Last week’s trip to the movies gave us an insight into the real world locations of Forrest Gump. This week, true to the spirit of adventure, we’re setting our sights farther and wider as we discover some of the destinations that helped elevate Indiana Jones from mere words on a page to a spectacle on our screens.
Indiana Jones (1981 – 2008)
While its latest instalment may have received mixed reviews, the Indiana Jones franchise and Harrison Ford’s portrayal of him in the original movies still occupies a special nostalgic place in our hearts. Much in the same way it’s claimed that the Egyptian pyramids and other ancient wonders couldn’t be replicated by today’s engineers, George Lucas seems to have a problem with recreating his old masterpieces. So, like many fans of Dr. Jones, we’ll just pretend 2008’s Kingdom of the Crystal Skull never happened, as we bring you some of the amazing locations that put meat on the bones of the original Indiana Jones Trilogy. Your own Indy adventure begins here.
Kauai, Hawaii – USA (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
The very first scene in the original trilogy is maybe one of the most iconic. Although the film places Jonesy in the heart of a Peruvian jungle, the scenes actually took place on Hawaii’s fourth largest island, Kauai.
While the trap-laden temple that Indiana Jones steals a golden statue from was shot in a studio, the surrounding areas were filmed in Kauai’s Hule’ia National Wildlife Refuge – a captivating area of natural beauty, home to a wonderful array of flora and fauna. And with the five-star Grand Hyatt Kauai just a 20-minute drive away, you have an ideal location from which to live out the Lost Ark in luxury.
Kandy, Sri Lanka (Temple of Doom)
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg never had any intention of filming in Sri Lanka for the sequel. The idea had been to create and film a small rural village in northern India, but when the Indian Government demanded alterations to the script, the production looked to the valleys and tea plantations of central Sri Lanka. The team built their village, but more poignantly in the film, Sri Lanka’s historic Kingdom of Kandy provided the film with its thrilling rope bridge climax.
Despite the bridge and village being temporary constructions for the film, thankfully, central Sri Lanka’s jaw-dropping rural landscape is a more permanent feature… we hope! One of our favourite hotels in the area has to be Bougainvillea Retreat. A five-star hillside hideaway, Bougainvillea overlooks the rolling green hills of the country’s tea producing region. And for those of you who enjoy a good old-fashioned cup of tea with your archaeological action-adventure films, well, you’re in luck. The world famous Ceylon Tea Museum is also in the region and well worth the trip.
Venice, Italy (The Last Crusade)
The final chapter in the original trilogy and, yesh, Sean Connery plays Harrison Ford’s dad in this one. Indy decides to seek out the Holy Grail, and his search begins in Venice. Although multiple locations were filmed around the city, the majority of the shoot took place in and around the Church of San Barnaba in the Dorsoduro district, a short distance from the Grand Canal. The Church is no longer a religious building and is used for exhibitions, but the square in front of it is a tranquil pocket of Venice, with bars cafes and restaurants offering quiet relaxation away from the crowds.
Venice may not be new on your radar, but it’s a city that never ages, and that’s part of its charm. The timeless elegance of the architecture and romantic attitude of this beguiling band of Italian islands is, in fact, the biggest reason it retains its popularity. One of our favourite places to stay on a city break, among the gondolas and grandeur, is Bauer Il Palazzo, with its rooftop restaurant and Jacuzzi providing satisfying seasoning on an already divine destination.
So, that wraps up our second trip to the movies. If you have any questions about any of the destinations mentioned, or would like more inspiration, our well-travelled team are just click or call away. Stay tuned for our third instalment, and if there’s a movie that you love and would like us to hold under the magnifying glass, email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Movies' as your subject heading.