“She’s making movies on location, she don’t know what it means” – Mark Knopfler.
I am not a film freak, I rarely watch them. In fact, these days I only ever watch films when I am on flights or a friend invites me to watch one, be it cinema or on a laptop. I only started using Netflix after the Coronavirus pandemic began! Apart from a Bosnian movie in 2017 (which I fell asleep during), I last backpacked to the cinema on my own accord in 2016. Before that, it would have been 11 years since I went to the cinema on my decision. So there is no way that I ever incorporated film or movie travel into my travel adventures. However, and yes here is the exception, I still love to visit locations from songs, TV shows, movies etc. and I have managed to do a fair chunk of these on my travels, some of them deliberately such as the Sound of Music in Salzburg, Austria. So if that makes sense, I visited all these movie locations but may not even have seen the movie!
For the record, at present my top 5 films would probably be:
1.Back to The Future
3.Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
5.The Man With The Golden Gun
However, I haven’t been to “James Bond Island” (Khao Phing Kan) in Thailand, nor the Sears Tower in Chicago, USA or even Bundaberg, Australia! In truth, I probably only watched The Delinquents to see Kylie Minogue in the nip (she was my childhood crush and I was always boobily curious).
However, the below list of film locations I have managed to visit, either by chance or deliberation.
1.Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Petra, JORDAN
I visited Petra in Jordan in 2013 and yes I loved it…the famous Harrison Ford movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed here in this fantastic UNESCO world heritage site. We spent two full days exploring Petra, yet I never wrote about it, instead focusing on nearby Wadi Musa, Aqaba and Wadi Rum. But there I was at the treasury from the movie set.
“Riiid Ah Ha. Riiid Ah Ha. Yiiid Ah Ha. Yiiid Ah Ha” – Song About A Girl.
2.Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Munich, BAVARIA
I am a fan of author Roald Dahl and I actually did read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid. In 2016 on my Bavaria, I toured Munich and saw a few of the locations where they filmed the movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” including the Wonka Gates and the place Charlie ran home after finding his golden ticket.
3.Tomb Raider – Ta Prohm, CAMBODIA
I visited the temples of Cambodia in 2012 and aimed to write about most of them. The obvious tourist ones like Angkor Wat and Thommanon get all the plaudits, but it was at Ta Prohm that I was informed Angelina Jolie once filmed Tomb Raider. A movie I never watched or knew much about, but it was filmed somewhere here…
4.The World Is Not Enough – Baku, AZERBAIJAN
This might be a more rare one on this list as I actually found out about it and deliberately went there when backpacking in Azerbaijan. It is easily reached from Baku, you can do the Brosnan – Name’s Blair, Jonny Blair. Trouble Oh Seven.
5.Psycho – The Bates Motel, USA
I am a fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies and as a result I did the Hitchcock tour and pilgrimage in 1997 when I visited Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA. I saw some of the sets used way back then and got my photo taken by the Bates Motel from Psycho. However back in 1997, we rarely took photos and I couldn’t even find any proof of it.
6.The Sound of Music – AUSTRIA
The Sound of Music tours can be booked from the city of Salzburg in Austria and so I did this in 2016 with the famous Lock In Lee Adams. We headed on a bus journey away from the city to about 10 or more locations that were all used in the filming of the Sound of Music. One of the stops is the Gazebo in Hellbrunn, which is against a forest background and in the film, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer sang “I am 16, Going on 17.” and kissed here in the rain. The gazebo at was actually moved here from its original location at Schloss Leopoldskron.
7.Star Wars – Cappadocia, TURKEY
I really enjoyed spending a hat-trick of days in and around Goreme in Turkey. I was with my ex-girfriend Panny, also not a film buff so we were hardly bothered about the Star Wars thing. But we kept hearing Star Wars was filmed here in amongst this moon like valleys of Cappadocia. It was also filmed in Tunisia.
8.Pirates Of The Caribbean – Black Beach, SAINT VINCENT
I was lucky to find a film location, very near to my accommodation at Casa De Snagg in Chester Cottage on the main island of Saint Vincent (in Saint Vincent And The Grenadines). Here there was a black beach, with a tunnel, some grassy areas and palm trees by a road. As well as doing a brilliant pub crawl nearby, I also went inside the caves used in the movie The Pirates Of The Caribbean.
9.Casino Royale – The Ocean Club, Paradise Island, BAHAMAS
The Caribbean has long time been a set location for a plethora of James Bond movies. This dates back to the very first Bond film, Doctor No. In that episode the mysterious Ursula Andress appears in pristine waters under the name Honey Ryder. On New Year’s Eve 2022, I ended up in The Bahamas and unbeknown tome, Casino Royale was filmed here, so I went all the way to the Ocean Club near Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island just so that I could backpack James Bond, again. Deem de deem deem.
I think I have been to a few more places used in movies but for the life in me today, I cannot remember them!