegetarian’ clan. Found in the wilds of Alaska, the Denalis must be making the most of the 67 days of night found in the northern American state. The untouched landscape and a trip to the (aptly named) Denali National Park, mean you can get close to nature and hike to your heart’s content.
Amazon Coven, Brazil
The ultimate in honeymoon destinations, Rio is where Edward and Bella kicked off their first holiday after their wedding and the stars Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were the star attraction when they filmed there. The secretive Amazon coven, stays out of the way of humans, but you probably don’t need to worry about that. There’s a whole country worth of sights, sounds and smells to soak up in this Latin American gem.
Ireland Ireland’s capital city Dublin is a great introduction to the home of the Irish Coven with the vampires Maggie and Siobhan. It’s got that legendary nightlife, which is always helpful for vampires who are used to not sleeping. Head to the coast, either West or South, for the hip towns of Galway or Cork and indulge in some of the finest ‘craic’ this side of the Atlantic.
Game of Thrones If you’re still reeling from the Red Wedding, then how about a visit to King’s Landing itself to take your mind off it. Croatia’s beautiful capital Dubrovnik is the location for lots of shooting of GoT, and its three hour tour includes the scene of Stannis Baratheon’s Battle of the Blackwater and tales of the Starks, Lannisters and Daenerys Targaryen as they battle for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. The new season of Game of Thrones is just one of the reasons to visit Croatia this year.
There is a feast of local culture scattered around Croatia, from the traditional embroidery of Dubrovnik, the street markets of Zagreb, the folk music of Istria or the ‘klapa’ singers of Split. It is sometimes said, people visit Croatia for the weather but stay for the culture. There is also a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Euprhasian Basilica in Porec, the historic city of Trogir and the Plitvice Lakes.
The perfect city break? Dubrovnik might just fit that template. A spotlessly clean, small and friendly city, the whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an upcoming favourite among European elite. The city walls make for breathtaking views and are an easy walk especially if you make it in the morning before it’s too hot. There are summer festivals throughout August, a wealth of history and museums, there are beaches and even some cliff jumping if you’re feeling up for it at Cafe Buza (ask for directions!)
Discover a festival Croatia’s en route to being the edgy festival sister of Hungary, Spain or Portugal, offering plenty of home grown talent and big names this year. It’s more to do with cheap booze, chilled-out crowds, top DJs and beach or boat parties. Discover a Fresh Island on Pag in July, or celebrate the Unknown in Rovinj in September. Croatia holidays are perfect for combining sunshine and festivals in 2013.
Beach party like a boss Holidays in Croatia are synonymous with beach parties. One of the wildest, hottest and hippest beach clubs in Croatia, Carpe Diem in Hvar has restaurants, loads of pools, a creperie, long couches for relaxing on, and wooden umbrellas for a bit of extra luxury. It is worth spending a day and a night soaking up the atmosphere and partying until late.
Get naked It’s well known Croatia is one of the most nude friendly destinations in the world. Paradise Beach on the small island of Rab was established way back in 1934 and is a leading naturist beach. On top of that there are over 30 resorts for naturists throughout the 1,000 islands that make up the country.
Indulge in Heartbreak in Zagreb Heartbreak Museum Mend a broken heart, or at least know you’re not alone in your heartbreak, with a visit to Zagreb’s Museum of Broken Relationships. Home to keepsakes from failed love affairs that have been donated to the cause, it’s less teddy bears and love letters, and more vials of cried tears, a glass horse and…an axe. There’s even a small cafe where you get pull yourself together after the emotional rollercoaster. Ćirilometodska 2, 10 000 Zagreb
Eat, drink and be merry Croatia’s a foodie haven, with a mix of traditional cuisine with added Hungarian, Italian and Austrian influences. On the coast you’ll find the freshest of fish, risottos and seafood pastas, combined with olives and salads. Further inland, you’ll find stews, and lamb roasted on the spit. There’s freshly brewed strong coffee available in most cafes, while a rakijas (a kind of local grappa) finishes off a night perfectly.
#1 This could be our personal favourite. The Batman hotel room built to resemble the Bat Cave. Everything is themed from the tv, shower even to a replica of the utterly cool Batmobile. It’s hard to think of a better start to our list of 10 film inspired hotel rooms.
#2 The Pacific Inn Motel, Forks, USA. For the Twi-Hards amongst us, you can sleep under framed pictures of Bella, Edward or Jacob and get a real feel for the town where the novels are set. Even Bruce Wayne would be impressed.
#3 Tron Suite at the ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Around 200km inside the Arctic Circle is novelty enough, but when you find a room made of ice and designed to replicate the imagery from the Disney film Tron: Legacy, then you’re unlikely to forget it.
#4 Time will probably tell if the Pirates of The Caribbean films will go down in history as classics, but for now Disney has immortalised the films in the form of a hotel room. The pirate experience begins immediately – the doorbell plays ‘yo, ho, ho a pirate’s life for me.’
#5 Luke Skywalker’s house in Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll recognise the dusty landscape here as that of Tatooine. The rooms are surprisingly cosy, built in a traditional style dug from the sites of the caverns. If you’re not a fan, then this hotel is probably not for you. Image via @ RapidTravelChai
#6 Endless mirrors, golden tickets and an Hammam – very James Bond at the Suite dedicated to 007 at the Seven Hotel Paris Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#7 Paris has a bit of a monopoly on intriguing hotels, in fact the Seven Hotel has a second one up it’s sleeve with the Alice Room. Dedicated to Alice’s journey through Wonderland, it’s got a rabbit hopping from the wall, psychedelic settings and two toilets with a chessboard in between. Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#8 At the drive-in a bed for five. Perfect for film buffs, the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart has a car shaped bed (that fits 5) and offers the feel of a drive in movie experience. Image via @ V8 Hotel
#9 It hasn’t quite become a movie yet, but just give it a little while. After the whirlwind success of 50 Shades of Grey, hotels are cashing in on theming up rooms to incorporate all things Christian Grey. The Heathman Hotel, USA is offering a 50 Shades of Grey holiday, you might remember it’s where Ana and Christian had an initial encounter. Just don’t forget to bring your own cuffs and whips. Image via @ Heathman Hotel PDX
#10 This is impressive whether you’re a Hobbit fan or not. Much love has been put into creating a dedicated ‘Shire’ experience in the lovely surrounds of Montana from gigantic mushrooms, a troll house, Hobbit trails, and even Gandalf’s hat in the room. Image via @ Hobbit House of Montana.
We like to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the travel world, but even we didn’t see this one coming: dive in cinemas. Whether you’re into rom-coms or action flicks, adventure or cartoons, hotels and beyond across the world are tempting guests with poolside outdoor cinemas. So grab your bikini and head for our top 8.
The Westin St John Resort and Villas, US Virgin Islands The only thing that could make a holiday in the Caribbean better, is probably the opportunity to soak up the sunset in the pool as a movie flickers to life on a big screen with maybe a cocktail or two delivered right to your hand.
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, USA Not content with just regular old movies, the Cosmopolitan’s BLVD social club blasts films on a colossal screen, that’s perfect for Hollywood favourites. This year alone feature the Wizard of Oz, Karate Kid, Social Network and Father of the Bride.
Archipelago, Thailand You might have seen those pictures floating (pun intended) around the internet of a huge floating screen in the middle of the sea. Well, it’s part of Thailand’s Film on the Rocks Festival. A huge floating raft was launched with the screening anchored a little way from the seats. The screen is touring, after which it’s set to be donated to the local community.
Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia We’re not quite sure if this is an inspired idea or just simply mad. As part of the Brisbane International Film Festival the director decided to show an in-pool screening of Jaws. And why not include films with a little bite.
The Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, USA During the day, the pool on the third floor of this hotel offers sweeping views of the Dallas skyline, while at night; anyone can come and watch a free movie. Pull up an inflatable raft, sit back and relax with a cocktail for this lovely experience.
The Pearl, San Diego, USA offers a free weekly cinema social. Dive into their eclectic film choices, some food and drinks and get settled in for classics, blockbusters or independents. There’s certainly something in The Pearl’s library to suit every taste.
Hot Tub Cinema, London Grab your nearest and dearest, hop into your swimming cozzy and head for the latest London trend, Jacuzzi cinemas. The simple idea has exploded in popularity in the last few months and the Hackney rooftop is the place to be. Shows are continually sold out for the champagne fuelled movie nights.
CenterParcs, Park Zandvoort near Amsterdam At its Aqua Mundo you can swim, bring the kids, soak up the sunshine and best of all, finish the day and take a well earned break watching a film on the massive screen in the comfort of your own inflatable rubber ring!
Discover the dramatic scenery of Middle Earth with a trip to New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming Hobbit trilogy were filmed. Although in the books, Middle Earth is a mythical land inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s childhood adventures in rural England, director Peter Jackson’s home turf, New Zealand, proved the perfect setting for the re-creation, with more than 150 locations around the country featured in the films. Here Purple Travel investigates where to go for Hobbit Holidays
Visit The Shire
Aside from Hobbiton, which is nestled in green hills near Matamata, the exact locations of the new films however, remain a closely guarded secret. Hobbiton Movie Set Tours (www.hobbitontours.com) allow travellers to experience sights such as the arched bridge, Party Tree, and a horde of Hobbit homes including the home of Bilbo Baggins, Bag End. Matamata was the perfect choice of setting for the peaceful region of the shire, with its rolling hills and emerald green grass. It is one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas in the world, characterised as a large fertile basin through which the Waikato River flows. The Waikato region also offers superb caving and black water rafting.
Journey to Mordor
The Taupo region was the filming location for Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mount Doom. In Return of the King, Frodo and Sam climbed Mount Doom and you can do the same while walking the Tongariro crossing, often described as the best 1-day walk in New Zealand. Diverse hiking paths wend amid the peaks, with guidance available from the National Park visitor centre (www.doc.govt.nz). It’s a challenging walk taking 7-8 hours, taking you past volcanoes, steaming fumaroles, jagged lava flows, the red Crater and Emerald Lakes. The Taupo region does however have more to offer than lakes and volcanoes, the region is also known for its fantastic trout fishing, world-class luxury lodges and ski fields.
Get Lost in Rivendale
Another LoTR location was Canaan Downs, a hilltop reserve between Motueka and Golden Bay in the Nelson region of New Zealand. Used as the location for Chetwood Forest (where Aragorn leads the Hobbits soon after they leave Bree), here you will find ancient beech trees bordered by rolling meadow sprinkled with ghostly rock formations. Takaka Hill was the location for Chetwood Forest, found at the entrance to Abel Tasman National Park. It is the only place in the world besides Italy where rocky marble outcrops exist. The Nelson region is also known for its wide-open spaces, beaches, lakes, national parks, vineyards, gourmet cafes, artists, galleries and boutique shopping.
Spend time with Sauron
South Island’s vast unpopulated landscapes, including Mount Cook, three hours of Christchurch, provided the perfect backdrop to Sauron’s battlefield. The incredible Mackenzie basin, made up of gold-gilted grasslands, dreamlike blue lakes and the theatrical Southern Alps, staged the epic battle at Pelennor Field. Twizel lies just down the road from Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park, where most scenes of The Two Towers were filmed. Canterbury is an alpine region containing New Zealand’s largest peaks and glaciers, the perfect location for alpine fortresses and Middle-earth battle scenes. Mount Sunday, a rocky outcrop on the Canterbury plains next to the Southern Alps, was the location for Edoras and Meduseld. The Canturbury plains are the largest plains in New Zealand and the Southern Alps are the biggest mountain chain in Australasia, even bigger in area than the European Alps.
Have a Pint at the Prancing Pony
Wanaka is a charming resort town in South Island’s Otago region. Here, you can see the backdrop used for Gandalf’s flight to Rohan with Gwaihir after his rescue from Orthanc. Wanaka was also the location for the River Anduin, Golden Plain, Lothlorien, Pillars of the Argonath, and Dimrill Dale. And the best bit? On the road between Queenstown and Wanaka back in 1892 is the Prancing Pony, actually called the Cardrona Hotel. The pub brews its own beer, offers excellent meals and has a large, toasty open fire.
While rumour is rife as to where exactly the Hobbit film locations are, we are sure that suspicions will turn into specifics sometime in the near future. Stay tuned…
Whether it’s a sun soaked beach, and American road trip, or Middle Earth, films have the power to inspire, so why not let them. We’ve put together our top 10 favourite film inspired holidays, so you can live like a movie star, even if it is just for a while. Let us know in comments below if we’re missing any important film inspired holidays!
Hollywood! Does it really need any explanation? Tinseltown is the motion picture capital of the world, and you can barely take a breath before seeing a famous film studio, a Kardashian or a Lohan, or a Star on the Walk of Fame.
New York, New York The city so good they named it twice. NYC was the famous setting (and fifth character) in the Sex and the City series. Carrie was always talking of it like a loved up teenager. There are tonnes of themed tours to choose from where you’ll be taken on a whirlwind visit to some of the show’s most famous settings. There are stops for Cosmos, a visit to the famous Magnolia bakery, Aidan and Steve’s bar Scout and as many designer shops as you can think of.
Tunisia For any Star Wars fans, Tunisia will already be familiar territory. It’s where George Lucas chose to locate Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tattooine. You can visit lots of parts of the set which is still intact, while Luke’s home has been lovingly restored by dedicated fans. Tozeur and the salt lake of Chott el-Jerid are chock-a-block with familiar scenes, while the Jedi battle between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul in Episode I was filmed nearby. The less said about that though, the better!
New Zealand if you’ve ever fancied seeing a real version of Middle Earth then New Zealand is the place to go. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was brought to movie life here by star director Peter Jackson. The countryside is filled with lush, rolling green hills, epic waterfalls, snow capped mountains and stunning sunsets. You’d have to be an orc to want to miss out on that!
Bali The story of a woman finding herself after divorce resonated with fans all over the world in Eat Pray Love and it’s Bali setting could be the reason why. Julia Roberts playing Liz Gilbert’s epic journey finishes in the exotic and glorious surrounds of Bali really struck a chord with audiences.. Part meditation, part healing, part sun holiday, Bali is a serious escape from the norm. It also helps that the star gets it on with Javier Bardem’s gorgeous Filipe.
Forks, Washington State One for the twi-hards. Forks is where Bella and Edward first met and fell in love. If that means nothing to you, then a Twilight themed holiday won’t be for you. But the town is certainly making the most of its new found fame with DIY guides and unofficial tours. Check out a 1956 chevy, painted red and referred to as Bella’s truck.
Benidorm, Spain If you like the sun, sea and shenanigans of the tv show Benidorm, then you’ll love heading to the place itself to indulge in a little of the same. It’s the quintessential Brits abroad type of place, where holidaymakers can unwind on the lovely beaches and in the lively bars of the popular Spanish city.
Florida Could Orlando be the ULTIMATE kids movie destination? We, of course mean kids of all ages. From the Magic Kingdom to the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter and everything in between, you’ll never be sort of things to do. And while, they might not be actual shooting locations, it’s a great choice for re-enacting your favourite Hogwarts moments.
St Vincent/the Grenadines These Caribbean islands are about as idyllic as you’ll get, with perfect white sandy powder soft beaches, sparkling turquoise waters and the odd palm tree to shade under. Perfect for pirates to find hidden treasure and Jack Sparrow to get deserted with Keira Knightley. Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here and, what with all that gorgeous tropical scenery and sunshine, we can only imagine what a tough shoot it must have been!
Skopelos, Greece get your Abba tunes out, slip into some shorts and sandals and head for Skopelos. The gorgeous Greek island was the luscious backdrop to fun Meryl Streep led Mamma Mia. We can just imagine lazily strolling down cobbled streets, past whitewashed houses humming Voulez Vous to ourselves…
Bonus point! Las Vegas to go relive the movie The Hangover, but remember… what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!