Category Archives: Film & TV Travel

Travel to the spots where some of the biggest and most popular TV series and films were shot. Explore the filming locations and learn the story behind why these spots were selected for filming.

1 Day in Los Angeles, This is What I Did

Los Angeles, the La-la Land…the House of Hollywood…where stars are made and dreams are transformed into glittering celebrities. My journey started from Las Vegas one early morning.

A little over 5-hour drive from Vegas, the Sin City in the district of Nevada is the city of Los Angeles, the cultural and entertainment capital of California. On your way, you pass through multi-lane highways, non-descript deserts and unassuming mountain ranges.

The moment you enter the contours of this fabled City, the traffic snarls get thicker and more frequent. Your safety is nevertheless secured as long as your companion, i.e. your GPS remains your friend & guide.

Pro Tip: If you lose your way or take wrong exits, you may have real trouble getting back to your planned route due to heavy traffic. So always add some buffer time to your travel plan.

Downtown LA

Los Angeles is a city of diverse cultures, and many of them are showcased in and around the city’s Downtown. It is a quintessential commercial metropolis with modern infrastructures, tall buildings, broad roads, traffic jams, and all the other good & vices that are generally associated with any large bustling city.

Read: Los Angeles Travel Guide

I spent the rest of the day exploring the downtown area, trying some Mexican food, looking at tall buildings, China Town, and Little Tokyo.

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But it is not the downtown alone for which Los Angeles is famous for. 

Los Angeles’s fame augments from being home of Hollywood, the famous Universal Studios, the Disney Land, Beverly Hills, and its other beautiful neighboring cities like Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

Camarillo shopping Mall

After night’s rest, next morning the concierge at hotel Hilton pulls out a map from under his desk and suggests places that I need to visit. First on the list was the Camarillo shopping Mall situated at an hour drive from my Hotel.

Camarillo Premium Mall is a factory outlet where you can get nearly all of the world’s famous brands at heavily discounted prices. This is a place no tourist should miss (well, if you want to shop, of course).

‘No Problem’ I thought to myself. I have a car. I pressed the ignition & obediently followed the GPS’s advice to reach this sprawling Mall spread over large area divided primarily into three blocks. The shopping list was long but not beyond my Credit Card limit, luckily. Shopping spree thus ensued.

After over three captivating hours, it was time now to leave towards the fascinating Santa Monica Beach.

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Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a coastal town and famous for its beautiful beach. By the time I touched its periphery, the Sun had set and the lights had begun to glow. The entire place looked extremely enchanting.

Well-lit malls, shops, restaurants, lined up as I drove admiringly towards the beach. I parked my car and moved towards the far end restaurant built right into the sea. I seated myself at a vantage point from where the glitter & glamour of the place could be conveniently enjoyed.

A few drinks and some good seafood was all that was needed to refuel my hungry-belly. Satiated, both visually and gastronomically, I paid the parking charge and drove back to the hotel.

Universal Studios

Next Morning, was the time to visit the very famous, “Universal Studios”. The heart and soul of the park is still the 2 Studio Tour, a tram tour of the backlot that lasts 45 min to an hour and winds through many famous movie sets and past working sound stages.

After parking my car, I headed towards the iconic Universal Studio Globe, and then towards the entry ticket window.

Paid $180 USD for an Express Pass (I was short on time) and walked inside the huge gateway into the sprawling studio premises. Once inside, Studio Tour in Tram is the first thing one should go for.

This multi-compartment Tram ride, that is enthralling as well as educating, takes you around the entire studio with a high quality pre-recorded audio-video system installed in each compartment. This facilitates the passengers to have a clearer and better perspective of each site and every situation.

You first pass through various enclosed sets and then through open streets that resemble those in London, Paris, and other iconic cities. Your tram then takes you from near an artificial lagoon in which animatronics of intimidating Sharks can be seen swimming.

Earthquake

Further, as it passes through within one of the studios, it halts unannounced, and suddenly the whole compartment starts shaking vigorously, making you feel as if you are in the midst of a terrible earthquake. You are really shaken.

Before you recover, the tram moves ahead to another place where you see a small stream of water suddenly swelling and turning into a flash flood. The approaching slab of water scares the hell out of you. The smart tram driver moves out just in time to escape this fury.

If this was not enough, you witness person carrying a corpse of a woman, trying to hide her body in his car dicky. As he notices you watching him, he angrily rushes towards you with his knife. The driver once again drives ahead and you are seemingly saved from his wrath.

 

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King Kong

Then the tram moves to the Sound Stage. Here you are directed to put on your pre-provided 3D Glasses. There comes alive the riveting 360 degrees 3D drama. You see dangerous looking illusionary creatures running menacingly behind and along your tram.

As they come scarily close, King Kong intervenes and fights them all to save us from being harmed. Awe-inspiring sounds effects of air and water simultaneously played; enhance the dramatic effect of the entire play exponentially. Indeed a memorable experience.

Fast & Furious

Next, the tram drives into a garage where “Fast & Furious” is played. Once again you wear your 3D glasses and watch an incredibly amazing chase where the protagonist chases down the antagonists as screeching cars move out on the freeway, banging, breaking, and crashing all the way.

The synchronization of Sound & Visuals makes you feel you are an intrinsic part of this daredevil action. Stunned, the tram moves out to take you back to the starting point. 

Almost dazed, you return your 3D glasses and make out alive and alright. Outside, the awed experience of this unique place continues. Lined up are auditoriums that present enthralling shows that includes “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”.

Harry Potter

In this 10 minutes trip, you walk through familiar classrooms of Hogwarts and enjoy the thrilling and entrancing adventure of Harry Potter and his friends in a short movie in between.

Water World

Water World is next. Here you come across some exceptionally daring live stunts enacted on ‘Water and in Air’. The intrepid actors, both male and female keep the audiences on their feet, totally engaged and thoroughly entertained. (Play duration 20 minutes).

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff is a 5 min family-friendly coaster ride where even a wary person like me enjoyed the ride going up and down. It’s fun.

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Show on Special Effects

The Special Effects show is awe-inspiring and educative 25 minutes show where you uncover the hidden secrets of Hollywood moviemaking. You see real Hollywood stunts, special effects, and cutting-edge technologies come to life, right in front of your eyes.

Jurassic Park

Though I did not attempt, “Jurassic Park the Ride”, it is another heart-pounding water ride that will plunge you into an 80-foot waterfall as you go roller coaster. Sounds exciting ?? Not for me but you can try. Haha 🙂

Walking Dead

Yes, the scary “Walking Dead”. As the name suggests (or if you have seen the TV shows), you quite literally pass from near the dead who can surprisingly walk. A 5 minutes’ walk along the chambers lined up with apparently hungry dead people.

Imagine if one of them suddenly tries to jump over you as you walk close to their chamber. You hear screams all around. A quintessential horrifying experience but it makes you laugh at yourself as you leave this amazing place.

The Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy is a 20 minutes terrifying thrill ride full of ghastly creatures that use linear induction motors technology to catapult riders deep into the heart of the film.

Despicable Me

In the Despicable Me ride, you join Gru, his daughters, and the mischievous minions on a heartwarming and hilarious 3D ride for another 20 min.

Transformers

In “Transformers the Ride”, you are transported into 3D Next Generation immersive Theme Park that displays astounding cutting-edge physical and special effect technology.

Hollywood Street

After these 4-5 hours memorable adventure at the Universal, the next place I wanted to visit was the Hollywood Street and the Beverly Hills (house of the rich & the famous).

Upon reaching Hollywood Street, I realized that going to Beverly Hills would mean risking my flight to Tahiti that evening. I had an 11 day Cruise planned to various Islands in French Polynesia including Bora-Bora, something that I wouldn’t even dream to miss.

So after a quick visit to a few malls, I purchased some souvenirs, walked around the street, clicked pictures with actors dressed as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, peeped into restaurants, saw people queued up at various theaters ostensibly to watch their favorite movie.

So I walked back to my car to cruise towards L.A. Airport. Just in time to return my rental car & board my long flight to Tahiti.

Before bidding sayonara, let me add, don’t miss going to Disneyland Park if you have children accompanying you. Pay US$20 and take a shuttle from LAX Airport that will take approximately 45 minutes to reach Disney Land. Your children will surely love you for it.

Read: Underground Boring Travel from LA to San Francisco

Author Bio

Bhupender Gupta is a travel blogger and regular contributor to The Art of Travel. For more blogs from Bhupender, kindly visit: http://bhupendergupta.com

 

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5 Time Travel Movies You Need To See

Will we ever be able to go back in time, to undo our past mistakes? This has always been a thought nagging at the back of the human mind. Does time flow in a straight line or is it a curve that intersects at certain sports? Are there other time dimensions? There are a bunch of questions to which we have no answers.

But the lack of knowledge and proof on this subject did not stop script-writers from making some amazing time travel stories. Some of them are funny, while others revolve around a romantic theme, but nonetheless, they are all awesome. 

In this blog post, I am going to share with you five of my favorites movies. Please check out our very detailed and comprehensive collection of the most amazing time travel films.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

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Stuck behind the desk, tired with work, frustrated with life! We all crave a break, that is entertaining and bang on. Three childhood friends get back together and reminisce about their good ole’ days.

In a wild night of crazy partying, they get drunk and fall in the hot tub. In this movie, a hot tub is a time machine that takes them back to 1986. Back in time, they right their wrongs and build some happier memories to take back with them. It is a light-hearted movie without much sci-fi details, which makes it a  fun one among the time-travel movies.

Read: Collection of all Time Travel Stories (Fiction)

DÉJÀ VU

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Are you a badass? Or maybe you would like to become one. Déjà vu is one of the time-travel movies starring Denzel Washington, it is also an action movie. Here Washington plays the role of an AFT agent who never gets to the crime scene in time.

He has regrets that he never catches the convict at the right time. As a stroke of luck, he gets messed up in “Snow White” (an operation) and gets to time travel. Back in time, he chases the notorious mugger Jim, putting him behind bars. Deja Vu is s perfect blend of fact and fiction, with a commendable performance from Washington.

TIME AFTER TIME

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Nothing can compete with a masterpiece from the father of time travel fiction, HG Wells. In this movie, McDowell or Wells himself invents a time the travel machine. His friend Ripper played by David Warner also gets on the time machine.

They both go back in time and what disappoints them is the illusion of socialistic utopia. Nicholas Mayor, the mastermind behind directing the movie makes this movie come alive with humor.

Read: What is Time Travel?

X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

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Talk about ruining the climax; this movie cancels out the X-men – The last stand. Any progress the movie made goes out in vain when Logan (Hugh Jackman) goes back in time to save Eric from going down the wrong path. The future of mutants rests on how the movie turns out in the end. Will mutants be accepted in society, or treated as an anomaly forever?

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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Those who are sci-fi geeks, as well as poetic nerds, will love this. Woody Allen makes “Escapism” the central theme in his movies. You must see “Sleeper” and “Zelig” in both movies he used some agent to escape.

In Sleeper, the protagonist Miles wakes up 200 years later to witness surprising changes in the human race whereas in the movie Zelig the protagonist is an everyman (he can change to anyone).

Midnight in Paris is a romantic movie that takes a u-turn when Gil and his fiancé take a cab at midnight. They time travel back to the 1920s, to the great literary period where they meet popular writers Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Game of Thrones Real Filming Locations You Can Visit

With the fantastic progression of season 8 (thus far) of Game of Thrones, we thought of creating this summary page to refresh your memories.

Below are some images of real-life filming locations of Game Of Thrones. Yes, these sites are real and very much as magical as you see on the screen.

Must see: Game Of Thrones World Map of Seven Kingdoms

The Dark Hedges – Kingsroad

The Dark Hedges is a popular Northern Irish tourist attraction. Two lines of stately beech trees planted by the Stuart family in 1775 to line the entrance to their Gracehill House mansion.

But this is better known to Game of Thrones fans as the Kingsroad, as seen when Arya and Gendry first meet.

Photo by The Art of Travel Partners

Bardenas Reales – Dothraki Sea

 

Who would have thought that The Spanish Badlands of clay, chalk, and sandstone would become the favorite of so many viewers!

This out of the world location is the Bardenas Reales near the Town of Tudela, Spain, where the Khaleesi meets another Dothraki Tribe in the sixth season. One of the stunning real-life locations of Game of Thrones.

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Seville – Arena of Meeren

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The most expensive scene shot in the entire series of The Game of Thrones as well as the history of Television is in Plaza de Toros, Osuna, Spain.

Photo by The Art of Travel Partners

It is the set for the first meeting of Tyrion and Daenerys. Aside from the vibrant shrines, you can enjoy the first GoT themed Restaurant in Osuna Cassa Curro.

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Essaouira & Marrakech – Astapor

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This city is 100 Km west of Marrakech (Morocco), and its Red Walls make it a believable Red City of Astapor, one of the breathtaking real-life locations of Game of Thrones.

It is here that Daenerys buys the army of world-famous unsullied soldiers, “Slay the masters, Slay every man who holds a whip, but harm no Child.”  These are the exact words of the Dragon Queen when she frees the slaves.

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Grjotagja – Jon & Ygritte’s Love Nest

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In North Eastern Ireland lies the Love cave of Jon Snow and Ygritte. The small volcanic cave has a spring where the temperature escalates till 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is no doubt that Jon Snow and Ygritte were getting hot in this cave. *Winks*

If you wanna get as hot as them, then you can visit this sizzling real-life filming site of Game of Thrones.

If you wanna get as hot as them, then you can visit this sizzling real-life filming site of Game of Thrones.

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Vatnajokull – North of the Wall

Wonder what lies beyond the wall (except the White Walkers of course!) The largest glacier in Europe sweeps across this frozen landscape in Iceland. You can play dress up as a GoT fan and snap some “really cool” pictures here.

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Dubrovnik – King’s Landing

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King’s Landing is shot in the Old Town, Dubrovnik, Croatia. We all know that Cersei had that walk of shame a long time coming, but if you would like to know her path of Walk of Shame, then take the steps of Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.

It is where one of the most hated characters of GoT suffered humiliation. That is how close you get to find real-life Game of Thrones Locations.

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Minceta Tower – House of the Undying

Every Game of Thrones fan remembers how the tiny Drogon and his siblings fried the Undead who tried to lure and trap Daenerys and her dragons.

The House of the Undying is nothing other than the highest point of the Dubrovnik City Walls in this old Croatian City. Or to be precise, it is called the Minceta Tower.

No better Real Life Game of Thrones location than the place where the Mother of Dragons fried her enemies, is there?

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Lokrum – Qarth

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In the season 2, we see a lot of Daenerys in Qarth. The real-life locations of the Game of Thrones’ Qarth is Lokrum (also in Croatia).

It is a small island just a 10 Minutes boat ride from the coast of Dubrovnik. The fortress in which Daenerys stays is one of the highest on the Island which gives you a panoramic view of the Protected National Park.

Sibenik  – Braavos

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All Arya’s fans know well that her internship at the House of Black and White wasn’t a child’s game. But Braavos is such a city which brings to life the inner wildness of Arya’s character.

Even though most of the House of Black and White scenes were shot on a made-up stage, nevertheless, the real-life locations of The Game of Thrones’s Braavos is Sibenik, Croatia.

It is here, in the alleys and plazas of the old town of Sibenik that Arya does most of her wanderings.

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Castle Ward – Winterfell

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It is in Castle Ward that Robert Baratheon made his entry to Winterfell. The real-life location of Game of Thrones, Winterfell is Castle Ward in Ireland which is a sprawling land of 820 acres.

This gothic and classical architecture, the woodlands, and sunken gardens make you think that you are seriously in the North.

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Also, the Doune Castle, a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune in central Scotland, was used as the set for Winterfell in the pilot (pictured below).

Photo by Otter CC BY-SA 3.0

Dragon Skull – Jurassic coast

A spectacular dragon skull the size of a double-decker bus appeared to have been washed up on Charmouth beach on Dorset’s Jurassic coast in England.

Photo by TaylorHerring CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Azure Window – Dothraki Wedding

The Azure Window at Ras-id-Dwerja, on Gozo (in Malta), was the site of the Dothraki wedding in season one of Game of Thrones.

Photo by Felix König CC 3.0

Any fan theories you have got on how the Game of Thrones might end? If so, let us know in the comments! You have one month to figure this out!

10 Best Travel Movies That Will Surely Inspire You

Travel movies will inspire you to explore the unknown paths and the uncharted world. They will wake up the gypsy in you. There are many movies which have been made on wanderlust. You can hop on your couch and grab your comforter to enjoy some of the best travel movies of all times. You can start it tonight. Because maybe after this multi-day movie marathon, your feet will have no time to rest. Here is a list of our top 10 travel movies of all time:

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LOST IN TRANSLATION

It is an incredible movie shot in Tokyo. We have Bill Murray as Bob and Scarlett Johansson as Charlotte. Both of them are from two totally different worlds. Bob is an actor suffering from fading popularity. Charlotte is a neglected housewife of a photographer. Together they explore the new country. Lost in translation presents a gripping plot studded with hilarious incidents. It will make you want to fly to Tokyo and experience this strange city.

LORD OF THE RINGS

An epic movie of all times. It is set in the scenic beauty of New Zealand. Frodo makes an adventurous journey to cracks of doom to destroy the ring of the dark lord. It portrays mighty mountains of New Zealand and its forests. Everyone who needs a lord of rings tour can visit the cool glaciers and enjoy the landscape.

INTO THE WILD

A top athlete and brilliant student Christopher McCandless sets out on a hike to Alaska. After graduating from Emory University he gives away his $25,000. And goes on this tour which is filled with random adventure and interesting people he meets on the way. Travelers very well understand how much you crave to wander with abandonment. That is what travel is all about. Into the wild is a travel movie based on the true story which will teach you a true traveler’s philosophy.

THE BEACH

A Danny Boyle’s movie based on a novel of the same name. Young Richard travels to Thailand. Where he finds a map that might lead him to a mysterious solitary beach. This movie is all about following your instinct and search for adventure. It teaches us about the difference between hopes and reality of travel. And all female travelers you are in for an eye candy. You can’t help but drool over shirtless Leonardo DiCaprio swimming in Thai beaches.

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES

This travel movie is based on memoirs of Che Guevara. He and his friend hit the roads of south America covering a distance of 14000 km. They journey for eight months on a motorcycle discovering magnificent rainforests and majestic deserts of south America. The trip changes Guevara from a doctor to a revolutionary. It’s percent direction and amazing scenes will force you to sit atop your motorcycle and ride to South America.

INDIANA JONES

One of the best movies ever made in the world of cinema. Any movie of Indiana Jones will turn you into an adventure seeker. Indiana Jones took us on a journey from Egypt to India. Traveling around the world solving the mystery. This fictional movie has inspired many to become a traveler. It contains mythological details and cultural description of every land Indy visited. How can it not be interesting with all these?

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THELMA AND LOUISE

Released in 1991 this movie started many controversies. Two women Thelma and Louise set out on a two-day trip to the American west. But their lives take a “U-turn”. They end up running away from the authorities. This poignant tale is about two ladies who dared to follow their wanderlust. We don’t recommend you to point your guns at anyone but you sure can drive anywhere you want like Thelma and Louise.

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SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET

The plot describes the German mountaineer Heinrich Harrer and his time in Tibet. It’s about his experience with Dalai lama. Seven years in Tibet was released in the year 1997. You can see Heinrich (Bradd Pitt ) moving through the ranges. It will give you a glimpse of Tibetan culture. The travel movie does not stick to facts but it will give you an idea about the journey.

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WILD

A movie based on the novel by Cheryl Strayed of the same name. This novel (and the film as well) has become so hyped. It’s the account of Cheryl’s life. She hikes the Pacific crest trail with her heavy backpack. She goes through this journey to cope up with her drug addiction and mother’s death. The angst of Cheryl can be felt in the book, and in the movie, Reese Witherspoon has done a commendable job to bring the character to life. A movie that not only shows the physical but mental journey of a broken soul. Wild is a must watch travel movie.

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BEFORE SUNRISE

If any of the above-mentioned movies haven’t brought you tears we are sure this will. A backpacker Ethan Hawke meets beautiful french woman Julie Delpy on a train. They instantly click and share an intense chemistry. They decide to spend twelve hours in Vienna then get back to their lives. Ethan and Julie share stories, life experiences, and jokes. But eventually, they know that they have to bid goodbye to each other before sunrise.

The poignancy of the story will tug at your heartstrings. How often do we travelers regret moving away from a place too soon ?what we feel when people we meet can’t be permanent in our always dynamic life? How often do we travelers regret moving away from a place too soon? What do we feel when people we meet can’t be permanent in our life? Life is always changing, moving, but sometimes you may want to take control and seize the opportunity.

 

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