The Magic of Hobbiton

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Leaving Hamilton this morning (highlights of that short visit included a great Italian meal at Portofino,the discovery of a FLAT river trail, and a sumptuous breakfast at the River Kitchen), we headed to the movies.  Well, not the movies per se, but a movie set.  HOBBITON.  Now luckily we had watched a good part of the first movie at Tongariro chateau so we were at least minimally familiar with Hobbits and Hobbit holes,  but we were simply not prepared for the enchantment that was about to unfold.

Be prepared for lots of photos!!

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As the story goes, in September 1998 Sir Peter Jackson was doing aerial searches, seeking a location for the Hobbit village.  He discovered the Alexander sheep and beef farm, landed, and knocked on the door.  But Mr. Alexander was watching a rugby game and it wasn’t halftime, so he ignored the knock.  Peter Jackson, not to be deterred, continued knocking and finally at half time, Mr. Alexander answered the door. Peter asked if he could look around the farm for a possible movie set, and Mr. Alexander said, “Sure, but don’t expect me to take you around because I’m watching a rugby game.”

And as they say, the rest is history.  The original hobbit holes were created with untreated timber,ply, and polystyrene, and in 2009 were rebuilt with permanent materials for the Hobbit trilogy.  So let’s take a look at the Shire and a few of the 40 Hobbit holes. . . .

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The Hobbitholes were built to various scales, some 60% and some 90%.

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This Hobbit Hole was open and decorated just one meter into the opening.  The interior sets for Bilbo Baggins home were constructed in a studio in Wellington.

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The Hobbits, of course, live deep within Middle Earth with their rooms tunneling into the hills.  But they like sunshine, so occasionally windows pop up in the hillsides, along with chimneys, leaving one to only imagine how their rooms are arranged inside.   Indeed,they love their flowers and pottery decorations!

And finally we arrived at Bilbo’s home. . .

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I’m thinking of having this enlarged for our front door!

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At Bilbo’s mailbox, wondering what could be inside!!

Then it was on to the Green Dragon.

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Hobbits, of course, are always hospitable, and our guide Courtney carried on their tradition by offering us drinks, both non-alcoholic or otherwise.

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Don took full advantage of Hobbit hospitality. (Alternative truth or fact?)

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The now beautiful but once fierce Green Dragon adorns the bar.

After visits to the many Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon, the festival grounds, the artificial tree with its 20,000 specially wired-on leaves, the gardens of flowers, fruit, and vegetables, it was time to board our Hobbit bus for a ride back to the visitor’s center.  (This is the first time I’ve inserted a slide show so am hoping it works!)

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Our driver, Pip, finally helped me gain a true sense of identity when she described a Hobbit as one who has a round face, short stature, and wide hips.

THAT’S ME. . .I’M A HOBBIT!!

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