26 Aug 2014

Corfu Coastal Road - Kaiser's Bridge

"Smugglers? How would I know any smugglers?
I would have thought that, a lady, in your position, would get to know many things..."

Bond and Lisl in Kristatos' Rolls Royce Silver Shadow
In For Your Eyes Only, 1981, Bond gives the Countess Lisl Von Schlaf a lift home after an evening at the Corfu Casino. Kristatos lends his Rolls Royce to Bond, saying he will stay at the casino to play a little "Chemmy" (Chemin-de-fer). Bond is seduced in the Rolls by the Countess and invited to spend the night at her beach house.

The Rolls Royce coastal road

Bond and Lisl are traveling down the coastal road in Benitses, in the eastern part of Corfu. The road runs just below the Achilleion Palace, at Gastouri, which housed the Corfu Casino in the film. This part of the road is possible to identify thanks to a ruin that is visible in the background. This is the ruin of 'Kaiser's Bridge', a bridge that connected a path from the Achilleion Palace with the sea and that once run over the road. This is a very appropriate location for the Rolls Royce to drive past, since this is the normal way one would take, driving back to Corfu Town from the casino.

Coming from the south on 'Epar. Od. Vrionis-Agiou Nikolaou', you can either take road 25 to your left in order to reach the Achilleion Palace, or continue down the coastal road in order to reach the Kaiser's Bridge after a few minutes. This road forms the island's main artery to the south.

It was the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who built the bridge (called "Kaiser's Bridge" by the locals) to access the nearby beach and the pier, without crossing the road. The Kaiser, who was fond of holidaying in Corfu, had purchased the Achilleion Palace in 1907 from the heirs of Sissi, the empress of Austria, who had built the palace in the 1890's.

The casino was actually housed in the Achilleion Palace until the early 1990's. Hence, the interior scenes of the casino could very well have been filmed on location instead of one of Peter Lamont's sets.

The bridge, arching over the road, spanned the distance between the lower gardens of Achilleion and the beach. The bridge's central section was, ironically, demolished by the Wehrmacht during the German occupation of Corfu in World War II, to allow for the free movement of its vehicles. The bridge’s remains can still be found on each side of the road.

Pictures courtesy of KolmQvist

10 Aug 2014

Across the bridge again - Pont Alexandre III

Dôme des invalides in the background.

After picking up Bond from the Paris police station, where Bond undoubtedly has spent the night for violating most of the Napolenic code, M, Bond and Sir Godfrey are driven across the bridge Alexandre III in M's limousine. This is the same bridge where Bond jumped down to the party boat, chasing May Day earlier.

In the background, briefly visible behind M, is the north front of the complex known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides. The complex contains museums, a hospital and retirement home for war veterans as well as the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Both behind M and Sir Godfrey are the massive columns visible, with the golden Pegasuses on top.

"May I remind you that this operation was to be conducted discreatly!"

The limousine is driving down Quai d'Orsay and turning right on Alexandre III bridge and continuing down on Avenue Winston Churchill on the other side of the Seine. The big building, visible behind Sir Godfrey, is the Palais de la Découverte, a science museum located in the Grand Palais. After the briefing in the limousine, Bond assumes the identity of St. John Smythe and goes to Chantilly with Sir Godfrey.