Armitage forensics: Ronda

Just before Richard Armitage’s birthday on August 22nd, I have a little Armitage treat for you. Best treat of course is to check out the Armitage birthday auction that Guylty has going on right now! But this is a little extra, a little birthday dessert, if you will.

Last week, after I posted my first Andalusian picture spam, Servetus was so kind as to point out in the comments section that I have been visiting the region in which Richard Armitage filmed an episode of Berlin Station. To regular readers here, it won’t be a secret that I never particularly warmed up to Berlin Station. So, while I did watch season 1 and 2 and little bit of season 3, I never bothered to get into the behind the scenes details of the show. I did know that Richard had filmed in Spain, but I only remembered he’d been to Las Palmas. However, episode 2 of season 2 was filmed in the south of Spain, exactly where I am visiting now on my summer holiday. Our ‘home base’ here is about 20 minutes away from the lovely old town of Ronda and Servetus reminded me that one episode had been filmed in and around… Ronda! Of course, I couldn’t resist, and the following scenario ensued between me and Mr. Esther.

Esther: So, sweetie, we need to do another fangirl forensic trip again. Last year we did Gregory Peck on Rhodos, this year it will be Richard Armitage in Ronda. He filmed an episode of Berlin Station here.

Mr Esther: That show you didn’t like? I thought it was set in Berlin?

Esther: Yes, but they did one episode in Spain. Richard has infiltrated a neo nazi group and needs to pretend to do an arms deal…

Mr Esther: Yeah, yeah. And that is set in Spain?

Esther. Yes, in Ronda. So, it’s images of Richard in Ronda! And I’m here in his footsteps!

Mr Esther: Really? The lengths I go through for you… alright, show me the episode…

Esther (at the ready, starting up the episode on my laptop): Here! I have found out the starting point but you are the Google Maps expert, help me with the rest.

Mr Esther (watching the Ronda parts in Berlin Station): Oh, I recognize that, we walked past there the other day!…. Don’t recognize that (consulting Google maps )… oh, but I know where it is and wanted to walk by there anyway… This will be there (zooming in on Google Maps)… I don’t think there’s a souvenir shop there… And see, in the market scene they don’t show the statue on the square… And look, that’s on the corner where we had dinner… Fine, we can do this, it’s partially in the section of town where we were still wanting to walk anyhow.

I’m lucky to have such a fangirl enabler for a husband. He’s so good at remembering locations, the perfect partner in crime to do this with. The kids just look at me with pity but willingly walked the route as well, as long as we never lingered too long in one spot. So, here goes…

The opening shot for the Ronda section in episode 2 of season 2 comes about 17 or 18 minutes into the episode. This is the screenshot:

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Obviously, we don’t have flying capabilities in the Esther household, so this how we saw that bridge while we were in town and the brige & town from a distance:

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All the scenes that were filmed for Berlin Station were filmed in the older part of town, to the right of the bridge in these pictures.

The first spot the actors stop at I was able to identify myself because of the name of the restaurant you see in the screenshot, the street is a side street off the main road right near the bridge:

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Again, I do not own a crane or a drone or whatever took this bird’s eye shot but we really were there ourselves:

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Richard and Emilia Schüle (who played Lena Ganz) park their car opposite that restaurant:

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And Mr Esther, with eagle eyes, commented: That P-sign is gone but you can see the faint outline of where it used to be! Even the markings on the wall below the P-sign are still visible.

Goes to show how dedicated Mr E is to details and getting them right.

So Richard talks to Emilia just after they get out of the car and walks that little section of street with the group…

To quote Mr E: “You are standing on holy ground, in the exact same spot where Richard stood.” 😉

Richard’s group moves on to another section of town, which is just across the street from the main road. This is where the souvenir shop is located, only in real life there is no souvenir shop there.

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In real life the building on the left with flags is a hotel. We walked by there a few days before we undertook the Armitage forensics walk.

We did get a shot of the door in front of which Rhys Ifans stands:

At one point Richard meets up with Emilia again. That location is a little further up the street from where the fake souvenir shop was located.

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We walked by that location after dinner so it was dark when Mr E took the picture of me there in Richard’s spot:

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Richard then walks to the market place with Emilia, that is just a few steps away from the previous location:

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There was no market there when we walked there, just a square…

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In this following picture with actor Thomas Kretschmann, you can see the iron gate that faces the valley in the background…

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… it’s where my kids stood for this picture before we even went on our forensic tour:

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Last but not least, Richard and group leave Ronda again. There’s a speedy car ride at the end…

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… which was filmed just down the street from the first location where the car had been parked:

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Walking a little further, we came to this point:

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We’re overlooking another, older, bridge over that cliff, situated lower in the old town. The cameras filming the car speeding must have stood on this exact spot as well, going by this screenshot:

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And so endeth the Armitage in Ronda forensic tour. We didn’t find the interior of that café where they talk or of the souvenir shop. We did walk into other souvenir shops in town, I told my kids to look out for a straw donkey souvenir like the one Richard bought…

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I had hoped to maybe offer that as a last-minute surprise item in Guylty’s Armitage birthday auction. The kids helped me look but no such item was to be found in the souvenir shops we walked into. In another town (Antequera) my daughter did point out this decorative item in a shop to me…

Donkey IMG_4456 Antequera… but the item was too large and not for sale anyhow.

As for villas, there are lots of villas that dot the Andalusian landscape. This is the one used in Berlin Station:

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And as we drove the other day, not far from Ronda, I spotted this villa…

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For a moment during the drive I thought that could be the one, but on closer inspection it isn’t. Still, it was a nice thought.

So, there you have it: a little Armitage forensics in action in southern Spain! It was a fun little project within our holiday. It’s our last day here, hanging at the apartment and swimming, we fly back home tomorrow. I think it’s time for me to head to the pool right now while I still can. 😎

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I wish I looked this good traveling…

So, the Korean fans did actually meet Richard Armitage off that plane and boy, did Richard look good coming off a long flight like that! Does he sleep, hydrate, meditate, put on face masks, what? No selfie he makes does him justice (he always looks off to me in them), these pics from the Korean fans do do him justice – Rich looked good! I know these have been shared everwhere already, but just to keep a record of it on my site as well, here are my faves that I came across…

These are from Babappa on Twitter, I cropped them a bit (click on pictures to enlarge):

Or these from qkrxhRod on Twitter. Especially love that first one:

And these from shine_71reen on Twitter are cute too. That little smile…so nice…

Or these from Veloce

He looked relaxed, pleased, I loved the longer hair and stubble, even the white shirt looked fine. The thank-you-to-the-fans picture he posted afterwards was sweet (albeit a selfie)…

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… and a nice little addition to the great pictures of him arriving in Seoul. Thank you fans in Korea for sharing your treasures! This made a fangirl’s heart happy. 🙂

Fangirling Armitage slump lifting?

In my e-mail I receive regular “London Theatre” updates and this was in my inbox today:

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That headline links to this article. Now, I know this news is a day or two old but this makes it extra official for me and it looks like I’ll have to plan another trip to London in January now! I think I read Uncle Vanya in high school but I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s about. Regardless, Richard back in the London theatre is something I can really look forward to! Finally something Richard-related for me to get really excited about again.

I know it can’t be helped due to the nature of the business but I don’t like getting excited over something that I’d really love to see Richard do and it then falling through. I recall that Edith Wharton Summer project that still hasn’t come to fruition (will it ever?), that musical that mysteriously was never to be and what happened to the priest project we heard of some months ago? I am sure I am missing more off the top of my head right now… and now there’s some mystery Korean scifi project he’ll be doing?

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I wonder if that will really happen? I’m not holding my breath quite yet but I also don’t quite know how excited to be about this. I do like how totally different this project is and I do love how the man seems to be challenging himself in so many ways.

I so want to fangirl a new Richard project but The Lodge won’t be for me and I still can’t make myself do audiobooks. I thought the first Castlevania was alright but haven’t seen the second yet. Trevor is animation and not Rich in the flesh after all. I haven’t done the newest Wolverine audio play yet either – again, no visual Richard. I like to have audio and visual Richard combined. I’m curious about My Zoe and I’m curious about The Stranger, which he’s filming now, but even those don’t have me over-excited yet. That little dad-dance he posted on Instagram from the set of The Stranger was fun, though, so that at least was a little excitement there. 🙂

I will eventually attempt Castlevania and Wolverine and I will watch all the other  projects for him and I hope they’ll be really good, but none of these projects, nor even the Korean scifi, makes my heart beat extremely wildly in anticipation. Let me be clear, I don’t begrudge him any of these projects and in everything he does, he’s always good! Also, this all makes him develop as an actor and become even better. However, these just aren’t projects I enjoy that much, I only watch them for him and not because I’d enjoy them independently from Richard.

Yet I still hold out hope for projects I can love, because even though the recent few years of Armitage projects haven’t excited me wildly (Urban and the Shed Crew excepted and that one is dead in the water as far as DVD release goes), the man for some reason or other still remains my favourite! Now finally, for the first time in a long time, I am getting excited again because Richard Armitage is coming back live on stage and within reach for me to go and see him! He’s co-starring with Toby Jones who I really like as an actor, he too is always good. Richard in a quality play, that really lifts my fangirl heart today. Here a little reminder of how good he is on stage: The Armitage in The Crucible

Yes, I’m sure I’ll be there in January 2020 at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.

BTS – the stress!

So, my daughter has become fan of the Korean K-pop boyband BTS.  

She and a friend of hers have seen the concert movie, that came out a few months ago, two or three times in the cinema. She knows the songs (although she doesn’t sing along to the Korean parts, that’s a little tough), the stories they sing in their songs (taken from their life experiences), the boyband members’ names and their background stories. In her room she now has a little BTS shrine…

… and now the boyband is doing a world tour and they are coming to London. With cheap lodgings possible at my brother’s house my daughter is desperate to go with her friend. And who am I to stand in the way of fangirls? So, last week Friday we were ready for the sale to begin for the show on June 1st at Wembley Stadium. I was logged in on a laptop, my daughter was logged in, her friend was logged in at her home as well, as was her friend’s brother. Oh man, we tried for hours, but no dice, no tickets! Even my work colleague, who I was Skype chatting with, offered her help, but no luck. There is also a show in Paris, so we tried that as well, even though lodging would be way more expensive, but nope, couldn’t get anything there either. The girls were very disappointed.

Last Saturday morning a second Wembley concert was announced for June 2nd and the tickets went on sale this morning. My daughter couldn’t be home, so I logged in on two laptops…

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… my colleague also logged in at home and the brother of  my daughter’s friend was logged in. Again, no luck! Got all sorts of errors on the website, my colleague got those same errors.

Finally we got this one, which was supposed to mean we had made it into a queue…

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… but even then we got kicked out. My colleague at one point was able to secure two prime tickets (the most expensive, but what the heck) but when she wanted to proceed to check out was kicked off again. Happened to me as well a few minutes later with two other tickets. Aaaargh, the frustration! But then finally, after about 45 minutes my colleague got through and sure enough, was able to secure two tickets! Quite high up and to the side of the stage but good enough.

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My daughter, who had just come in from an appointment and was going off to school again soon, was over the moon! After my colleague got in, I also got in (several times, actually, after refreshing) but the tickets I could purchase were even further back. So, these two tickets are it. And oh my goodness, the stress and heart palpitations this has cost me… Who knew a Korean boy band would be so popular?

I’m glad I’m working from home today, I couldn’t have survived this stress at the office. Speaking of stress at the office, another colleague was apparently in a heated argument with micro-manager yesterday. Looks like the next generation of micro management warriors is standing up. Anway, let’s not think of work. I need to de-stress after this whole ticket saga. Looks like I have another London trip to book. I’ll be going to London with the girls, just won’t join them for the concert. K-pop isn’t quite my thing and the girls want to fangirl on their own. 🙂

Fangirling again

I have a little more time again to fangirl now. Yay! 🙂

Saw this yesterday on my Instagram feed and it made me smile very widely.

Pierce Brosnan (whom I once briefly met) and Hugh Jackman (whom I will see live on stage in Amsterdam in May) bumping into each other in an airport lounge! Kinda funny too, as Amanda Seyfried (in the middle) played Pierce’s (probably) daughter in Mamma Mia and played Hugh’s adopted daughter in Les Miserables. Hugh says “Our daughter” underneath the same picture he posted to his Instagram. Awww. 🙂

Another picture I’ve been taking some extra time now to fangirl over, is Richard’s picture on top of another mountain from a few days ago…

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Dare I say, with even only a little bit of his face visible, he looks happy and relaxed? I wonder which mountain this is? Does he always go back to the same spots or does he pick something new every time? I hope he’s had/is having fun and I am still wondering what that exciting role he talked about a little while back will be… I’m done with Berlin Station, I quit watching after season 3 episode 2, so I’m really hoping for something new from him. By the way, Hugh was also on top of a mountain a few days ago. Spot the differences…

Moving on to fangirling over True Love in TV Series. The second half of Suits season 8 will air from next week. Will Donna and Harvey ever get together? Doesn’t look like it in season 8b, as Donna gets a new boyfriend…

I’m so done with this will they/won’t they situation, the Donna and Harvey (im)possibility has already been milked for what it’s worth, it’s obvious to me they finally SHOULD! On a side note, Louis looks on fine and funny form for season 8b…

And finally, Silent Witness is apparently still going strong on the BBC. I used to love watching the show, not only for the cases but also for the team dynamic of pathologists Nikki, Harry and Leo. Harry disappeared at the end of season 15 but when they killed off Leo at the end of season 16, I officially couldn’t watch anymore. They are up to season 22 now, I have caught bits of episodes here and there in recent years but it just doesn’t have the same magic for me anymore. And now, in a glimpse I saw last night (or was it the night before?) on the BBC, it looks like Nikki could be pregnant? How can she be pregnant and Harry not be the father? Yes, I still mourn the demise of that almost relationship. It seems she did have a love interest last season…

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Now I guess I need to watch those episodes and the next episode to see what’s what, because I am curious. I hope I can bear it… 😊