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Bond in Motion

Now on view at the London Film Museum is Bond in Motion, a must-see exhibition that traces the history of the franchise through the many vehicles (cars, boats, motorbikes, sleds, jets, helicopter and more) that James Bond used over the years.

I’m a huge Bond fan, but I hadn’t heard about this exhibition until I spotted an ad at a tube station in London in August. It didn’t disappoint.

As you walk into the museum, you can’t miss a helicopter hanging from the ceiling. My first thought was that it was the same one from which Major Onatopp, one of the villains in GoldenEye (1995), rappelled down to catch James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in a chokehold. But I found out that it was from Skyfall (2012).

Also on the upper mezzanine are concept art and storyboards which have never been seen before. It was exciting to see each frame of this scene in From Russia with Love (1963) one of my favorites, detailed on paper. 

Bond in Motion

Storyboard, From Russia with Love 1963

Bond in Motion Concept art, Moonraker

Concept art, Moonraker 1979

Down the stairs (you can also take an elevator) to the lower level are the vehicles – 50 of them. If you love cars, this is the place to go.

It was thrilling to see Auric Goldfinger’s classic 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger (1964). It’s as clean as a whistle as if Oddjob, his henchman or some other underling, had just finished detailing it.

Bond in Motion 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Goldfinger

1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III, Goldfinger 1964

Tracy (Diana Rigg) and James escaped Ernst Stavros Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, in this red Mercury in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969). This is the only film that starred George Lazenby (not my favorite Bond) and the only time Bond got married. Sadly, Tracy was killed just after the wedding. 

Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969

Mercury Cougar, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969

Halle Berry (Jinx) emerging from the sea in Die Another Day referenced Ursula Andress (Honey Ryder) in Dr. No, the first Bond movie (which was filmed in Jamaica, where Ian Fleming escaped to write the Bond stories) but the cars were unmistakably modern, even a bit futuristic.  

Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day

Jaguar XKR, Die Another Day 2002

Except for Skyfall and the latest, Spectre, I’ve seen each Bond film at least 50 times – they never get old. But I felt an adrenalin rush when I saw this car, the Aston Martin that Daniel Craig (my other favorite Bond) crashed so spectacularly (the car rolled seven times!) in Casino Royale (2006), his introduction to skeptical fans who’d never seen a blond Bond. 

Aston Martin, Casino Royale 2006

Aston Martin DB5, Casino Royale 2006

Casino Royale, 2006

Casino Royale, 2006 – James’ bloodied suit in the background

Some of the other vehicles you’ll see at Bond in Motion: Little Nellie, You Only Live Twice (1967), the Ford Mustang Mach I, Diamonds are Forever (1971), the AMC Hornet Hatchback, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), the Lotus Esprit S1, The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Citroen 2CV, For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the Q Boat from The World in Not Enough (1999).  

All the vehicles in Bond in Motion are originals that were used for filming. The majority of them are on loan from the EON Production archives and the Ian Fleming Foundation, which located and restored many of them.

I remember this scene at Valentin Zukovsky’s Caviar Factory in the World is Not Enough (1999). And thanks to the plaque on the model, now I know how they did it.

Bond in Motion

Miniature model of the Caviar Factory, The World is Not Enough, 1999

The Art Department created the model “so that production could work out how to construct the real set and perform the scene. It has little red dotted lines to indicate where the breakaways are for the helicopter blades.”  

If you want to be Bond for a minute, there’s a photo studio in the back of the museum where you can don the classic suit and take your photo.

Bond in Motion - Being Bond

Be Bond for a Minute

There’s also a museum shop in the back of the lower level where you can buy licensed Bond memorabilia and Bond in Motion souvenirs. 

The Cars of Spectre

Visitors to Bond in Motion, which has been extended, will be in for a rare treat as a new exhibition, The Cars of Spectre, opens on November 18th.  This exhibition will feature never before seen vehicles, props, models and costumes from Spectre, the latest Bond movie, which opens today in US. According to the website, the exhibition will include the Hero Aston Martin DB10 and a stunt- damaged Jaguar C-X75.

Travel Essentials

Hours: Everyday 10 a.m. to 6:00 pm except Saturday 10 a.m. to 7:00 pm. The last entry an hour before closing
Tickets: Adult £14.50, Children (5-15) £9.50, Family £38.00 (includes admission to The Cars of Spectre)
Photography (no flash) allowed 

London Film Museum
45 Wellington St
Covent Gardens

This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday Link-up hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Tanama Tales, and Rachel’s Ruminations.

Our 3rd Blogiversary – in 3 Takes, Take II

In the Take I on InsideJourneys’ 3rd blogiversary, we looked back at the trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho, that inspired me to start blogging. The year following that momentous trip, I visited London, Paris and Toronto.

Here are some of the photos I took:

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

London Eye

Usually, I stay clear of tourist traps but on this, my third trip to London, I decided to do some touristy things, like stand on line to see the London Eye. It had been calling out to me all during the week and that first weekend, I stopped ignoring its pull.

The lines were long but moved pretty quickly – about 45 minutes from the time I joined to the time I climbed aboard one of the pods. The ride took less time, about 30 minutes, but unparalleled views like this makes the wait definitely worthwhile.

3rd Blogiversary

Parliament from the London Eye

The other touristy thing I did in London  during this visit was seek out fish and chips. Okay, so it wasn’t wrapped in newspaper but it still counts. My opinion: do it once and you’re done.

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Fish and Chips

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

The Circus

As soon as I booked my ticket to London, I bought a ticket to visit Stonehenge. Besides meeting my new nephew, it was to be the highlight of my trip — and all I could think about for weeks before I left.

Bath Houses, Bath

Houses, Bath

I wanted to have a good view of the English countryside so I was one of the first to get on the bus when it arrived and took the seat behind the driver. Our first stop was the historic town of Bath where I got these photos.

The Circus as well as these apartments in the second photo were designed by John Wood, the Elder (to distinguish him from his son). The Circus is actually three buildings, which all together form a circle.

For anyone interested in architecture, especially Georgian architecture, a trip to Bath is a must.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

Avon River, Bath

After leaving Bath, we had time to walk around the town. I was taking photos one after the other without really looking to see how well they turned out. I was pleasantly surprised when I downloaded them and saw how beautiful this shot is.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

King Johns Hunting Lodge

We stopped for steak and kidney at the George Inn in Lacock where this bicycle caught my eye.

I must admit, I was a little disappointed when I saw Stonehenge. Over the years, I’d built up such a huge mythology from my readings and the documentaries I had watched on television that I felt a bit let down when I got there. I mean, it’s just a bunch of stones, right? And at first, they looked smaller than I had imagined. But if you look at the second photo, you’ll see that they’re not.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

There’s certainly nothing small about moving these gigantic rocks and setting them into place. And I’m still awed by them. Now that I’ve been, I’d like to go back for one of the solstice festivals. I’d also like to visit Avebury, which our tour guide recommended, but I didn’t have time because I was heading home the following day.

The lines at the Louvre almost made me turn around. But I’m an art lover and any art lover worth their salt cannot pass up an opportunity to visit the Mecca of art in Paris. I could visit this museum everyday for a year and still not see it all.

3rd Blogiversary

The Pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre

The Louvre escalator

The escalator to the underground lobby

I did the usual touristy things in Paris, including climbing the Eiffel Tower. Now, that’s an amazing piece of architecture and huge! Definitely larger than I expected. I was impressed.

Eiffel Tower from bus

Eiffel Tower

 

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Eiffel Tower

3rd Blogiversary

View from the Eiffel Tower

I don’t visit Toronto nearly as often as I should and maybe because of that, I’m continually surprised by how rich and diverse the city is.

Toronto building

Toronto building

On this particular visit, I remembered what I love – the public art – on buildings, on sidewalks, in unexpected places. It was like visiting a museum, I felt soothed.

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

Public art from Toronto’s streets

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Toronto street art

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

Toronto Street art

That’s it for Take II of my 3rd Blogiversary. Hope you’ll stop by for Take III, which will be all about Jamaica.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Highly Acclaimed Musical of the Year – Les Misérables

The Queen’s Theatre production of Les Misérables is a thrilling musical experience that has been shared by thousands of theatre-goers over the course of many years. Indeed, the show has seen over 10,000 performances in London, over 3000 of them at the Queen’s Theatre.

Based on the classic novel by Victor Hugo, the musical stage production of Les Misérables has been delighting audiences all over the world for over 25 years. Written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil, Jean-Marc Natel and Herbert Kretzmer, the play follows the story of convict 24601, Jean Valjean, over the course of two decades. Over the years, Valjean attempts to redeem himself for his past crimes by becoming a respectable pillar of the community, a fair-minded employer and a loving father, all while being persistently followed by Javert, a man of the law whose strict beliefs allow no room for mercy or compassion.

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The Surroundings Make the Experience at St Ermin’s

Whenever you decide to book into a hotel in London, the first thing you’ll consider is the location. This is everything when you want to be sure you spend as much time exploring and as little time getting from A to B as possible. St Ermin’s Hotel in central London is popular for this reason, situated as it is close to St James’ Park. However it isn’t the only reason a stay here is an experience in itself.

St Ermin's

St Ermin’s

Attention to detail at St Ermin’s

As soon as you walk into St Ermin’s Hotel you’ll realise why it is much loved by many people. Everywhere you look there are fine details that make this hotel a refined and comfortable choice to stay in. From the beautifully carpeted hallways and rooms to the relaxing chairs and the antique books filling the walls of the library, you’ll certainly be in for a thrilling experience.

There are special and attentive details to look for in other ways as well. For instance if you happen to be staying in one of the spacious and appealing suites we have to offer at St Ermin’s Hotel, you’ll be able to make use of the Club Lounge. This is where a tempting buffet breakfast can be found each day, along with the day’s newspapers. What better way could there be to start the day?

Dining at the Caxton Grill

Many people look for a hotel that provides a tempting restaurant as well. You’ll certainly get that at St Ermin’s, as the Caxton Grill is close by. Whether you want a light meal or something more substantial, you can be sure of finding just the right dish at the right time.

The hotel is also used to catering for all kinds of guests. There are those in a hurry to make a business meeting, who like the convenience of the Wake & Take breakfast from the hotel lobby. And there are those who are in London to enjoy the sights it has to offer. Whichever group you fall into you can be sure of enjoying the surroundings the hotel is known for.

Down to the finest detail

From the stunning welcome you get as you approach the hotel itself, to the staircase that sweeps up to the first floor, you’ll notice the finest details in every area of the hotel.

You can eat your meals in beautifully modern surroundings, and relax in stunningly appointed rooms. Everything has been taken care of in these four star surroundings, so whatever you get up to during the day you can be assured of returning to a relaxing, calming and laid back room to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

If the highlights are in the details, you can be sure of seeing many highlights as you settle into the hotel for your stay in London. St Ermin’s is a hotel you’ll want to come back to over and over again, so make that first booking today and you’ll see what there is to appreciate.

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