I was thinking about all the places that I could visit from my time spent delving into the landscapes of Middle Earth, and I couldn't pin point one place so I thought we'd go on a 'world tour' of sorts. Let's go!
I can't think of any place better to start besides:
Obviously a good starting point as it is where the LotR movies start our fantastical journey. Let's imagine ourselves strolling through the fertile land of the Hobbits. A modest land with rolling greens and abundant trees and shrubbery lining the small hovels where our mild mannered friends live.
A peaceful beginning to our marvelous adventure together. We gather our belongings and head out on our way across the White Downs and the Far Downs enjoying our wonderful adventure as we approach Mithlond.
Our next stop known as Mithlond as well as Grey Havens is a seaport at the mouth of the River Lhun on the Gulf of Lune. Partaking in the place where our wise and brave heroes departed for Valinor together after the defeat of Sauron.
A beautiful sight indeed looking out into the arrowhead shaped Gulf of Lune, as we honor the heroes of days long gone, and look forward to the adventures still to come as we continue on our journey through Middle Earth. We continue shortly along the shore of the gulf before we travel southward through Harlindon along the backside of the Blue Mountains and along the coast of the Sundering Sea, Belegaer.
Water so expansive, we stop to dwell on the legends of war that raged through the area. That legendary War of Wrath that caused the sea to expand, The same war that left Sauron to lay siege to the lands years later. But that is all remiss now that we are at a time of peace under the good King Aragorn.
As we continue forward the words of Legolas echo in our hearts and minds:
"The Sea! Alas! I have not yet beheld it. But deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-longing, which it is perilous to stir. Alas! for the gulls. No peace shall I have again under beech or under elm."
We slowly come around the edge of the Blue mountains and cross the mouth of the River Branduin approaching a once vast expanse of trees, decimated ages ago for ship lumber. The Blackwood is our next stop.
Marred by the greed of the Numenoreans and charred by Sauron's forces, the wood is eerily vacant. We tread lightly as the wood still is rumored to be inhabited by evil creatures and the few remaining Druidain not inhabiting the Druadan Forest far to the east near the border of the dark land of Mordor.
The trees, standing still in a silent air that ushers us forward as we continue our journey. We continue south crossing through the ancient ruins of Lond Daer. We pick up our pace as we cross the plains of Enedwaith making our way towards the White Mountains as we cross the River Isen.
We reach the expansive stretch of mountains surrounding Gondor, and we think about our path as there is no passage over the mountains into Gondor. We could venture around the cape at Andrast or attempt the Paths of the Dead. As brace as we may think we are, we decide to alter our route and save Gondor for a different excursion. We instead trek back north along the glorious mountain range.
Continuing our trek through the vast lands of Middle Earth, we follow the mountain range north towards the Gap of Rohan. As we come around the edge and can see the North-South Road in the distance, suddenly our eyes shift to the mountain edge and we can see the remains of our next stop.
The entrenched city has already started rebuilding where the War of the Ring had sundered it. Helm's Deep stands as a reminder of the strength of will and courage of the Rohirrim that stood to defend it against the evils that laid siege.
We stay for a moment as we take it all in and remember the stories etched in our mind of war and loss, of sacrifice and the eventual victory over Sauron.
After spending some time walking through the city, we continue on our tour, finding remains of what was the North-South Road we venture forth. We continue down the road left in shambles after the War of the Ring as we approach our next destination.
The city built on a hill, where our legendary heroes: Legolas, Aragorn, Gandalf & Gimli met with Theoden, the King of Rohan as they prepared to face Sauron and his forces that were converging all around the limited forces that were available.
As we progress deeper into the lands of Middle Earth, we look around at the beautiful scenery. The rolling hills of Rohan, the grasslands of Westemnet, the herding plains of Eastemnet. We continue our trek following the mountain range as it brings us closer to Firienholt, our next destination.
We reach the outskirts of a small forest of oaks, and realize that we've reached "The Whispering Woods." It's eerie silence stirs caution in our hearts, but beckons us forth to experience the beauty that the forest contains. We gaze on in amazement at how silent the world around us has become.
We stay a moment, as we all lay in the grass under the shade of the trees as the sun slowly moves across the sky. We enjoy the silence before we gather back up and move on towards the north.
We trek through the marshy meeting of the Entwash River & The Anduin as we approach a roaring sound.
The glorious falls of the Anduin River. We stand and watch as the powerful river crashes over the edge of the falls and plummets down to meet us below. We look around and find the remains of the North Stair built by the Kings of Gondor to bypass the falls.
We climb the great Stair "beside the falls" as Aragorn had once called it. Once we reach the top, we gaze out at the expanse of land that we've traveled recently and take a deep breath, as we continue forth on our adventure. We travel around the edge of where the Anduin River has collected above the falls, and then we see it.
The Gate of Kings. The sight is enough to take my breath away as I look to the likeness of Isildur and Anarion in amazement at the craftsmanship and how these two pillars have withstood the test of time.
We stay for another moment to take in the power and majesty of these two brothers before turning to continue following the river upstream. We trek for some time before the reach a fork in the river. We look towards the north and see the edge of the Lothlorien Woods and know that we've reached our next destination.
The kingdom of the Silvan Elves, now years after Galadriel and Celeborn have left, the light is gone, but the kingdom is still beautiful to behold. We walk through the trees taking in as much as we can as we trek through.
We progress ever further into Middle Earth, looking at everything that is beautiful as well as all the broken lands still ravaged by the War of the Ring and the downfall of Sauron. We reach another mountain range as we exit the Lothlorien woods. We have reached the Misty Mountains.
We debate what path to take: either the Caradhras Pass or through the mines of Moria. We decide on the latter, hoping to explore the retaken mines of Khazad-dum by King Durin VII. We hear the Dwarven hammers ring through the great halls beneath the mountains.
We cross through the Dwarven halls, continuing our journey as we reach the River Bruinen and follow it north to our final stop.
Our journey ends where the Fellowship of the Ring began, in the beautiful valley of Rivendell. Although it has been long abandoned as the Lords of the land have left across the sea, it still holds its mystical beauty, and we remain there exploring for a time, remembering the legends of the Fellowship and all that arrived for the Council of Elrond.
With that, we end our journey. I hope you enjoyed the time we have spent together traversing through a few of my favorite locations in Middle Earth, if you wish to retrace our steps, below you'll find our map, and I do hope that you will join me again on our next adventure.
Once again, thank you for joining our adventure, and I hope to be a part of yours next.