Long-time readers of The Archaeology of Tomb Raider will probably be familiar with my series, Lara’s Travels, which looks at the various real-life locations Ms Croft has visited over the years. Places which include Meteora, the Greek monastic complex which may have been the inspiration for Tomb Raider 1’s St Francis’ Folly, and Jan Mayen, the icy, volcanic island which made an appearance in Tomb Raider: Underworld.
Lara’s globetrotting adventures have inspired many to follow in her footsteps and see these famous landmarks for themselves. And here are 5 bloggers who have done just that:
1) Mary Goodden (Well-Rendered)
Mary, author of one of my favourite gaming blogs, Well-Rendered, spent 3 weeks in Egypt back in 2010 and wrote this account of her travels for Stella’s Tomb Raider Blog. During her time in Egypt, she visited some of the locations featured in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, including the Valley of the Kings, Karnak, the old Islamic quarter of Cairo and, of course, the pyramids at Giza. A riveting read that draws comparisons between the real-life locations and their in-game counterparts and showcases some of Mary’s beautiful photos.
2) Anya Martin (Guest Blogger, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider)
Anya is one of The Archaeology of Tomb Raider’s guest bloggers and last summer, she visited Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer Empire and home to the now-famous Angkor Wat temple complex. In her guest blog, Tomb Raider and the Temples of Angkor, Anya wrote about the site’s history, Cambodia’s troubled past, and the effect that Tomb Raider has had on Cambodia’s tourism industry and Siem Reap’s local economy. Insightful and informative.
3) Jaden Morretti (Guns & Grapple)
Jaden, who runs the fansite Guns & Grapple, had the rare opportunity of visiting Aldwych Station as part of a tour group back in 2010. The station, which made an appearance in Tomb Raider 3, closed its doors in September 1994 and can now only be visited as part of a guided tour, though it has also been used as a film set in recent years (e.g. in Skyfall, V for Vendetta, and BBC’s Sherlock). Photos of Jaden’s visit to Aldwych Station can be found here.
4) Sim Comfort (Guest Blogger, Stella’s Tomb Raider Blog)
Though not technically featured in the Tomb Raider game series, Sim Comfort wrote a piece about Wimbledon, London, the birthplace and childhood home of a certain Ms Croft. A Wimbledon resident himself, Sim is well-acquainted with the area and the places Lara would have visited if she were, indeed, real. Photos of this affluent London district and the school Lara attended (according to Core Design’s biography) can be found over here.
5) Kelly M (Blogger, The Archaeology of Tomb Raider)
Last but not least, there’s me. Although I wouldn’t necessarily say Tomb Raider inspired me to travel, it certainly gave me a few more places to add to my travel wishlist. There is one place, however, that I have visited specifically because it appeared in a Tomb Raider game: Trajan’s Market in Rome. It’s a site often overlooked by tourists but it’s worth a visit if you’re in the area. The upper levels offer fantastic views of Il Vittoriano and the ruins of Trajan’s Forum and there’s even a few friendly cats who patrol the site. Now, I wonder which Tomb Raider location I should visit next…
Have you visited any of the places that appear in a Tomb Raider game? And have you written about your travels or uploaded any of your photos? Feel free to leave a link to your blog post(s) in the comments section below!