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On the tracks of 007

By Martijn Mulder 07 Jul, 2017
Immediately after I announced the 2017 Tour of Japan, around the SPECTRE premiere back in 2015, people started sharing their interest in this unique once-in-a-lifetime trip. Japan, one of the most interesting countries to visit, yet also one of the least visited by Bond fans! Confident to reach the minimum required number of participants, I soon reached the maximum - 40 people - within just a few weeks after completing the tour brochure in April 2016.  One year later , friends and fans from 7 different countries (USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and Canada) traveled to Japan in order to participate in a Tour of Japan that would bring us from Tokyo to Kagoshima in just 14 days.
By Martijn Mulder 01 Sep, 2016
Although I love lots of movies and genres, there are some series that I do not know much about. 'Tarzan' is one of them. I can tell you Johnny Weissmüller played the role ages ago, but that's about it. Still, this story is so special that it just has to be shared. So even if you're totally not into Tarzan, like me, just sit back, relax and read this story. It's a good one..

A few years ago, an older friend of mine gave me a VHS cassette and asked me if I could make a digital copy and duplicate it for a few of his friends. They are all into old British cars, Austins to be exact, and my friend owns and restored a couple of them and happily takes the oldtimers on holiday to Scotland and Scandinavia, year after year. I agreed to help him out and took the cassette home where I put it in my VCR, curious to see what was on it.
By Martijn Mulder 07 Jun, 2016
One of the locations that had always puzzled us, is the gas station location, where 007 drives his Acrostar BedeJet to and quips "Fill 'er up, please". We posted the above photo on our website's WANTED page , hoping some fellow location hunter would be able to solve this puzzle. And this is exactly what happened..
By Martijn Mulder 02 Apr, 2016

The island of Hong Kong was occupied by the British Empire in 1842. In 1856 Britain acquired the Kowloon peninsula on the Chinese mainland. The Crown Colony of Hong Kong was completed by the lease of the New Territories from China in 1898. This lease was supposed to last for 99 years. In 1984 the governments of Great Britain and the People’s Republic of China made an agreement that the British rule over Hong Kong would expire on June 30, 1997. Since July 1, 1997 it has been a ‘Special Administrative Region of China’. For the normal visitor and tourist very little, if anything at all, has 'really' changed since then. The British Governor was replaced by a Chinese appointed head of administration, but capitalism still rules and the cars still drive on the left hand side of the street. Only you will get some different stamps in your passport.  The urban beehive of Hong Kong is a bonanza of fascinating sights and experiences and only few destinations yield their treasures so readily like this unique place at the verge of the Middle Kingdom.

Highlights of a visit to Hong Kong would be for example an ascent of Victoria Peak (by funicular railway) from where you have a spectacular view of the whole area, or a meal in the ‘Floating Restaurants’ at Aberdeen (Pierce Brosnan in the TV-series ‘Noble House’) or a trip to the outlying island of Lantau with the world’s largest outdoor Buddha-statue. The most popular novel dealing with Hong Kong is definitely ‘The World of Suzie Wong’ by Richard Mason. Although the action takes place in the Wanchai District, most parts of the film (1960), starring William Holden and Nancy Kwan, were shot in the area around the Man Mo Temple at the crossing of Ladder Street and Hollywood Road in the Sheung Wan District. 
By Martijn Mulder 11 Jan, 2016
‘Venice! A magnificent city! A city with an irresistible appeal to the educated, because of its history as well as its present charms.’ Though it is a bit of an elitist point of view from which Thomas Mann praises the north-Italian city in his novel ‘Death in Venice’ in 1912, he hits the nail right on the head. Also for the tourist of the 21st century Venice has lost nothing of its fascination. Bond visited this unique city at the northern tip of the Adriatic Sea three times, first in 1963 in From Russia With Love. But at that time only some few snapshots of it were used as a background. No real action took place there. This was totally different in 1979. In Moonraker many of Venice’s beauty spots, the world-famous ones and the hidden ones, were featured excellently. In 2006, EON returned to the beautiful city to film the spectacular finale of their reboot entry Casino Royale. Apart from the Bond-sites you will find a multitude of cultural treasures and pieces of evidence of the city’s glorious past. So take your time to appreciate it properly.
By Martijn Mulder 24 Dec, 2015
When James Bond visits Marco Sciarra's funeral in the latest Bond film SPECTRE, we can see him talking to Sciarra's widow, Lucia. After the funeral, Lucia returns to her home, puts on some music and pours herself a drink. She slowly walks outside to the pool area, waiting for the inevitable..

Her bodyguards follow her behind her back and aim to execute her. Two dry clicks can be heard and we see her executioners fall to the ground. Bond appears and walks up to her. After looking around, he remarks "What a lovely view.." 

What follows next is one of the best scenes in SPECTRE. Craig is wonderful here, as a 007 who is as confident as Connery was in the 60s. Pure excellence, and you get the beautiful Monica Bellucci as a bonus. Eventhough her screen presence is limited to exactly 6 minutes, Bellucci is a perfect match for Craig's 007 and the chemistry drips off the screen.
By Martijn Mulder 06 Dec, 2015
After finishing his 'Dollar' trilogy, Italian director Sergio Leone initially wanted to step away from the Western genre and start working on his next project, which ultimately would become 'Once Upon a Time in America'. When Paramount offered Leone a chance to work with his long time favorite actor, Henry Fonda (originally invited to play Eastwood's role in A Fistfull of Dollars and later asked to play Lee van Cleef's role in the sequel), Leone simply couldn't refuse.

He started working on a new western with Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento and together they came up with an interesting story about two conflicts happening around the fictional town of Flagstone. For the main part, Harmonica, Leone turned once again to Clint Eastwood, who by that time, wanted to move on and declined. He then turned to the man who he initially asked to play the man with no name (who actually did have a name - three different names in three different films, but that's another story..), Charles Bronson.

Most of the film was shot in and around what is now known as Mini-Hollywood, an rugged area in the Almeria region of Spain. Here, Flagstone was built from scratch, only a few kilometers away from the western town-set built for the Dollars-trilogy. Both sites still exist and have become real tourist attractions, although most visitors do not realise that these sets were actually built for the Leone spaghetti westerns.

There are two scenes in the film, however, that were NOT filmed in Europe.. The first wasthe buggy ride from Flagstone station to Sweetwater, on the road in the picture below, and the second is the famous recurring flashback scene in which Harmonica is forced to play his brother's funeral music during the latter's hanging. And that site still exists today as well, surprisingly, all the way in Monument Valley..
By Martijn Mulder 08 Nov, 2015
Now that the new Bond film SPECTRE has had its release in Europe and the USA, we can start looking at some of the locations used for this film. It must be said, that after the largely UK based production of Skyfall, the new film fortunately brings back memories of globe trotting adventures like Moonraker.

The travelogue style, absent for quite a while, is typically part of James Bond films. New discoveries lead to the next location and this way the story takes you all around the world. And that's what we like, don't we? SPECTRE starts off in Mexico City, with a spectacular pre-credit sequence. After the titles, Bond is in London and from there, the story takes us to Italy, Austria and Morocco, after which it returns to London.

While in Mexico City, a name comes up: The Pale King. For those of you who managed to stay completely spoiler-free (is it possible?), the return of Jesper Christiansen as Quantum operative Mr. White may have come as a complete surprise. For the majority of the viewers however, the might have just called him Mr White, as the link was quite obvious. Anyway, his search for the Pale King brings Bond to Austria. To Lake Altaussee to be exact.

When Altaussee was first mentioned as a filming location for SPECTRE, the area's Second World War link with fleeing Nazis, hidden Nazi gold and buried treasure immediately sprung to mind. During this time, the Ausseerland region was part of the so-called  Alpine fortress . It is for this reason, that in the last year of the war it became a last refuge for Nazi party, government and army staffs.Ernst Kaltenbrunner, head of the SS-Reichssicherheitshauptamt, moved his headquarters from Berlin to the Villa Kerry in Altaussee in late April 1945. Other high ranking Nazi and SS officials like Adolf Eichmann and Franz Stangl, tried to go into hiding in the village, on the run from the approaching Western and Russian forces.
By Martijn Mulder 23 Jul, 2015
I decided to add this blog to the revamped 'On the tracks' website, to make it easier to share stories & photos to your world. The blog will not focus on 007 alone, but will also contain stuff that otherwise wouldn't fit into this website.

No, I will not share my daily routine with you, not will I post what I had for dinner tonight. I put that on Facebook.

Let's just see if there's enough creativity to fill these pages every now and then..

Cheers!

On the tracks of 007

By Martijn Mulder 07 Jul, 2017
Immediately after I announced the 2017 Tour of Japan, around the SPECTRE premiere back in 2015, people started sharing their interest in this unique once-in-a-lifetime trip. Japan, one of the most interesting countries to visit, yet also one of the least visited by Bond fans! Confident to reach the minimum required number of participants, I soon reached the maximum - 40 people - within just a few weeks after completing the tour brochure in April 2016.  One year later , friends and fans from 7 different countries (USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and Canada) traveled to Japan in order to participate in a Tour of Japan that would bring us from Tokyo to Kagoshima in just 14 days.
By Martijn Mulder 01 Sep, 2016
Although I love lots of movies and genres, there are some series that I do not know much about. 'Tarzan' is one of them. I can tell you Johnny Weissmüller played the role ages ago, but that's about it. Still, this story is so special that it just has to be shared. So even if you're totally not into Tarzan, like me, just sit back, relax and read this story. It's a good one..

A few years ago, an older friend of mine gave me a VHS cassette and asked me if I could make a digital copy and duplicate it for a few of his friends. They are all into old British cars, Austins to be exact, and my friend owns and restored a couple of them and happily takes the oldtimers on holiday to Scotland and Scandinavia, year after year. I agreed to help him out and took the cassette home where I put it in my VCR, curious to see what was on it.
By Martijn Mulder 07 Jun, 2016
One of the locations that had always puzzled us, is the gas station location, where 007 drives his Acrostar BedeJet to and quips "Fill 'er up, please". We posted the above photo on our website's WANTED page , hoping some fellow location hunter would be able to solve this puzzle. And this is exactly what happened..
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