Every year we pick the year's most travel-inspiring movies--and what a year it was! 'Flightplan,' 'Babel,' 'Poseidon,' 'Snakes on a Plane'....Oops, wrong list.
10. THE ILLUSIONIST
Eisenheim (Edward Norton) falls for a duchess (Jessica Biel) and uses magic--and his wits--to thwart Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). Set in Austria in 1900, The Illusionist was shot in the Czech Republic. 'The best Vienna is Prague,' says location manager Jaroslav Vaculik.
Magic Castle Eisenheim wows with a trick inspired by King Arthur at Dobris Chateau (011-420/318-521-240, firstname.lastname@example.org, by appointment, $8). From Prague's Andel station, take a bus toward Príbram.
The Hunting Lodge The royal hunting lodge is Konopiste, in Benesov. The train ride from Prague's Hlavni Nadrazi station, toward Tabor (get off at Benesov) is an hour long (011-420/317-721-366, zamek-konopiste.cz, tours $8-$14, closed Mondays, open April to November).
Childhood Home Eisenheim grew up in Cesky Krumlov. From Hlavni Nadrazi in Prague, take the train to Ceske Budejovice, switch for a train to Cesky Krumlov; the trip requires four hours total.
9. SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY
Sydney Pollack's documentary delves into the mind and architecture of friend Frank Gehry. "I'm not sophisticated about architecture, so I don't look at it intellectually," says Pollack. "The buildings I get speak to me on an emotional level." Here are his three favorite Gehry buildings:
Guggenheim Bilbao The famous art museum, in northern Spain, "made all kinds of music in my head," says Pollack (011-34/94-435-90-80, guggenheim.com, $13, closed Mondays).
Marqués de Riscal Winery and Hotel Gehry's hotel in the Rioja wine country, 68 miles southwest of Bilbao, opened in October. Rooms start at $380 a night, but a 90-minute vineyard tour is $8 (011-34/945-18-08-80, marquesderiscal.com).
Vitra Design Museum "Vitra was the last building Frank did before discovering the computer," says Pollack. "He was playing with the same shapes that he later was able to have breakthroughs with." It's in Weil am Rhein, Germany, a 15-minute ride on bus #55 from Basel, Switzerland; the bus stops right outside (011-49/7621-702-3200, design-museum.de, $10).
8. THE DA VINCI CODE
Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) gets called to the Louvre, where he meets cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou); they're soon on a hunt for the Holy Grail. The adaptation of Dan Brown's bestseller was shot in England, Scotland, Malta, and France.
Smart Driving Langdon and Neveu flee the Louvre in a Smart car and halt before the U.S. Embassy at Place de la Concorde. Rent your own Smart from Avis at Charles de Gaulle airport or Parking Saint Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement (800/698-5674, avis.com, from $667 for five days).
Wrong Turn At Temple Church off London's Fleet Street, built by the Knights Templar, Langdon and Neveu find effigies--as well as some unwelcome company. The Master of the Temple gives free talks on his Da Vinci-related book on select Fridays (011-44/20-7353-3470, templechurch.com, $7.50).
The Reunion Rosslyn Chapel, where Langdon and Neveu part ways, is in the countryside seven miles south of Edinburgh. Appropriately enough, enigmatic Masonic and Rosicrucian carvings cover every cranny of the 15th-century structure. The chapel is open daily and holds Episcopalian services on Sundays (011-44/131-440-2159, rosslynchapel.org.uk, $13).
7. THE HOLIDAY
Unlucky in love, two women--Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet)--swap houses for a fortnight. Their luck changes. (To be released December 8.)
The British Home Iris's cottage is in Shere, 45 minutes southwest of London. In the film, Shere is portrayed by two villages, Shere and nearby Godalming. National Rail offers daily service from Waterloo Station to Guildford, 15 minutes from Shere by taxi (011-44/8457-484950, nationalrail.co.uk, $19 round trip). The Holiday's production designer, Jon Hutman, recommends two spots in Shere: The Lucky Duck Tea Room for breakfast (011-44/1483-202445) and The White Horse Inn for dinner (011-44/1483-202518).
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