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Disaster Movie

Temple of Kukulkan, Chichen-Itza, Mexico
Yesterday we had a good laugh at the expense of the cast of ’2012.’ But a look at the film’s official trailer got us thinking … is no landmark safe from Hollywood effects people? Can you spot the ones that get destroyed in ’2012′? Let’s find them…after the jump.
 

 


 
From the ruins of the Statue of Liberty in ‘Planet of the Apes‘ to spaceships over the White House in ‘Independence Day,’ Hollywood sure loves some good old-fashioned disaster porn. And the latest disaster blockbuster to hit theaters, ‘2012,’ is no exception — it was even made by the people behind ‘Independence Day’.
 
The end-times smorgasbord of explosions and earthquakes plays off the popular paranoia surrounding the Mayan calendar, which ends on December 21, 2012. So expect this film to be filled with enough death and destruction to make Nostradamus turn in his grave. From Times Square to The Mayan temples themselves, here are some of the landmarks that won’t make it to 2013. Try to see them all, before it’s too late…
 
Mayan Temples, Chichén-Itzá, Mexico (see photo above)
The trailer opens with — what else? — an eerie glamour of the Mayan temples at Chichén-Itzá, located about 75 miles from Merida on the Yucatán Peninsula. The 1,500-year-old temples are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and a popular tourist destination. To get there travel to Mexico’s Cancun International Airport. The site is near a main highway, but hire a guide for a full immersion into the site and its history. We recommend Chicen Services, a provider of eco-friendly cultural tours. Group rates start at $80 (for four people).
 
Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Brazil’s second largest city just got the news that it’ll be hosting the Olympics in 2016, but according to this trailer, its most famous landmark won’t be around that long. To visit the 130-foot-tall art deco statute, yet another of the New Seven Wonders of the World, take the Orange subway line to Largo do Machado in the Laranjeiras neighborhood, where you can connect on a bus to Corcovado. The hike up hundreds of steps is worth it — there you’ll not only find the statue, but incredible views of the city.
 

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Mecca, Saudi Arabia
A crumbling statue of Jesus isn’t the only religious symbol invoked in the trailer. It also features news coverage of people gathered around the Kaaba, the most sacred site in all of Islam, and the final stop on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The site is only open to Muslims, and in fact, every Muslim is required by the Koran to visit the site at least once. The most common way to reach the Sacred Mosque is through Jeddah, either fly in to the Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport, or drive in. To make sure you can get in, obtain special paperwork through the Ministry of Hajj.
 

St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican

St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican
In the film, even the Pope isn’t safe from the end of the world. Shortly after shots of a mass at St. Peter’s, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, the basilica’s dome is seen crashing down. Along with it? The Apostolic Palace and Michelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam,’ the famous painting from the Sistine Chapel. Talk about symbolism… For travel tips, see our guide to Rome and the Vatican.
 

Washington Monument, Washington D.C.

Washington Monument, Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C.
So if religion can’t save you, can the government? ’2012′ answers that question with a resounding N-O. The Washington Monument looks like a toothpick as it’s broken in the chaos and a final ironic twist of fate, the White House gets toppled by a massive Navy Vessel — the USS John F. Kennedy. To see these sites head to the National Mall, home to the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and pretty much every other American symbol associated with D.C. Luckily for travelers, they’re all laid out together and easily accessible by the city’s Metro. Looking for a place to start? Try the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
 

10 Downing Street, London

10 Downing Street, London

Downing Street, London
The UK government doesn’t fare any better. The trailer’s news footage show rioting crowds at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister. If you decide to say “allo” to the PM on your next visit to London try to avoid the Bobbies.
 

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower, Paris
It turns out ‘Paris is Burning’ is more than just the quintessential vogueing movie–in this trailer at least. The Eiffel Tower, 19th-century ode to the Industrial Revolution, is the last thing standing in the flaming French city. Until it’s clipped by a plane, that is. See it for yourself on the Champs de Mars in the posh 7th arrondissement.
 

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York City

Times Square, New York
Those who lament the fact that Times Square is all cleaned up can breathe a sigh of relief. The apocalypse is about to make it very dirty again. You’ll find the epicenter of New York’s most popular tourist trap at the intersections of 42nd Street, Broadway and Seventh Avenue. That’s also where you’ll find discounted theater tickets and a brand-new pedestrian plaza. The Times Square experience can be overwhelming, even for veteran New Yorkers, but that’s the best part about it. To get there hop on just about any subway line — the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R and W lines all stop there; and the A, C, E, B, D, F and V lines are are close by.
 
Add in the generic shots of LA and what appears to be India and Tibet, and you’ve got a whole lotta destruction goin on. Can you see anything we missed?
 
images: Tarzan!!!/Flickr; Roberto/Flickr; Elias Pirasteh/Flickr; iStock; iStock; iStock, iStock, iStock

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