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Friday, 20 November 2015

Afternoon Tea At The Empress Hotel

The Empress.

Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Address: 721 Government St.  
Date: June 2005
Website: www.teaattheempress.com

  While in Victoria, BC we enjoyed a very fancy tea at the Empress Hotel.  Actually, a few days prior we ate in the harbour at a nearby Milestones restaurant and got a little too much sun.  Then we went on a whale watching tour in a zodiac boat and took on even more sun and wind.  By the day we arrived for tea we were more than a little bit sunburnt.

Victoria Harbour.

  As we walked up towards the entrance of the hotel, two leaning sequoia trees reached out to greet us.

Hello Sequoia.

  We were seated at a wooden table in the middle of their elegant tea room.  Tall, white columns stretched from the ceiling to the tapestries on the floor below.  A pianist played softly during the tea service.  Across the room the windows looked out towards the harbour.  Some light came in through the windows, but at least for now we were shielded from the full force of the sun.

Exclusive China Pattern Tea Cups.

  Our experience began with fresh strawberries served with whipped cream.  We were also served a glass of port each.

Three Tiers of Tea Time Treats.

  Next to arrive was a three-tier stand filled with treats.  There was a layer of sandwiches, a layer of desserts and of course a layer of scones and cream.  We do very much enjoy scones and clotted cream with our tea.  We each also received a pot of our chosen tea and an extra pot of hot water with which to refresh our tea.  The exclusive china pattern tea cups have been used since 1939 for the Royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

A Tea Time Tradition.

  Afternoon tea has been an Empress hotel tradition since 1908.  We have had tea all over the world, but this was one of our all time favourites.  We plan on making it a tradition every time we return to Victoria.


Map of Our World
Empress Hotel , Milestones Grill & Bar (Victoria, BC)

Post # 80

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bond In Motion (Part Two)

I'll have a martini.  Shaken, not stirred.

Location: London, England
Address: 45 Wellington Street
Date: Aug 2015
Website: www.londonfilmmuseum.com

  The London Film Museum at Covent Garden has been displaying the largest collection of James Bond movie vehicles ever assembled.  At the time of writing this post it has been extended until further notice.  It is also going to include vehicles from the latest Bond movie Spectre.  All of the items on display are originals used in filming.  When we were in London we could not pass up this opportunity as we have been enjoying the 007 movies our entire lives.   Below are some of the pictures we took during our visit.  We have presented them chronologically by film.  This is part two of two blog posts. ( Click here for Part One. ) This post covers movies where Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig play the role of James Bond.

The Living Daylights (1987)
They're looking for a foreign car.  A man & a woman.  And a cello.

James Bond's Aston Martin has a laser that chops off the bottom of a police car.  It can also shoot missiles just in case you need to clear a tractor trailer from the road.  If needed it has skis and spiked tires for escape over ice.  It even has rocket power to enhance its jumping ability.  Ultimately, this vehicle ends up wrecked in a snowbank.

We have nothing to declare...except this cello.

 Next, Bond rides down a snowy hill with Kara Milvoy inside her cello case.  All the while protecting the precious instrument and making it past the border patrol and into Austria.

Licence to Kill (1989)
The name is Dalton...Timothy Dalton.

This is a passport prop from Timothy Dalton's two movie run as James Bond.

GoldenEye (1995)
James is it really necessary to drive quite so fast?

Bond races this car against Xenia Onatopp and her Ferrari.  They encounter a truck full of hay and knock over a group of cyclists before Bond's passenger, an MI6 evaluator, urges him to stop.  He does, but a bottle of Bollinger champagne gets other things started.

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Will you need collision coverage? Yes. Property destruction?  Definitely.  Personal injury? I hope not.

This is a model of Bond's BMW that Q qives him while disguised as an Avis agent.  Bond remote control races this car through a parking structure while in the back seat.  The car takes on a huge amount of gunfire and Bond defends himself with numerous gadgets. He jumps from the vehicle and it ends up crashing out of the top floor of the parking garage and goes head first into the Avis car rental across the street.  Congratulations on a safe journey.

The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Stop! Stop! It isn't finished.

Bond shoots out of MI6 headquarters in this boat and pursues another boat up the Thames.

Storyboard of Boat Chase Scene.

As seen in the storyboard above, they race around several wharfs and Bond does a barrel roll flip over the other boat.  Bond even takes the boat through the streets for a shortcut before landing back in the water near London's O2 arena  He abandons his boat when he leaps from it onto a rope hanging from an escaping hot air balloon.

This isn't a social call.

Bond skis down a hill while pursued by several of these Parahawks.  Some of them are blown up, but the final one is sent straight off a cliff.

Can't you just say hello like a normal person?

This is a model of Valentin Zukovsky's (Robbie Coltrane) caviar factory.  Bond ambushes Zukovsky at the factory, but then some helicopters with huge hanging saws swoop in and start to cut the place apart.

Q's not going to like this.

Bond gets into his BMW and shoots down one of the helicopters, but another copter comes from behind and saws his vehicle in half.

Die Another Day (2002)
 All Units report.  Now!

One of these yellow skidoos runs into Bond's invisible Aston Martin.  Bond takes off racing across the ice.

Zao & his green Jaguar.

Under heavy gunfire from Zao in his green Jaguar, the camouflage on Bond's car fails.  Bond turns the car backwards to use his missiles against Zao's.  Bond gets flipped over, but uses his ejector seat to upright the car again.

Warning! Adaptive camouflage failure.

Bond takes out 2 more yellow skidoos as he enters the melting ice palace to save Jinx (Halle Berry).  His Aston Martin's camouflage is restored just in time to escape a ramming from Zao.

The name is Brosnan...  Actually now it is Craig.  Daniel Craig.

These are passport props from when Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig played James Bond.

Casino Royale (2006)
Take the stairs.

When his poker game takes a short break, Bond and Vesper Lynd head back to his room.  From the hallway, James overhears Le Chiffre being attacked.  The attackers identify Bond and a fight in the stairs ensues.  One attacker is quickly dropped down the stairwell while the other fights Bond with a knife.  Eventually, Bond chokes the last attacker to death.  During the scuffle Bond's tuxedo has been bloodied and ruined.

World Record Car Flip.

James goes looking for Vesper Lynd in his Aston Martin.  She has been left tied up in the road.  As Bond speeds along he only notices her there at the last moment and violently swerves the car.  This causes it to flip over several times.  Actually, this car flip is now in the Guinness Book of World Records for most cannon rolls in a car.  The record is seven.  

Quantum of Solace (2008)
This Aston Martin has seen better days.

Bond is in the middle of a high speed chase.  His Aston Martin takes on a huge amount of gunfire and ends up getting its door ripped off by a truck.  Eventually, he escapes his pursuers and pulls into headquarters in Siena, Italy.

You were supposed to shoot her.  Well I missed.

James Bond steals this bike and heads to the docks and jumps it onto a boat in order to catch up with Camille Montes.

Skyfall (2012)
Where are they now? They appear to be on the rooftops of the Grand Bazaar.

Bond chases after Patrice who has stolen a computer hard drive. They race on bikes through streets and shops and even along the rooftops. Patrice drops his bike and jumps off of a bridge and onto a train. Bond runs his bike into the edge of the bridge and leaps to the train below while his bike spins off out of control.

Always got to make an entrance.

Sylva's (Javier Bardem) helicopter flies in to launch artillery fire on Bond's Skyfall hideout.  The helicopter lands and Bond fends off Sylva and his men.  The helicopter blows up Bond's car and then Bond intentionally blows up the house.  He escapes into a tunnel while the blast takes out the helicopter as it flies over the home.

Spectre (2015)

This is part two of two blog posts.  Click here for Part One.


Map of Our World
London Film Museum

Post # 79

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Bond In Motion (Part One)

My name is Bond...James Bond.

Location: London, England
Address: 45 Wellington Street
Date: Aug 2015
Website: www.londonfilmmuseum.com

  The London Film Museum at Covent Garden has been displaying the largest collection of James Bond movie vehicles ever assembled.  At the time of writing this post it has been extended until further notice.  It is also going to include vehicles from the latest Bond movie Spectre.  All of the items on display are originals used in filming.  When we were in London we could not pass up this opportunity as we have been enjoying the 007 movies our entire lives.   Below are some of the pictures we took during our visit.  We have presented them chronologically by film.  This is part one of two blog posts. ( Click here for Part Two. ) This post covers movies where Sean Connery, George Lazenby or Roger Moore play the role of James Bond.

Dr. No (1962)

From Russia with Love (1963)

Goldfinger (1964)
She's a Beauty. Phantom 337 isn't she?

James Bond plants a tracking device on this Rolls Royce which belongs to Goldfinger.  Odd Job shows James how he can decapitate a statue with his flying hat and crush a golf ball with his bare hands.  Then he drives Goldfinger away.  Goodbye, Mr. Bond.

Thunderball (1965)
Tow Sled.

One of the tow sleds used by Emilio Largo and his scuba diving army during the underwater battle scene.

You Only Live Twice (1967) 
Oh, she's a wonderful girl.  Very small, quite fast. Can do anything. Just your type.
Little Nellie got a hot reception. Four big shots made improper advances towards her. But she defended her honour with great success.

Little Nellie gets assembled from the parts kept in several cases.  Her weapons come in handy as Bond uses flame throwers,aerial mines and rockets to escape the pursuing helicopters.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
I suspect they´re trying to kill me.

Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo owns and drives this vehicle to help Bond escape after he is shot at in a phone booth.  The chase takes them onto a race track with a race in progress.  They finally make their escape as a snowstorm sweeps in and they take refuge in a barn.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
If you see a mad professor in a minibus just smile.

When Bond steals a Tectronics lunar buggy and breaks through a wall, he is pursued by several guards on these Honda ATCs.  He jumps out of the buggy and then he kicks one of the guards off his bike,steals it and drives away.

Relax you've got a friend named Felix who can fix anything.

After jumping off the bike, Bond gets into this mustang with Tiffany Case and has to elude police through the old Las Vegas strip.  He finally escapes by tipping the car up on 2 wheels and squeezing through a narrow alleyway.

Lower away. Bath-o-Sub to crane, lower away!

Bad guy Ernst Stavro Blofeld tries to escape in this sub by being lowered into the water by a crane. Bond uses the crane to swing the sub into the control room before the oil rig is ultimately blown to pieces.

Live and Let Die (1973)
What the F...?

Bond races this boat through the bayous of Louisiana and jumps it over Sheriff J.W. Pepper.  One of the boats chasing Bond goes straight into Sheriff Pepper's police car.  James' engine is hit by gunfire and he manages to bring the boat up on land again before switching vehicles.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Can you swim?

After sending Jaws' car off a cliff and into a house, Bond escapes from a helicopter by entering the water where this car converts into a sub.  A quick missile shot straight up at the copter and he and Anya Amasova are alone at last.

How did you know about that? I saw the blueprints for this car two years ago.

It doesn't last for long as some divers using this scuba equipment attack the car.  Bond escapes by emitting a black cloud like an octopus and by dropping a mine.  He then drives out of the water and up onto a crowded beach to the dismay of the sunbathers.

You did want me to drop in.

James rides this Wetbike in order to reach Karl Stromberg's Atlantis sea fortress.

Moonraker (1979)
Drax's Special Car

This is a drawing of one of the cars that Bond and Holly Goodhead take in order to sneak in as pilots onto one of Hugo Drax's space shuttles.

For Your Eyes Only (1981)
I love a drive in the country don't you?

Bond escapes with Melina Havelock in this little yellow vehicle.  It tips over but they are helped to right it again by some friendly villagers.  The chase continues down a windy road.  Bond's vehicle mostly takes the off road shortcuts down the hill.  The chase ends with the bad guys stuck in a tree.

We have a visitor below.

This is a model of the Neptune sub that Bond and Melina use to retrieve the ATAC console from the wreckage of a ship.  They also win a battle with another submersible but no sooner do they reach the surface then Aristotle Kristatos steals the ATAC console from them.

Octopussy (1983)
Toro?  Sounds like a load of bull.

James reverses this jacket to switch from a brown tweed outfit into that of a colonel so he can sneak into an army base.

Fill'er up please.

The plane is disguised as the rear of a horse in a horse trailer.  The plane drives out and the wings unfold so Bond can escape.  He takes off and is pursued by a missile.  He flies through a hangar and turns just in time to make it out the back door before the missile explodes inside.  Running low on fuel, Bond manages to land and pull the plane up to a gas station.

Rupee!! Easy come, easy go.

After fighting off his attackers with the help of some street performers, Bond escapes in his taxi.  He throws out his backgammon winnings into the street and the crowds rush to collect it blocking the pursuing cab from passing.  Ultimately, they tear through a billboard and another drops down in its place hiding their exit.

Every good spy should have at least one gator sub.
 I hear that island is full of beautiful women.  No men allowed.  Hmmm, sexual discrimination. I'll definitely have to pay it a visit.

Bond uses this gator sub to sneak onto Octopussy's private island.

Never Say Never Again (1983) 

A View to a Kill (1985)
Follow That Parachute!

Bond commandeers a taxi and then proceeds to jump the car onto the roof of a bus.  He then smashes through a traffic barrier that takes the roof off of his car. Another collision then splits the car in half before Bond abandons it and jumps from the Pont Alexandre III bridge and onto a boat before landing into a wedding cake.  Congratulations.

Killing Tibbett was a mistake.

Bond jumps from a horse onto this Rolls Royce while trying to escape, only to find that it is being driven by May Day (Grace Jones) and that his friend Tibbett is dead in the back seat.

This is part one of two blog posts.  Click here for Part Two .


Map of Our World
London Film Museum

Post # 78