In a hole in the ground

…there lived a hobbit. Yes, I have finally made it to Matamata, or should I say Hobbiton? João, Lauren, Paula, Lillian and me did an exicting road trip up the North Island (I’ve actually survived driving a car on the left side of the road) to visit the movie set as it was used for the Lord Of The Rings and now of course for the upcoming two Hobbit movies.

After my “Lord Of The Rings” movie tour some weeks ago I was kind of expecting some bits and pieces of props here and there with a few hobbit holes and a lot of space for camera and crew all around. To my surprise the whole set could as well be a real hobbit village in the middle of nowhere. The landscape all around is dominated by those beautiful rolling green hills, the only direct neighbours are 12,000 sheep and the Alexander family that owns the farm the set is located at. I can imagine how intense the filming experience must have been when you really can’t see any modern building from where you’re standing.

Now that we are at it, let me introduce Pickles, the cat that has been living on the set for quite some time already. Not only did she like following us visitors, but also has she been present during the filming of the Hobbit last year. I will have a look out for her in the movie as she has probably made it in some of the scenes.

The rest of the weekend has been great fun as well with lots of hours on the road, one night in Matamata and another in Taupo, my first experience playing Golf and a lot of good food (second breakfast, you know what I’m talking about). Of course, every place is only as good as the people you meet there – isn’t that what they say? If that’s true then I understand why I enjoy my time here so much. Sadly it’s time to say goodbye to Lauren who will be going back home to Hawaii/San Francisco this week. But in general it’s also time to say thank you guys for making my time here such a great experience. Really, thank you.