EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 26, 2013

Destination 2014



Scotland hosts its year-long “Homecoming,” inviting emigres and their descendants to return for clan gatherings and other events, including a reenactment of the Battle of Bannockburn, an important victory 700 years ago in the Wars of Scottish Independence. The Homecoming is held every four years.

In Holland, the Mauritshuis museum reopens in June in The Hague. This small but important museum, housed in a 17th-century palace, is home to Vermeer’s masterpiece, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” which has been drawing huge crowds at the Frick in New York following showings in San Francisco and Atlanta. The painting has been traveling with “The Goldfinch” and works by Rembrandt and other Dutch masters while the Mauritshuis underwent a two-year renovation.

In Norway, the Geirangerfjord will get some additional visitors as Adventures By Disney adds the destination to a new itinerary inspired by the movie “Frozen.” The film’s fantasy kingdom of Arendelle was based on the fjord.

New Zealand is hoping for an increase in visitors inspired by the second movie in the “Hobbit” trilogy. Tourism connected to “The Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” films has become a big business in New Zealand, where the movies were filmed. A survey by Tourism New Zealand showed 13 percent of international visitors earlier this year took part in some kind of “Hobbit”-themed tourism like visiting a film set.

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