USA – Miami Airport // Casino Royale (2006)
Well, it’s an airport. But then one of world’s biggest travel hubs. Coming here means going there … for example the Bahamas, the Florida Keys or maybe just that one famous hotel at Miami Beach
Why Bond was here
On his first mission in the series reboot, 007 (Daniel Craig) is supposed to dry out the money funds of villain Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen). The crime financier plays the stock market on shares of airplane manufacturer Skyfleet. Their latest aircraft prototype is scheduled for a premiere at Miami International Airport – Le Chiffre want to blow up the plane to cash at the stock exchange. Bond and a hired terrorist begin a rat race around the airport.
Miami International Airport MIA is one of United State’s most important airline hubs next to New York’s JFK and Los Angeles’ LAX – so not getting there via plane is almost impossible. When already in town, the frugal option is to grab the flyer bus No. 150, that runs to South Beach for less than three US-Dollar. A taxi from Downtown Miami is around 22, from South Beach 32 US-Dollar.
Good to know
Though all scenes are set to take place in Miami, filming was actually done in the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Prague International Airport Ruzyně doubled for the interior scenes and Dunsfold Aerodrome in England gave its airfield. But coming to Miami still is a good idea: There is glamorous Hotel Fontainebleau at the city’s notorious coast strip North Beach, which was featured in Goldfinger. And then, Miami is a perfect gateway to reach the movie locations of Licence to Kill along the Florida Keys or even all those paradise Bond sets in the Bahamas.
Aside from Miami’s sandy beaches, the “Capital of Latin America” has a lot more to offer. With its largest population of Cuban-Americans in the US one has to visit Little Havana west of Downtown Miami. Stroll down the Calle Ocho and stop by the Domino Park before searching for a nice restaurant with Cuban cuisine – it’s assuredly the best place to look for outside of Cuba – or go for a Food Tour. For 60 US-Dollar a local guide shows you around through five of the best premises. Looking for a more colorful experience? Head down to the Cuban enclave in March, when it’s time for Carnaval!
Heading south on Miami’s mainland you’ll reach Coconut Grove. What Little Havana is for Cubans, Coconut Grove is for Bahamians. With its Marina it is also a not inexpensive place for shopping and dining, getting especially vibrant during the annual Arts Festival in February.
Right next to the Grove is the district Coral Gable, home of the famous Biltmore Hotel – so far it hasn’t been a location for Bond, despite its grandeur potential. It was opened in 1926, housed a hospital during WWII, was part of the Medical Campus of the University of Miami and was re-established as a hotel in 1987. Regulars at the hotel were starlets such as Ginger Rogers and Judy Garland along with Bing Crosby, the infamous Al Capone and the Roosevelt family. If you’re looking for a more quite and distinguished place off the Miami beaches – This is it!
North of Downtown are two more unmissable parts of town: Wynwood and Little Haiti. While Wynwood is the undeniable art centre of Miami with tons of galleries, open air art projects, such as the Wynwood Walls with its adjoining Spanish restaurant, Little Haiti is more unpretentious. The quarter is not only home of several Voodoo shops, that would leave Baron Samedi envious, but also to some tacky Haitian pubs, which are serving incredible delicious food. Try to come for the monthly “Big Night in Little Haiti”, an open air dance night behind the communal Cultural Centre with all varieties of music. Dancing here all night … you know that the heat is on.
Miami Airport will stay in our memory as the springboard for our honeymoon. While waiting for a connection to Nassau/Bahamas, we watched Germany wrecking Brazil with 7-1 at the 2014’s FIFA World Cup. But good that we also had some days in town: Looking for love spells in Little Haiti’s voodoo stores and munching burritos while walking Wynwood topped the FIFA game by far.
© WikiCommons/D Ramey Logan (1), © 2006 United Artists Corporation and Danjaq, LLC. (2), © 2015 Huntingbond (3)