FROM GAME OF THRONES’ ICELANDIC SCENIC EXPANSES TO OUR FAVORITE GREENWICH VILLAGE LITERARY PUB CRAWL, HOW TO MAKE PAGE AND SCREEN FICTION COME TO LIFE
A WALK THROUGH SMALL SCREEN LOCALES BY BEN HANDICOTT
game of thrones ireland, morocco, and Iceland It’s dominated television viewing for years, why not put it on your travel itinerary? Northern Ireland is the series home base and will give you plenty of fuel for your fantastical tourism dreams—try Tollymore State Forest where a number of outdoor scenes were filmed.
But Iceland’s Lake Mývatn provides the icy setting for the Nights Watch men, and the town of Ouarzazate on the edge of the desert in southern Morocco will bring the dragons to life as you relive Khaleesi’s trek with the Dothraki. A number of driving routes are suggested at causewaycoastandglens.com/Game-of-Thrones-Itinerary
True Detective Louisiana
Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing patchwork of flatland invaded by water, desolate roads of industrial obsolescence, and a dark history: True Detective swept through 2014’s TV landscape like a rip tide. Beyond the horrors played out in the series. there’s a rich and relatively unvisited part of the world to see: ecotourism, festivals, Cajun cuisine, all bathed in a special southern glow. To connect with your inner Rustin Cohle, try Palmetto Island State Park. A canoe trek through the ponds might give just a touch of that existential madness.
Not for the faint-hearted, the French crime series Braquo (it’s on Hulu…do yourself a favor) is a dark, whirlwind car chase through the gritty streets (who knew?!) of Paris, where crime and violence are unexpectedly on tap. City of Light be damned! Head to Hauts-de-Seine, the inner-western suburbs of the city, and wander around this off-the-tourist-trail area, but do it at night for the full, gloomy effect. The area is actually a wealthy one, and you needn’t look past the gentile Parc de Saint Cloud for evidence, some 1,140 acres of forests and gardens, and beautiful views of Paris.
Before the TV show, there was of course the book, and London has a rich Sherlock itinerary for those of us still not sure if he was actually real or not. The TV show has somehow made the story’s fictitious nature more evident, but the sheer fact of London still makes it hard to let the belief go. So, with Sherlock as your guide… perhaps start at 187 North Gower Street – the front door used as the entrance to the detective’s abode, despite the actual address being 221B Baker Street (where you’ll find the Sherlock Homes Museum now). But for a true origin experience, visit St Barts hospital, where Holmes and Watson meet for the first time. For a two-hour guided tour try britmovietours.com/bookings/sherlock-holmes-london-tour.
The Killing Copenhagen
First, visit the Pentecost Woods at Amager outside of Copenhagen. And witness the scene of the crime, the brutal murder that kicked off this chilling Danish crime series. Then back to the city, where you’ll have to dodge the charm of the streets, the famous restaurants, and the friendly people if you want to maintain a semblance of dark moodiness. Try a Peter and Ping Literary Walk for a guided View of Copenhagen through The Killing lens. Peter and Ping also offer walks for other TV shows. See them all at peter-og-ping.dk.
Breaking Bad Albuquerque
It may be all over for Walt and Jesse, but the comic-like intensity of the series means it still echoes in the hearts and minds of fans with a vengeance. The meth making and drug selling hijinks and never-ending violence takes place in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Blue, blue skies, eternal deserts and empty suburban streets; the eerie calm of the location was a counterpoint to all the action. Relive scenes in Gus Fring’s Pollos Hermanos (actually a burger and burrito restaurant called Twisters), or perhaps visit The Grove for a soy chamomile tea (you might want to hold the Stevia though). See lonelyplanet.com/usa/travel-tips-andarticles/a-do-it-yourself-breaking-bad-tour-ofalbuquerque for a rundown on your options.
Portlandia Portland, Oregon
What do you do when a place becomes so cool, so ridiculously liveable, so eminently desirable, that lampooning it becomes a cult TV sensation? Well, you should probably just go there anyway. When you’re there, you’ll recognize the locales where Fred and Carrie carry out their brilliant satire of Portland hipster middle-class life. But it won’t faze you, instead the surrounding hiking and biking trails will beckon, the local produce and eating scene will inspire, and its famous craft brewing options will keep you refreshed. Travel portland. com/collection/portlandia provides an episode-by-episode overview of where fiction and reality meet on the streets of the city.
Deadwood Deadwood, South Dakota
Its been a few years but the cussin and fightin of Deadwood still feels fresh — and a visit to the eponymous town will have you hankering for a whiskey before you can say “***sucker” The show explored the origins of civilizations through the travails of a pioneering gold digging community in the Black Hills, bringing America’s violent and intrepid history into focus. You can relive it all here — a sign at 622 Main Street announces the location of Wild Bill Hickok’s shooting and a trip to Mount Moriah Cemetery will show some familiar names alongside Wild Bill, including Seth Bullock and Martha Jane Canary, aka “Calamity Jane.” Get a glimpse into the pioneering life of a gold miner at Black Hills Mining Museum in nearby Lead (blackhillsminingmuseum.com).
OUR FAVORITE BOOK TOURS BY TIM RICHARDS
literary landmarks in boston In the 19th century Boston was a hotbed of literature, spawning influential movements such as American Romanticism, American Realism and Transcendentalism. The Fireside Poets, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, triumphed here with their popular verse; joining other literary stars such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Henry James and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This tour reveals their haunts, including the secret of the Saturday Club. The tour proceeds in any weather. Fee $12, book at bostonbyfoot.org.
Shanghai’s literary heyday came during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period when colonial traders rubbed shoulders with the local population. Starting with a talk from knowledge guides at a local teahouse, this tour takes place in Hongkou in the city’s north. It’s an area associated with great local writers, including Lu Xun, the father of modern Chinese literature. The walk also visits a backstreet neighborhood where the romantic poet Xu Zhimo once lived and hosted guests such as Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore and Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. This tour is occasionally scheduled but otherwise operates by commission; for fees and bookings email publicwalks®shanghai-flaneur.com.
Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl
This tour through the Big Apple’s famous Greenwich Village drops into several pubs that were once (and still are) the site of writer inspiration. Guides relate the stories of the bars and the creative types who drank there, paying tribute to such famous local luminaries as Thomas Paine (author of Common Sense), John Reed (Ten Days that Shook the World), Henry James (Washington Square) and Edith Wharton (Age of Innocence), as well as less-remembered authors such as Dawn Powell (Wicked Pavilion) and Djuna Barnes (Nightwood). Departs every Saturday at 2 p.m., $20. Book tickets and browse a reading list at literarypubcrawl.com.
James Bond’s Mayfair
Shaken, not stirred. James Bond creator Ian Fleming coined this classic line while sipping cocktails at his favorite bar in London’s exclusive Mayfair district. This and other classified secrets are revealed on this tour in August hosted by the city’s Institute of Directors. From the author’s birthplace through Berkeley Square to St. James, tour members pass places with links to 007, including a naval club which evokes the author’s wartime experience in military intelligence. You can order the cocktail created by Bond, the Vesper, at the end. See iod.com. For posh lodgings with a modern twist in the area, stay at the Athenaeum (athenaeumhotel.com).
Wild Walk Along The Enchanted Way, Romania
After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, British writer William Blacker ventured into Eastern Europe and ended up living for eight years in rural Romania. The resulting book, Along the Enchanted Way, recorded villages untouched by modernity, where daily life retained the rhythms of the Middle Ages. Wild Frontiers offers a 10-day tour of northern Romania following in Blacker’s footsteps, including walks through the attractive Iza Valley and Rodna National Park. The tour costs $2,200 exclusive of airfares (wildfrontierstravel.com).
Adapted from Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015: The best trends, destinations, journeys & experiences for the year ahead. Copyright 2014 by Lonely Planet