The tale began in 1998, when “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson was looking for a New Zealand locale suitable to serve as the home for Bilbo, Frodo and the other 3-foot-6, hairy-footed characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga.
Ian Alexander’s 1,250-acre sheep and cattle farm near Matamata fit the bill, and construction workers turned the place into the pastoral Shire, complete with dozens of hobbit holes. The set was mostly dismantled after the filmmakers were finished; nevertheless, one of Ian’s sons, Russell Alexander, started taking “Lord of the Rings” fans on walking tours in 2002.
Fast forward to 2011: Jackson had the set rebuilt for the new film trilogy based on “The Hobbit,” and partnered with the Alexander family to preserve the set after the filming was done. This time, the structures have been built with solid wood and stone rather than plywood and styrofoam. There’s a sturdy stone bridge and a mill, a Shire-worthy pond frequented by swans, and a fully operational pub.
Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area. We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years. Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise. Nothing is out of reach.
We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two. Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well. Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar. We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.
Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.
So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.
Evita’s Buenos Aires Sixty years after her death, Eva Peron’s legacy continues to spread throughout this city… New York Times
A vendor sells tofu along a narrow street leading to Dong Xuan Market, one of Hanoi’s largest and busiest markets. (Jessica Gelt / Los Angeles Times / March 9, 2012)
Hanoi emerging as a destination for foodies In the quest for the best pho, bun cha and more in this culinary capital, look for the stands favored by elderly Vietnamese — they know quality when they taste it… LA Times
Chicago, that tippling town
The Second City’s history is linked with alcohol consumption, and its bars live up to the reputation… LA Times
Walk Of The Month: Ashover, Derbyshire
The village of Ashover, in north Derbyshire, is a hop, skip and a jump from the Peak District National Park, and would fit the description of a tourist honeypot – if only it received lots of tourists… The Independent
Logging some time in Vancouver Island
Remote reaches of this craggy place hold the history of the timber and maritime industries. Hop aboard a train or boat, or lace up your hiking boots… LA Times
The Dome, with its rooftop terrace, is in the T&G building, an iconic Art Deco structure dating to 1937 on the Marine Parade in Napier, New Zealand. (Dome / March 24, 2007)
All things Art Deco in Napier, New Zealand
After a deadly 1931 quake, the North Island town rebuilt itself in the then-modern style. Today, fans of the curvy, free-flowing style flock to the city to revel in all things Art Deco…. LA Times
When traveling most likely you will be eating out at a restaurant. There are some unusual restaurants you can visit and perhaps some of these you may want to add to your ‘Bucket List’? Anything from a Prison restaurant to a tree house restaurant. Being served by monkeys, children or even robots.
The Cetacea hold an important lesson for us. The lesson is not about whales and dolphins, but about ourselves. There is at least moderately convincing evidence that there is another class of intelligent beings on Earth beside ourselves. They have behaved benignly and in many cases affectionately towards us. We have systematically slaughtered them. Little reverence for life is evident in the whaling industry – underscoring a deep human failing…In warfare, man against man, it is common for each side to dehumanize the other so that there will be none of the natural misgivings that a human being has at slaughtering another…” ~Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection, New York: Doubleday, 1973 (quoted in “Whale Nation” by Heathcote Williams, Jonathan Cape ltd,1988)
Although there are many amazing places to go whale watching, such as Hawaii, New Zealand, and Spain, I have just listed a few below.
Azores – Portugal
“The brain size of whales is much larger than that of humans. Their cerebral cortexes are as convoluted. They are at least as social as humans. Anthropologists believe that the development of human intelligence has been critically dependent upon these three factors: brain volume, brain convolutions, and social interactions among individuals. Here we find a class of animals where the three conditions leading to human intelligence may be exceeded, and in some cases greatly exceeded. ~Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection, New York: Doubleday, 1973 (quoted in “Whale Nation” by Heathcote Williams, Jonathan Cape ltd,1988)
To plan your trip today: All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132