I have to be honest, I think about travel quite a bit. When I’m not travelling I love to research travel destinations, because it gives me a chance to imagine what it would be like in those places and not think about work, bills, etc. This month brings the latest superhero blockbuster - Batman vs Superman, and it got me to thinking, “Can I really go to Gotham?” Not just New York, or the filming locations, but actual places with those names. It turns out that I can. In fact, there are quite a few destinations that would certainly give some DC comic geeks a severe case of wanderlust. Here are my top 3.
1. Gotham, UK
While it doesn’t really have the skyline you would expect of Batman’s hometown, this village just to the South west of Nottingham is actually where the name for the comic book city came from. A few hundred years ago, the residents had a reputation for doing some crazy stuff like building a fence around a bush to trap a cuckoo or trying to drown an eel. This was apparently done to deter a king from travelling to their town, and it worked. There were so many of these acts that they were recorded in a book called The Merie Tales of the Mad Men of Gottam, which was published in 1565. Centuries later, American author Washington Irving learned of these tales and used the name Gotham to mock New Yorkers. This is how New York became connected to the name, Gotham.
The village itself has an old church built in the 13th century, named St Lawrence’s Church. However, most Batman fans are more interested in taking a photo with the town’s sign and some Joker even stole it back in 2014.
2. Batman, Turkey
What is Gotham without Batman? Batman is the capital of Batman province and sits where the Tigris River meets the Batman River. You can’t get any more Batman than that! The old portion of the city dates back to Neolithic times, however, since oil was discovered there the city has become quite built up. Today, most tourists go for photos with the sign as the city became somewhat famous when the Mayor planned a lawsuit against Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros. back in 2008.
There are actually direct flights from Istanbul to Batman. So if you’re planning to visit the city and the surrounding sites in Southeastern Anatolia, it’s not too difficult to factor it into your trip.
3. Metropolis, IL, USA
For fans of the Man of Steel, you’re in luck! On the banks of the Ohio River lies the “Official Home of Superman”. In the 2nd weekend of June each year the town has a Superman Festival, which centres around the 15 foot bronze (not steel...) Superman statue in Superman Square. Just two blocks down is a statue of Lois Lane on the corner of 8th and Market Streets, and on the corner of Third and Ferry Streets you can find a huge Kryptonite meteorite. The local newspaper is sadly called the Metropolis Planet, but that’s close enough, and of course there’s the Super Museum which houses a $2.5 million collection of Superman memorabilia.
With the slew of Superhero movies coming out over the next 12 months I may be inspired to look for some more Superhero destinations (maybe even some from the Marvel universe). Have you been to any superhero destinations? Was it an out of this world experience?