PHOTO: Great Wall of China (photo via Flickr/Matt Barber)
It’s a question we can all identify with: What would we put on our bucket list? And, if given the chance, would we fulfill our dreams of doing them?
Ten years ago, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starred as mechanic Carter Chambers (Freeman) and billionaire hospital tycoon Edward Cole (Nicholson) in “The Bucket List,” a movie directed by Rob Reiner. The film follows two men who are terminally ill and decide to do the things on their list before they ‘kick the bucket’. It grossed more than $175 million worldwide and had moviegoers talking about what would be on their own lists.
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Here's what was on Carter and Edward’s itinerary, in case you want to add any items to yours:
France's Chevre d'or is a hotel that started out as a restaurant owned by Robert Wolf, who, on the advice of Walt Disney, converted the village houses into rooms.
It sits above the Mediterranean—giving a great natural view of the landscape—and still has a legendary restaurant, starred since 1981 in the Michelin guide. Carter and Ed ate at the Chevre d’or, enjoying such delicacies as purple artichokes with Oscietra caviar and lime broth, line-fished sea bream glazed with local honey or veal sweetbreads and crunchy cepe mushrooms and Parmesan cheese juice.
Carter and Ed visited the Taj Mahal in India, which was built by Shah Jahan over a 20-year period as a tomb for his favorite wife and is considered one of the seven wonders of the world modern. The mausoleum complex has the actual Taj Mahal in the center and is a staple of the Indian culture and history.
Great Wall of China:
Nicholson and Freeman also rode motorcycles along The Great Wall of China, the nation's most iconic historical landmark.
A series of fortifications built over more than 1,200 years, one of the earliest sections was commissioned by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (259-210 BC) to prevent attacks from barbarian nomads. Though the wall never perfectly prevented enemies from attacking and much of it has been lost to time, its footprint is 4,000 miles long with remaining sections up to 30 feet wide.
Can you actually ride a motorcycle along the Great Wall like in the movie? You can cycle up to the wall, but you cannot ride a motorcycle.
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Lion safari in Tanzania:
Carter and Ed crossed off a popular bucket item in Tanzania, with its large array of African wildlife (lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos etc.), as well as islands and parks to explore. Many of the safari tours span multiple days, with knowledgeable tour guides to teach you along the way.
Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal:
Not only is climbing Mt. Everest a physical challenge—unfortunately, Carter and Ed really weren’t up for it—but it's also a great opportunity to explore the rich culture and history of Nepal.
If getting to the top isn't your thing, you can take a National Geographic 14-day trek to the base camp of the mountain and still have the experience of a lifetime. (Sadly, the base was cloudy when the fictional characters went.)
Carter and Edward also went to one more place in the Himalayas, but you’ll have to watch the movie to find out why it was so special...
Great Pyramid of Giza:
Another of the Seven Wonders of the World (and its oldest), the Great Pyramid of Giza is a sight to behold. At 455 feet tall, getting to the top allows you to look out at the other surrounding pyramids, the city of Cairo and the Egyptian desert.