GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

09 December, 2012

The Place for Bond-ing

As a Bond fan, I have been trying to incorporate Bond elements into my travels. While looking through my old photos, I found one in particular from long ago, when I was 3 years old.

My dad carrying me in Phuket.
That was probably the first time I ever visited a Bond location in my life. The photo was taken from Khao Phing Kan a.k.a. James Bond Island looking at Ko Tapu, the nail shaped island behind. We were touring Phuket, Thailand and this was one of the most popular destinations there. This was the location to 1974's The Man With The Golden Gun. In the movie, James Bond (Roger Moore) was challenged by the villain Francisco Scaramanga a.k.a. the man with the golden gun (Christopher Lee) to a gun duel at his secret island base. On the island, Scaramanga was accompanied by his little butler, Nick Nack (Hervé Villechaize) and one other unnamed henchman.
Notice Ko Tapu island behind them.
One film location that Bond movies use often is Venice, Italy. As early as 1963, From Russia With Love showed Bond in his first boat chase and romantic finale scenes filmed around those scenic islands. Then in 1979, Bond got an upgraded hover gondola for another fast paced chase scene in Moonraker. The 2006 Bond reboot Casino Royale shot a long romantic scene between the two leads as well as an action scene set in a sinking building along the Venetian Canal.
Bond (Roger Moore) in his hover gondola at Piazza San Marco.
Bond (Daniel Craig) driving a sail yacht near Rialto Bridge
When I was in London, I also took the effort to visit the SIS headquarters a.k.a. MI6 and Somerset House, which was set for both St Petersburg Square in Goldeneye (1995) and MI6 war office in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).
Q (Judi Dench) looking at MI6 Building exploding as seen in Skyfall.
Somerset House used to show St Petersburg Square where Bond (Pierce Brosnan) and CIA Jack Wade's car breaks down.
Again used to show the War Office where Bond drives his DB5.
Scotland and its marvelous landscape was also used as film locations for several Bond movies. I visited the Scottish Highlands during a trip I made to Isle of Skye not long ago and the tour guide stopped by several film locations along the way including The Old Man of Stor in Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle near Dornie and also Glencoe area. The Eilean Donan Castle, which is currently the most photographed castle in Scotland was shown in The World Is Not Enough as the MI6 Headquarters in Scotland after the explosion in SIS headquarters London at the beginning of the 1999 movie. The newest movie Skyfall (2012) was also shot in Glencoe in several scenes depicting Bond's heritage.
Eilean Donan Castle looks quite different with those antennas.
I was actually there twice, once in summer and another 3 weeks ago.
In my previous post, I mentioned that I visited Piz Gloria, Switzerland during my Europe trip to see the film location of my favourite Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) where both the internal and external shots of the mountain top platform and revolving restaurant were used to show Blofeld's secret base disguised as an allergy research clinic. By the way, I noticed that the restaurant above was expanded.
Bond (George Lazenby) slides on the snowy platform while firing his machine gun in the climatic action scene.
The last one was actually in a minor scene of The Living Daylights where Bond (Timothy Dalton) went for a horse carriage ride with Kara Milovy around Vienna and passes many local tourist sights.
The horse carriage went pass Schönbrunn Palace garden, which was hosting a dance party.
I think that was all the Bond film locations I have visited. There are some other minor ones I have passed by but didn't take any pictures, so I can't really show here. Wait... I almost forgot Buckingham Palace which appeared in Die Another Day (2002) in a scene where the villain parachutes and lands in the front lot of the palace.
The most iconic location that I have been is a place that people think of whenever they think of London. What other symbol of London can be more iconic than the Palace of Westminster which appeared in many Bond films.
First time seeing it in Dr No (1962).
Then a dirty looking shot in Goldfinger (1964)
And in the opening boat chose of The World Is Not Enough (1999)
I wonder when I would be able to visit another film location anytime soon.
*Oh one other thing, the photos that you see before the screenshots from the movies are all from my camera's prospective, so my position may not be the one used in the movie. But I just want to show that I was there.*


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