Friday, April 14, 2017

Middle Earth

Yes it seems kind of cheesy and touristy but our visit to the Shire/Hobbiton was very pleasant. As we left Rotorua the sun was shining and all the surrounding hills transformed to a bright, emerald green. A rainbow even appeared as we headed out on the bus.
This movie set location was one of 150+ different ones that were used for the Lord of the Rings. After they finished filming, the set was removed but when Peter Jackson made the Hobbit movies, he rebuilt the set as permanent structures. At that time many tourists were already coming to the farm near Matamata where the filming had taken place and now Hobbiton is a major employer in the area (including 5 full time gardeners).
There are 44 hobbit houses and Linda and I decided we'd see if any hobbits were home. Actually, none of the houses have anything in them - only the front. You open the door and see a wall!
This is part of Bag End, where the Baggins lived. Atop the house is a beautiful tree - fake with thousands of fake leaves sewn on.
Most of the shrubs, bushes, plants, flowers are NOT native but were brought in to match Tolkien's descriptions. However, the large pine trees on the property were there, including the one in this photo - called the Party Tree because that's where the big party in the Shire (the first LOTR) takes place.
 Samwise Gamgee's place at the end of the movie. He's living here with Rose and his 14 (?) kids.
At the Green Dragon Inn we were given a pint of (in my case) stout. The beer is brewed specially for Hobbiton.
The grounds really were magnificent and we spent about 2 hours roaming around (with a guide). The Hobbiton Movie Set comprises about 30 acres of the 1200 acre property which is still a real, working farm - sheep, cows, etc.
 Such a beautiful, magical place. Well worth the visit on a sunny day.


Anne said...

Hello Lynn, nice to see that you are having another incredible adventure. Middle Earth sounded like fun as did the luge-ing. Hi to Linda and Nancy too. Best of luck in the golf part of your visit!

lynnfield said...

Thanks Anne - about the golf? I'll need all the luck I can get!

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