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Movie ‘Skyfall’ turns remote Turkish area to tourist attraction

The amount of tourists visiting a historic bridge in a remote part of Turkey nearly doubles two years after being part of film scene in the blockbuster movie ‘Skyfall’

Movie ‘Skyfall’ turns remote Turkish area to tourist attraction

ADANA, Turkey

In the valleys outside of Turkey’s southern city Adana stands an almost 100-year-old bridge – the Varda viaduct – known by locals as the ‘German bridge’.

Others may recognize this bridge from the opening scene of the billion-dollar blockbuster movieSkyfall, in which actor Daniel Craig’s character James Bond is shot and falls from a train that passes over the Varda Bridge.

Considered a historic monument, the 172 m long (564 ft.) and 98 m high (322 ft.) Varda Bridge still functions, with several trains passing the bridge on a daily basis.

Mustafa, a 34-year-old local man who runs an out-door teahouse in front of the Varda bridge, said tourist visits have nearly doubled since Skyfall was released in 2012.

"I’ve been selling tea here for 11 years," Mustafa said. "This many people would not come here 11 years ago."

Mustafa says was present when Skyfall was filmed in Varda, where a James Bond stuntman jumped off the bridge eight to ten times, reportedly charging 30,000 Turkish lira ($13 thousand) for each jump.

"I would have jumped eight or ten times for only 30,000 Turkish lira," Mustafa said, underlining that it’s a shame to spend "so much money."

"If I shave my beard I could probably look like Bond," Mustafa joked.

Skyfall, whose budget was between $150 million and $200 million, begins in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul. This is the third time a James Bond movie was filmed in Istanbul after From Russia with Love and The World Is Not Enough.

The opening scene of Skyfall, in which Bond is rushing through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar on a motorcycle and chases after a professional hit man, begins in Istanbul and ends right after Bond is shot on the Varda Bridge.

Amusingly, it took Bond only 12 minutes to chase his enemy from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul to the Varda Bridge outside Adana. In reality, it would have taken him at least eight hours, by car, with nearly a thousand kilometer difference.

The Varda Bridge was built in 1905 as a joint Ottoman-German project to supply oil from Basra in Iraq, then part of the Ottoman Empire, to Germany.

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