In spring 2020, Daniel Craig is set to hang up his Walther PPK holster for the last time following his fifth outing as 007. No Time to Die will see James Bond travel to the franchise’s spiritual home of Jamaica – where Ian Fleming penned the novels – and swap Caribbean sunsets for the moody fjords of Norway, a first for the series. And perennial Bond favourite Italy will shine once more with the Aston Martin set to ride again, this time further south in Matera.
Over the course of more than 50 years, James Bond has travelled to over 40 countries, from Azerbaijan to North Korea, Afghanistan and Bolivia. But dig deeper in this frequent flyer’s air-mile history and you’ll see there are many destinations yet to be explored in future films – whichever guy or girl gets their hands on that 'Double 0' code number.
Here are a few places that are long overdue for a visit from this iconic globetrotter.
Having visited only four out of a possible 57 countries (Egypt, multiple Morocco visits, Uganda and Madagascar), 007 really does need to up his game and see more of Africa. And for our money(penny), the walled Old Town in Harar, Ethiopia, is a perfect candidate for a thrilling pre-title sequence. This city’s maze of cobbled streets is just the backdrop needed for chasing a shady adversary, particularly when there are bustling markets to burst through, colourful rooftops to jump off and a ready supply of animals to commandeer for escape, courtesy of the local market.
Then there are the hyenas that skulk the city at night, lured in by food cooked by local chieftains. Although they ordinarily pose no threat to the average visitor, surely they are the perfect means by which to dispatch that persistent henchman, perhaps with a Roger Moore–esque quip about “being no laughing matter”.
Bond might be hard-pressed to find a tolerable vodka martini in Harar, but Ethiopia’s own local poison represents the perfect substitute: a potent shot of akari is just the tonic to end another tough day on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
High Tatras, Poland
The pre-titles end, Adele stops singing and the camera opens onto the stately Old Town Square in Krakow. For a franchise with roots in the Cold War, it’s a little surprising that there haven’t been many forays into the former Soviet Union over the years.
And it’s not just the wonderful array of Polish cities we can imagine seeing Bond prowl through that make Poland long overdue for a visit – it's the great outdoors. With Daniel Craig having proved loath to don snow boots, the time is nigh for reintroducing ski-chases, and Zakapone is the perfect spot for an alpine adventure. The slopes here boast not only the best pistes in the region but a stunning ice lake at the foot of the mountains – another henchman-dispensing opportunity. And as an added incentive for M, the Tatras region really does boast good value skiing, so 007 can spare his blushes when submitting his next set of expenses.
Beyond the slopes, Poland boasts the enchantingly quirky salt mines of Wieliczka. Tourists can see but a fraction of these subterranean tunnels, which stretch to 327km and are dotted with salt-hewn statues, chandeliers and even a chapel. Is this not the perfect lair for a Bond villain? Quick, somebody get a cat.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The jury’s out as to whether 007 hurtling down Iguazú Falls in Moonraker constitutes 'visiting Argentina', but he has certainly never been as far south as Buenos Aires on screen. The City of Silver oozes with the sophistication we’ve come to expect from the franchise (in between the explosions and the gun fights). The artsy district of San Telmo is a perfect place to suit up, boot up and order a swanky cocktail.
Atmospheric Bar Plaza Dorrego is just the ticket for sharing a beer with Felix Leiter and getting a mission debrief, but it won't be long before a tuxedoed James Bond is drawn to a spot like Doppelgänger for its expertise in vermouth and martinis, presumably with a femme fatale on his arm.
You can use your imagination as to where this all ends up – tango at Matilda Milonga, a snobby comment about the ideal Malbec vintage, and a knowing raised eyebrow...
The Cabot Trail, Canada
Whether it's zooming around Lake Garda in Quantum of Solace, stalking Auric Goldfinger across the Swiss Alps or corkscrewing over a Bangkok river in The Man with the Golden Gun, you cannot have a Bond film without an iconic car chase. And the Bond producers need look no further than Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail for a high-speed cat-and-mouse on wheels. Bond is nearly sent to Canada in Thunderball before opting to save the world from nuclear annihilation in the Bahamas instead, and so it is high time he hit the road across the country’s unrivalled natural landscape.
The Cabot Trail boasts unfurling roads that loop through verdant pine forests and swoop along cliff-hugging coastal highways, not to mention the white-knuckle swerves needed to dodge the occasional moose. And if Bond still can’t escape on land, the Atlantic Ocean is there to plunge into. Better pack the Lotus Esprit, Q.
With Aussie actor George Lazenby having played Bond, it is only fair that 007 head Down Under (even though Timothy Dalton’s Wales and Pierce Brosnan’s Ireland are also noticeably absent from the franchise).
Sydney should be centre-stage for a James Bond finale; the sheer number of iconic sights around the harbour alone merit an action-packed final confrontation. Imagine the nail-biting boat chase across the waters: a speedboat vaulting over the Opera House, crashing into the Rocks, and the ensuing bare-knuckle fight with an arch-villain across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
And after those dastardly plans have been inevitably thwarted, all that’s left is for a snog on Bondi Beach before revving up the Aston Martin towards the Grand Pacific Drive, dappled in sunset light.
After all, James Bond will return. And you can be sure there’s still a ton of globetrotting to be done.
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