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12 February 2012

Inspired to Travel—Greece

The cast of 'Mamma Mia.' Photo: WikiMedia Commons.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to write about movies that inspired me to travel for TravelCuriousOften.com. While that list was published, I have so many more that I want to feature here on EuroTravelogue whether it’s movies, books, trips taken by colleagues or whatever the case may be, that inspired or inspires travel. At heart, I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to stories of true love and the visual beauty of the world and its people around us. And so it with this underlying thread of "romance" that I weave together all of my “inspired by” stories for you and begin this new series with an adventure to the Greek Islands and perhaps a sing-a-long song or two with Abba along the way. 


Agios Ioannis in Greece.  Photo: WikiMedia Commons. 

“Mamma Mia”

Not only will you fall in love the picturesque Grecian landscapes, you’ll be singing along to timeless Abba classics from beginning to end in “Mamma Mia.” Perfectly cast as Sophie, Amanda Seyfried sings the most beautiful renditions of Abba’s greatest hits, perhaps better than some of the originals. Her sweet melodic voice carries me away with every note she sings! Also, headlining and singing, although not with the same panache as Sophie, are Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan—among an all-star cast who bring to life the songs of Abba in their search for answers and romance. 


Skopelos or as it's known by its fictional name Kalokairi.  Photo: WikiMedia Commons

But the allure of “Mamma Mia” lies in its captivating Grecian landscapes and the deep blue Aegean Sea. Primarily filmed in four Greek locations, “Mamma Mia” is undoubtedly one of the most scenic and dramatic musicals ever produced.

We begin in Skopelos—or as it’s known by its fictional name Kalokairi, a mountainous island with craggy cliffs, deep valleys alive with lush forests.

Skiathos—shadow of Mount Athos, with its sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea, and where the Greek mainland shots were filmed.


Skiathos, Greece—where the Greek mainland shots were filmed.  Photo: WikiMedia Commons. 

Amarantos—a collection of tranquil island coves where the picnic scene with Sophie and her three dads as well as the opening sequence, “Honey Honey” were filmed, my two favorite scenes and songs from the movie.

Agios Ioannis—perhaps the most dramatic setting is at the end of the movie when and where we find our chapel of love, rebuilt by the “Mamma Mia” team and rising at 100 meters above the sea; and finally, the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea on which we set sail to a most spectacular film from beginning to end. 


The "Mamma Mia" chapel on  Agios Ioannis in Greece.  Photo: WikiMedia Commons. 

That’s a wrap on this week’s “inspired by” travel story. Now you tell me, what or whom inspires you to travel? Share your experiences here and if you would like to contribute a guest post about your favorite movie, book or person that inspired you to travel, let me know. Here’s to romantic journeys ahead!

23 comments:

  1. Great article, Jeff

    one of my favorite movie is "My House in Umbria". i hope someday i could go to Umbria, Italy.

    Antoni Gaudi and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. his master piece made me want to go there. finally few years ago i could reach my dream. i was so happy to be one of lucky person who can be there.

    (Ruang Kota)

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  2. Hi there my friend and thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your comments! I love "My House in Umbria" and it's on my list to feature in a future article. Have you read the book? Very different ending and I prefer the movie's ending to it. Barcelona is definitely on my bucket list too!!

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  3. I've never read the book. very different ending? hm.. you make me want to read the book.
    barcelona..... you'll be in love with this city.

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  4. HI Ruang Kota!

    Yes, do read the book one day...it's fabulous...except for the ending. I say no more ;). Barcelona...here I come! Thanks again my friend! Hope all is well in Indonesia!

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  5. Summer is the right time to go to Barcelona. :)
    thank you .. everything is fine in here. just a little bit busy as usual :)

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  6. Well it doesn't take much to inspire me to travel :) Movies and books are definitely way up there. For instance, both the book and movie versions of Angels & Demons and the DaVinci Code made me want to visit Paris, London and Rome! One of my favorite books is Under the Tuscan Sun. This book made me want to visit Tuscany and buy a house somewhere in Europe (which is a dream of mine). Another favorite of my is Gigi! That one made me love the French accent :)

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  7. Hi Debbie, I couldn't agree with your more on your selection. You know, it's funny how last night, I stumbled upon Summertime with Katherine Hepburn and her romance in Venice. Now that's a movie that inspires travel too!! Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts and dreams!!

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  8. LOVED Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (2011). Funny and charming with a touch of Paris magic!

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  9. Actually, after seeing Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in the theater I instantly wanted to visit the Greek isles!

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  10. Lesley, I couldn't agree with you more. I can watch "Midnight In Paris" over and over and over again. I love the premise, the characters and the museum scene when Gil is commenting on the Picasso and Inez responds "What are you smoking?" Incredibly hilarious!! Thx for stopping by and sharing your fav!

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  11. Hi there Leslie!! Never saw "Sisterhood" but I heard great things about the film. Thx for stopping by and sharing your fav!!

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    1. This post is making me want to visit Greece asap! Wonder if there are good deals to be had given the economic situation :)

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    2. Hi there again and I couldn't agree with you more!! I wanted to go as I was writing this back in Feb. Thanks for stopping by again my friend.

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  12. Fabulous article! My husband and I are planning a late honeymoon to Greece and Italy. I've printed this article to make sure we don't miss the must sees.

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  13. Hi Alicia!!
    I love to receive comments like yours! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your upcoming plans and for printing out my article!

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  14. Thank you for this wonderful post, Jeff! My girlfriends and I were inspired by Mamma Mia and the Sisterhood movie to travel to Greece for a long awaited girlfriends' getaway. We're still planning the logistics (too hard to coordinate schedules with 6 women) so this is a great resource. One of my all-time favorites, The Sound of Music, has always inspired me to go to Austria. Does an event count to inspire you? I got caught up in all the hype during the 2000 Olympics, we spent part of our honeymoon in Sydney =)

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  15. Mary,
    Wow, another great comment today! Thank you so very much for your kind words and sharing your Greece vacation planning with me...I can only imagine how tough it is to pull together 6 people and coordinate the entire trip. However, I believe you're going to pull it off. Sound of Music is among my future posts in this category as are many others! And yes, of course events count...the Shanghai Expo has inspired me to visit China some day. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful comments. I really appreciate it!

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  16. Great article, An old movie Onassis inspired me to visit Greece for the first time, I would lov to go back and bareboat sail the islands instead of travelling by ferry.

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  17. Hi there Anonymous!! Thank you for your compliments and for your inspiration as well. Would love to see that old Onassis movie...do you know the name? Thx for stopping by to share your thoughts!

    Jeff

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  18. As a guy I am too embarrassed to say which movie inspires me to travel. However, I do watch it every year around the holiday. :)

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    1. Hi there Jeremy and thanks so much for stopping by! And glad you are inspired by the movies, some of which shall remain nameless to protect the privacy of said commenter--you.; ). Thanks for sharing.

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  19. The last time I traveled to Greece I had an absolute blast!Greece is such a wonderful place to visit. I love your review and the pictures! It's not everyday that you find such a wonderful and informational page.

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    1. Hi there Kori and thank you so much for stopping by. Sorry for the late response but just got back from Norway!! Greece is high on my bucket list and so happy to hear you love it too! Most of all, thank you for all of your kind words!!

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!