Sunday, March 27, 2016

A little insight - Hobbiton - My Journey into The Shire

****PLEASE NOTE: This is an old post. I no longer post on this blog. For more information, to visit my new blog, or to contact me, visit HERE****

Greetings, all!

As some of you might already know, I'm a Tolkien fan, a nerd in general, and I love nature and adventure. So, my husband and myself set off on a journey of our own. If you follow me on FB, you probably noticed hat I've been MIA recently due to my wedding adventures in New Zealand. Hubs and I have been together for ten years, engaged for two, and we finally tied the knot!

We decided to go to NZ for many reasons, but one of my key reasons was because I've seen some AMAZING footage and landscape of the country in the LOTR and Hobbit movies. So, I wanted to see those jagged, misty mountains, the rolling green hills, and the rushing blue waters for myself. So we did!

Fun facts about Tolkien's series:
  • Peter Jackson is a New Zealander himself, which is why it was so perfect for him to film there
  • The Shire was built on a piece of farmland that belongs to the Alexander family. When location scouts were searching for a place with "green hills and a large tree by a lake" they found the sheep farmer's place. The scout knocked on the guy's door and said, "I'd like to talk to you about filming a movie on your property. "I'm watching Rugby," the guy said. The scout decided to go exploring on his own, promising not to disturb the man's sheep, per his request. 
  • There are over 100 locations in New Zealand that were used for filming
  • Peter Jackson's contribution to the rural country of NZ was $20M just for what he paid to film there, so imagine what he's done for their economy since the movies were released. I'll give you a hint, he's now known as Sir Peter Jackson.

Below is a sort of photo journal if you will of my adventures--some fun facts I learned about the movies, about the land, and a little insight into how special this wedding adventure was for us. I hope you enjoy! (Photo credit: me)

Milford Sound, what I call "The Land of The Lost." I expected
 to hear King Kong off in the distance. This is the countryside where they filled the
"misty mountains" footage for the movies Hobbit movies.

This is also Milford Sound, so you can see why it's so easy to get misty mountain footage.
This is the most epically beautiful location I've ever been to. It truly felt magical.
If it rains, waterfalls appear pouring down the mountains out of nowhere.

This is Tongariro National Park, and in the far-off distance is Mordor aka Mount Doom 

Ruakuri Cave is so majestic (and apparently haunted, at least we were told).
We did a two-hour tour, learned the history, heard the ghost stories,
and learned that this is the location where Andy Serkis recorded Gollum's voice.

I got to try on Gandolf's hat in Hobbiton, though it was a tad small :)

There were originally over 30 Hobbit holes built in Hobbiton,
though they were only ever the facades. All interior filming was done in a 
different set that was built in Wellington, New Zealand.
Right after they were finished filming the LOTR trilogy,
they began tearing the Hobbit holes down and just as they 
were getting to the 17th one, they were told to cease demolition.
Because LOTR was such a hit, crews had to rebuild what they'd torn down so
 that they could start charging for tours, as locals were showing up 
on their own accord to see where in their village the movie had been filmed. 
It was one of the best decisions they'd ever made.

This is a view of the Shire from Baggins End. They say that you can tell the status and wealth
of a Hobbit based on the location of their Hobbit hole and the number of windows they have.
Bilbo's place is on the very top of the hill and has the most windows :)

The LOTR franchise is all about perception--what Peter Jackson wants you to see.
Door sizes are no exception when it comes to Gandolf scenes in the Shire.

Bilbo and Frodo's place happily situated at the very top of the hill. I'd like to
point our that the tree on top is "real fake," meaning it's a real tree that
wasn't very full so they incorporated fake branches and leaves as well.
Such a leaf that I later found :)

Dennis is a novice beer maker, at least as a hobby, so I asked him to make some of the famous
 Hobbit Ale (particularly the Cider) next time. SO good! After all, that's all Pippin and Merry
sing about throughout the movies, isn't it?

The first "Craigslist" if you will. Jams, jellies, missing livestock...

The Green Dragon. Though only the facade was used in the movie,
 it's now visitor ready and their ale is quite delightful. Totally awesome!
You can walk through the pub and see "old" ledgers and sketched Hobbit portraits, etc.
Pretty cool.

Leaf from said "real fake" tree. They're pretty rare to fall off,
so the fact that we found one is kind of cool!
So, here you go, a real fake oak leaf!
This was me finding it again in my backpack in the airport on the way home.

Hobbiton or Green Dragon pub? Pub it is!

Bilbo's place! And just to know, behind each door is concrete and stone.
The doors open enough to actually open, but there is absolutely nothing inside,
though the lights in the windows and the lace curtains suggest otherwise.
The Remarkables, aka the Misty Mountains,
everpresent scenery in the Hobbit movies. (Queenstown, NZ)

I guess that's it for now. I don't want to bore you, but hopefully this gives you a fun little insight into the magical world and staggering landscapes of New Zealand.

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