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Delving Deep in James Bond Egypt PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Tuesday, 14 May 2019 16:47

Roger Moore’s third outing “The Spy Who Loved Me” in 1977 featured Egypt, one of the film location countries long on our bucket list. With recent tourist investments, such as a new Egyptian Museum and enhanced security measures in the country, we were thrilled to finally visit this ancient land.

While many tour Egypt on their own, we chose a blend of our own itinerary along with a group tour organized by Trafalgar tours, which we found to be an excellent operation with incredibly knowledgeable guides.

As this report is singularly about the film locations of James Bond, we’ll skip reviewing the many temples, mosques, shops, restaurants and experiences we had and would insist anyone visiting Egypt be sure to do. We’d be happy to provide more information via email.

Our adventure begins in Cairo, checking into Le Meridian Pyramids Resort, literally across the street from the Pyramids of Giza. Our ride from the airport was a feast of sights, sounds and smells as Cairo is a 24/7 traffic jam of cars, trucks, vans and camels!

We booked our guide for our personal 007 location hunt through Trafalgar and mapped out the locations we had on our list. We thought with the guide, it would be prudent and secure to do so. Interesting enough, the US Embassy also insists armed security join any American on tour, so we had a bodyguard, with a Glock, following us safely behind!

We began our Bond tour at the Ibn Tulin Mosque, a beautiful and accessible courtyard easily recognized as the walkway Bond strolls through on the way to see Fekkesh. As it is a mosque, unlike 007, you will be given coveralls for your shoes. From the Mosque, you enter the Gayer Anderson Museum, a definite must for your visit. You’ll enter at the top of the stairs, where in silhouette Bond arrives, note that now there is a metal detector and guard at the entry (as you will now find at all sites).

 

 

British army doctor Robert Gayer-Anderson bought the house in 1937 and it remains as he left it with beautiful carvings, paintings and mosaics from the period. As you explore each floor, you need to ask for the secret room, where Sandor spies on Bond and Felicca. The reception room where Bond enters is beautiful and a great photo op as are the gardens where the famous fight scene takes place.

 

 

 

Sandor Assassin Window

 

 

While not Bond, after your visit here be sure to walk the avenue over to El Fishawi which is oldest ahwa in the city since 1773. Stop for a brief rest, some people watching and a delightful tea.

The Pyramids are everything you imagine them to be from films, travelogues and novels, so impressive and incomprehensible in history. Our first stop was the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), which offers a climb up the inside of the pyramid to the sarcophagus of Khufu. To say if one is claustrophobic, unable to crawl for long distances upward and cannot tolerate 100+ heat; this climb is not for you. Shimming up a narrow shaft to the top in near darkness makes for an Indiana Jones moment and celebration at the top. If you’re able be sure to enjoy. Around the pyramids are the camel ride vendors and here, having your personal guide is handy in not being ripped off as we had a good 30+ minute around the plateau for about $100 for our party of three. After your ride, you’ll visit the Sphinx with plenty of good vistas to have here and wonder at its construction. As you leave the Sphinx exit, have your guide show the “Fekkish tomb” photos to the security officers there. The tomb opening where Fekkish gets his just do from Jaws is in a roped off area to the left of the Sphinx and a little thank you can open doors for Bond adventurers there. It’s a bit of a walk off the tour paths but still exactly as it appears in the film, although the interiors were shot at Pinewood. This is then a good time to return to the hotel for a dry martini and shower before your evening events. We chose to have dinner poolside at the Historic Mena Palace, where the 007 crew stayed and some say the Casbah shots were partially filmed.

 

 

 

 

Do not skip the Egyptian Museum, plan on at least a half day exploring these antiquities. King Tutankhamen’s tomb artifacts are worth the price alone. *NOTE- the New Egyptian Museum was under construction during our visit and not available.

Check with your concierge for the Lightshow at Giza for times and language you prefer and make sure you allow time to enjoy this combination of light, lasers, music and narration, almost exactly as it appears in “SPY”. It’s an evening you will remember.

The next day your options are fly/bus or train to Luxor, most packaged tours opt for flying to maximize your time. We opted for the flight and arrived early for our tour of the Karnak complex. You’ll immediately recognize the Great Hall of Columns where 007 and Anya are stalked by Jaws atop the columns (also seen in Peter Ustinov’s 1978 Death of the Nile). Don’t shortchange your day here and enjoy the immensity of the grounds, you can also choose to return for its own evening Light Show. The next morning, 3am to be exact, we were delivered to grounds outside the Valley of the Kings and ascended over the burial grounds via hot air balloon. Stunning and while not a film location for Bond, the Valley of the Kings is overwhelming. Near perfectly intact are the hieroglyphics in amazing color and vibrancy, including King Tuts tomb. Nearby are quick stops at Medinet Habu, the temple seen where Jaws enters the ruins driving the van with Bond and Anya inside. Down the road is Ramesseum Temple, used in the confrontation sequence of Bond with Jaws and the collapsing stone scaffolding. These perspectives are easy to find and worth the stop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Luxor, we boarded our Nile Cruise Ship through booking with Trafalgar and enjoyed a leisurely curise down to Aswan, stopping at multiple historic sites along the way. Arriving in Aswan, we disembark and trot off to the Old Cataract Hotel for a Vesper and tour Agatha Christie’s suite where she wrote the mystery novel. The hotel is steeped in history and hosted many a politician and celebrity, a must stop. We then board a flight up to Abu Simbel and the tomb of Ramses II. You’ll recognize this as Bonds’ entry to visit M.

 

From Aswan, we begin the return cruise upriver including visits to Philtae Temple, a Nubian village and so much more adventure. Sadly, our ship docked back at Luxor, we flew back to Cairo and from there, our journey home. James Bond will return….and return to Egypt!

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 May 2019 07:34 )
 
You Only Live Twice 50th Anniversary Tour PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 10:15

Rich and Leslie from Theme Party People joined long time friend and location hunter, Martijn Mulder of On the Tracks of 007 fame on his celebratory tour of the 50th Anniversary of the 007 film,  You Only Live Twice. Many other of our fellow TPP travelers joined the adventure as we traveled from Tokyo to the far west coast of Japan to visit the volcano region and Kissy's fishing village seen in the film. Along the way, we toured the Ninja castle, a Ninja training school, Leslie enjoyed several hours in a makeup chair in Kyoto to experience the way of Geisha and joined Rich in Samarai attire as they walked the streets of Gion, as seen in the film, "Memories of a Geisha". As you can imagine, the cuisine and sake were well sampled and our group reveled in the wonders of Japan and it's people.

The Otani Hotel Site of Osato Chemicals

Himedji Castle, Ninja training

Tiger's Underground Train

The Wedding Temple Arrival

 

Martijn described it nicely;

"On Friday April 7, 40 people from 7 different countries embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Japan, to see all the filming locations used 50 years ago in You Only Live Twice. Organised by On the tracks of 007, the tour started in Tokyo where the group stayed in the New Otani Hotel (Osato Chemicals). By bullet train the group traveled in 14 days from the remote wedding temple location via Himeji Castle to Nagasaki, where we made a short boat trip to Hashima Island (Silva’s hideout in Skyfall). Highlight of the tour was the visit to Kagoshima, from where we made bus trips to see Blofeld’s volcano, Tanaka’s house and the tiny fishing village of Akime. Followed by journalists and local camera crews, this tour was truly embraced by the wonderful people of Japan, who are very proud of their film and the attention it was given by the group"

 

Sayonara, until James Bond returns.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 June 2017 08:03 )
 
Bonding on the River 007 Party PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Thursday, 07 July 2016 09:14

The members of Daytona Beach, Florida's Halifax River Yacht Club sought out Theme Party People's participation and theming for their 2016 Summer soiree, "Bonding on the River".  Turning the Club's main dining room into a 007 world of casino tables, Vesper Martini bar and festooned with posters and electronic wallpaper was just the beginning. Richard and Leslie arrived via the "Disco Volante" yacht and hosted a challenging Bond trivia game and shared Bond travel stories and suggested itineraries with the guests. As a special treat, club member Jean Sankowski performed spot on Shirley Bassey vocals on the theme's Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2017 12:42 )
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2015 SPECTRE Spectacular PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Sunday, 22 November 2015 12:09

SPECTRE Premieres Around the World

 

Richard Skillman,reporting.

October 26, 2015

The Bond world gathered the week of October 25th for a celebration of the return of Daniel Craig as 007 in the Bond 24, "SPECTRE" with a fete filled schedule of Bond Parties, Club events, Book signings, Celebrity sightings, culminating in a Royal World Premiere in London and a Paris premiere also attended by the major stars.

The James Bond film location bible, "On the Tracks of 007" stared the week with a 20th Anniversary Party at the Pinewood Hotel hosted by Editor Martijn Mulder and featuring Bond production legend Terry Bamber and Bond Band, "Q the Music". (https://qthemusicshow.com/)

Leslie and I chose Duke's as our hotel, having sample mixologist Alessandro Pallazi Bond inspired cocktails when we visited in 2012 for "Skyfall". Ian Fleming, it is said, invented the Vesper here, and the boutique hotel and small upscale bar is legendary. We recommend a stay on your next Bond visit!

Also on the Bond "life" must list were cocktails at the Ritz and Savoy- unparalleled luxury service and inspired cocktails in their own right. For dinner, Rules Restaurant was the hot ticket this year, as M is seen dining at Rules in the film, "SPECTRE". The oldest restaurant in London, it is founded on the King's game meat and the roast dish and accompaniments are 5 star excellent.

Our Bond event hosts, CinemaRetro's Lee and Janet Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall, coordinated 007 activities that would rival a military operation, loading each day with film locations, Bond surprises and major events...which included...

Bond writers Ajay Chowdbury and Matthew Field hosted the launch of their new extensive tome, "Some Kind of Hero", an exhaustively researched deep dive into the films of Bond, a must for any serious fan of the films. In attendance to celebrate were the Bond girls themselves-- Maud Adams, Martine Beswicke, Madelyn Smith and to my pleasure and a full 30 minutes of one on one discussions, Luciana Paluzzi!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 May 2017 12:42 )
Read more: 2015 SPECTRE Spectacular
 
007 Walk of Fame Schilthorn Piz Gloria PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Wednesday, 12 August 2015 13:21

 

July 31, 2015: Theme Party People's Richard Skillman was invited to join Bond professionals from around the world high atop the Swiss Alps to formally open the "007 Walk of Fame" at Schilthorn's Piz Gloria restaurant and museum. Honoring the 1969 James Bond classic film, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", the Walk of Fame organizers brought 007 star George Lazenby, Bond director John Glen along with Bond girls, villains and stunt men to the VIP soirée via helicopter, complete with machine guns and an aerial stunt show. The Walk will feature the hand-prints of the major performers and crew from "OHMSS" and will serve to compliment the Bond World interactive museum which opened previously. Blofeld henchman Terrance Mountain entertained the fans with behind the scenes stories and the Bond girls and stunts included

  • Sylvana Henriques (The Jamaican Girl)
  • Catherina von Schell (Nancy)
  • Jenny Hanley (The Irish Girl)
  • Stunt double Vic Armstrong (has doubled for all Bond actors with the exception of Daniel Craig)
  • Wendy Leech (Stunt Double)

 

 

 

 

 

Quoting Schilthorn executive, Christoph Egger “James Bond 007 fascinates and inspires people worldwide,” says Schilthorn Cableway chief executive Christoph Egger.“On the one hand, people are fascinated by the Bond actors and the classic characters such as the Bond Girls and Miss Moneypenny,” says Egger. “On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget the many other contributors to the movie, who often have exciting background stories to tell.”

 

 

More on Schilthorn at :

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/007-walk-of-fame-on-the-schilthorn.html

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 August 2015 13:39 )
 
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