Travel Through Cinema, Literature and Beyond

Tell me where you’re going and I’ll tell you what to read, or what movie or series to watch.

If you pertain to the group that enjoys plunging into a destination without ever setting foot on a plane, that which soaks up stories and information before traveling, or even if you prefer to follow the steps made by actors and/or movie characters, this is your post. Here, we leave you with an “obligatory” list of literary and cinematographic works that you should check out, depending on your destination, of course.

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Taranaki, New Zealand | Juliana Maese

Latin America

  • Chile, Peru, Venezuela  –  The Motorcycle Diaries: In this biographical movie, Che Guevara and his friend Alberto Granados set out on a trip beginning in Buenos Aires, continuing through the coastal region of Chile, the Atacama Desert and Peruvian Amazon until they arrive in Venezuela. This film is an ideal choice if you’re interested in immersing yourself in Latin American culture, and in understanding a little more about its people before setting out on your trip.

Latvia

  • Riga – The Dogs of Riga (Los Perros de Riga): The author, Hennin Mankel, sends Inspector Wallander to investigate the death of two Latvians that appear on a lifeboat in Sweden. This entertaining novel based on mystery and crime takes us directly into the heart of Riga.

New Zealand

It’s much more than The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand has so many incredible landscapes that directors are starting to choose it more and more as the location to shoot their films.

  • Coromandel – The Chronicles of Narnia 2: The last images that appear in the movie were filmed in the beautiful Cathedral Cove in Coromandel, where it’s imposible not to fall in love with the nature that surrounds.

  • Taranaki – The Last Samurai: This is the story of how Mount Taranki was virtually converted into Mount Fuji and used to portray the setting in Japan. A large part of the movie is filmed in the Japanese city, but it’s true that many times, due to budget and commodity concerns, cinematographic companies tell us they’re filming in one place while in all reality, they’re filming in another. This time, however, they don’t trick us. As a result, we  invite you all to climb this thousand-year-old volcano, which is full of Maori legends and is also a site where Tom Cruise and Billy Conolly once trekked.

Argentina

  • Ushuaia – The Revenant: The movie that led Leo DiCaprio to his first Oscar, and that encourages global warming awareness and conscientiousness throughout its plot line. In his speech, the actor explains how difficult it was to find snow, especially considering inicial filming began in Canada. Due to the arrival of summer and the lack of snow, the team had to relocate and cross the entire continent in order to find the perfect setting, Ushuaia. A large part of the movie was filmed here in the last Argentinian province, known as “the end of the world.”

Alaska

  • Sitka – The Proposal: If you still haven’t decided to become an Aurora Borealis hunter, this movie will clear any and all inhibitions. Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds argue on Sitka’s side streets, surrounded by magnificent natural scenery. She needs him to marry her in order to legally stay in the United States, while he detests her because she’s the worst boss he could imagine. What results is an interesting romantic comedy that will leave you charmed by Alaska.

Spain, Croatia, Morocco

  • Sevilla – Game of Thrones: On the topic of Spain, Seville plays a very important role in various scenes throughout the series, as the producers transform the Royal Alcazar and its sunken gardens into the Martell house.
  • Córdoba – Game of Thrones: Also pertaining to Andalusia and more specifically, within the city of Cordoba, the Guadalquivir River becomes the river Greenblood.
  • Dubrovnik – Game of Thrones: The city of Dubrovnik, complete with three ancient forts, is known by series fanatics as the Lannister family castle, the capital of seven thrones.
  • Essaouira – Game of Thrones: In reality, the fictitious city of Astapor is the town of Essaouira, located on the Moroccan coast.

United States

  • AtlantaThe Walking Dead: If you’re fans of this excellent zombie series, you’ll surely recognize the hospital in King Country, Georgia. We should clarify here that the city doesn’t actually exist, but the Atlanta Union Mission, the hospital where the series was filmed (located in Atlanta, Georgia) does.
    • You can actually cross the bridge that the sheriff once crossed on horseback before discovering the zombies, as well as enter the farm to see where survivors hid. On this note, there are agencies that already dedicate themselves to commercializing this route for series fanatics.

Portugal

  • Lisbon – The Book of Disquiet: If you’re headed to Portugal and, what’s more, if you enjoy poetry, say no more! This novel by Fernando Pessoa is an obligatory read before traversing the streets of this ignited city.

Juliana

Translated by: Kirstin Meyerhoeffer

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