Wednesday 5 December 2012

Visiting Hobbiton

Now here's irony for you. Or me, really. I was looking forward to today as a day both out and off - a holiday from shoulder-wrenching labour on our front fence, which I water-blasted with especial attention to removing the tenacious lichen that was growing on it. So what do I see when I get to Matamata after a lovely ride in a comfortable new train, and am taken out to Hobbiton, which is the actual set of the Shire scenes from The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings before it)? Lots and lots of little fences artistically encrusted with authentic-looking lichen which, I discover, has been artfully and artificially recreated, and painstakingly applied by the set-makers.
The whole village is a triumph of tiny detail, a cosy green place of grass and flowers and hedges, with ponds and real frogs, trees and chimneys, a water mill and a pub serving very acceptable cider. We were shown around and told lots of stories about the filming and actors and Peter Jackson's insistence on having everything just so even if vast amounts of time and work and money were spent on making something look right that appeared in the background of one scene for 11 seconds only. It was really interesting: the hobbit holes are several different sizes, for instance, to make it easier to get the scale right when dealing with short hobbits and tall elves (or people).
Most of them are just facades, only a couple of metres deep behind the round front door, but Bag End, where Bilbo lived, has proper rooms and is a comparative mansion, it has so many rooms - not that we were allowed inside. We could have done with the shelter: it was pouring with rain and we ended up so drenched that when we got to the Green Dragon for our lunch, some people took off their sodden shoes to toast their feet in front of the roaring fire. Or maybe they were just channelling their inner hobbits (minus the hairy toes).


yellowgirl said...

your photo of bilbo's front door is so beautiful...could i steal it? ;) love your blog.

TravelSkite said...

Thank you, yellowgirl - and thanks for being so honest as to ask. Yes, you may, but please credit it to with a link if possible. Come again!


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