BUCKWILD--Star Wars Trek: 6/99--Part 3
Star Wars

Star Wars Trek: May 26 to June 26, 1999: Part 3

Sidi Driss
Sidi Driss
       Back at the hotel we had dinner with a large tourist group before retiring to our rooms for the night. Since the hotel was underground it was cooler then the surface and we got a great nights sleep. In the morning we explored around the hotel for awhile. Some of the set decorations were still installed and the ceiling painting in the dining room was still there. Standing in that room I could almost hear Luke whining to his Aunt and Uncle about going to the academy.
Ksar Hadada door
Ksar Hadada
       Later we drove to the city of Tataouine to mail some postcards and then continued on to Ksar Hadada where the slave quarters were filmed. This was another place where I wished that I had more reference images, but I did the best that I could. Quite a few doors and doorframes were still up from the movie two years ago. I wish that we could have returned with a door, but we didn't want to carry it around for the next three weeks.
       The next morning we returned the rental car in Tozeur and caught a bus back to Tunis. From there we got a louge (group taxis) to Tabarka where we spent the next two nights. There is nothing Star Wars related in Tabarka, but it was relaxing and we were able to go scuba diving while there.
       We finally boarded a ferry to Sicily from Tunis after having problems finding anyone who knew the schedule or anything at all about the ferries. Once in Italy we headed back to Naples where we stored our bags in a locker before going on two short trips. The first was to Caserta where all the palace scenes were filmed in The Phantom Menace. The shots here were easy to line up because not much was changed when they filmed. Add a desk, chairs, and a few wall panels and it would be Naboo all over again. Our second trip was to Pompeii. I never really knew much about the city besides it being buried in ash, so I was surprised to find so much intact and still being uncovered today.
Caserta Caserta Caserta
San Marco Basilica
       That evening we took an overnight train to Venice and Jared's video camera was stolen somewhere around Rome. There wasn't anything that we could do so we just continued on. A lot of great footage was on that camera and now it is gone forever. In Venice we did the normal tourist things before beginning the long journey to Norway.
       Two days later we arrived in Finse, Norway or maybe I should call it Hoth. Looking around I almost expected to see a Tauntaun run by or maybe a snowspeeder flying overhead. Finse is a very small town and as we approached the hotel we saw the sign stating that June was the only month of the year that they were closed. There were two people on duty at the train station though so we asked them about the film sites. They gave us some strange looks and pointed us in the right direction, but said all of the trails and roads were closed this time of year. We decided to explore anyway since we had come so farand couldn't leave until the next train came in a couple of hours. The movie was shot about 4 miles out of town and after 45 minutes we made it as far as we could, about a half of a mile. Further on there were no trails and we didn't have the equipment to continue on so we returned to the station to wait for the next train. It was very easy to see the planet Hoth while walking around. I bet the only difference between where we made it to and the actual film site would be that you couldn't see any signs of civilization if you went farther out. The entire journey to Finse wasn't a waste though since some scenes were filmed right behind the hotel when weather prevented the crew from reaching the film site. Before leaving I took some Hoth glacier water for my collection.
Finse Finse Finse