BUCKWILD--Star Wars Trek: 6/99--Part 4
Star Wars

Star Wars Trek: May 26 to June 26, 1999: Part 4

Louvre Arc de Triomphe Notre Dame Eiffel Tower Sacre Coeur
       We arrived in Paris a day and a half later and proceeded to act like normal tourists again. Over the next three days we saw the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Catacombs, Sacre Coeur, Saint Chapelle, Notre Dame, Versailles, and Rodin's home. I had been to this city before, but I was able to see many things that I missed a few years ago.
       A nice 100 mph Eurostar train ride later and we were in London. Ah, finally a country where everyone speaks English! After locating a place to stay we boarded another train to go see Hever Castle where Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Jar Jar surfaced in their Gungan submarine. I got another sample of water from "out of this world" while we were there. The next day we visited Leavesden Studios where many shots were captured for Episode I. The guards wouldn't let us in, but they posed for pictures and told us about what they knew about the movie. A few miles away is Whippendell Woods where the Gungan Forrest was filmed. We wandered around for over an hour, lost our way somewhat, and were never sure if we found the exact site. Without specific directions, it was impossible to find the right place since most trees look alike, but several areas were very similar to the movie. I didn't leave totally empty handed though since I took some of the Naboo dirt. Another mile away was Cassiobury Park and the canal that Jar Jar and the Jedis jump into.
Hever Castle's pond Whippendell Woods Cassiobury Park
Garrick Hagon
       The final Star Wars segment of our journey came the next morning when we met Garrick Hagon for coffee. Mr. Hagon played Biggs Darklighter in the original Star Wars. He was Luke's best friend and was killed by Darth Vader in the final battle against the Death Star. It was great to talk to someone who was actually there in Tunisia when they filmed the movie. He had a lot of stories about it and helped us resolve a few issues that we were confused about.
Big Ben and Parliment
       We spent four days in London so along with all of the Star Wars parts we were also able to see all the regular sites. We visited the British Museum, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Salisbury Cathedral, St. Paul's Cathedral, a few pubs, and saw Julius Caesar at the Globe theatre. Our trip was approaching its end as we finished up in London and soon we were back on a train.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
       It took a day to reach Pisa, Italy and we went over to see their leaning tower before continuing on. Our next stop was Florence and we spent half a day there. Florence was my favorite Italian city last time I was in Europe and it was still very nice, but more crowded then I remember. Of coarse the final stop of our trip was Rome, the place where this whole thing began.
       We took it easy while in Rome, but still saw quite a few things, such as the Circus Maximus, Coliseum, Forum, and all those other smaller things that I can't remember the name to. Two days later it was time to return home and after some delays with customs procedures on both sides we arrived in the USA. I had one night at Jared's house and then boarded a plane to the west coast. Once I arrived in my apartment I was glad to be home in a comfortable bed, but I was already starting to wish that we had more time to explore sites that we had missed or scenes that we couldn't line up right before leaving. I guess I'll just have to travel some more in the future. There are even a few locations that are close to home so I won't have to travel as far for my next trip.